Mariano Rivera became just the second player ever to reach 600 career saves Tuesday, against the Mariners. He equaled Trevor Hoffman's all-time record of 601 Saturday, against the Blue Jays. And Monday, Rivera climbed all the way to the top, setting a new record by picking up save number 602 against the Twins.
And he did so by throwing a perfect inning. Protecting a 6-4 lead, Rivera induced a weak grounder from Trevor Plouffe. Michael Cuddyer followed with a soft flare to right, and with none on and two outs, Rivera froze Chris Parmelee to seal the deal.
Rivera, in his usual way, showed little emotion, although he flashed a broad smile as his teammates crowded around him for hugs and congratulations. His teammates then urged him to remain by himself on the mound, which he did, tipping his cap and shrugging while the Yankee Stadium crowd gave him an extended standing ovation. Rivera clearly didn't know what to do with all the attention.
So Rivera has broken Hoffman's mark. He'll set a new record with each subsequent save he records, but for the first time in his career, he is no longer looking up at anyone. Mariano Rivera stands on top of the mountain, where he belongs.