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Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera had possibly his last save opportunity of the season. He couldn't get it done. He gave up three runs in the ninth to Baltimore to tie the game and the Yankees eventually lost the game in the tenth. With the Red Sox winning, they clinched the AL East.

He faced Nick Markakis to start the inning and he blooped a single to center. Tejada lined to third for the first out. Kevin Millar was hit by a pitch which also hit the bat and the Orioles had two runners on and the potential tying run at the plate. Melvin Mora flied out to right for the second out. Ramon Hernandez singled to load the bases and then Jay Payton tripled to clear the bases and tie the game. Mo got Moore to ground out to end the inning.

For Rivera, it's his fourth blown save in 34 save opportunities. His season ERA rises to 3.15.
Posted by: Patrick
Watch below for an interview with Mo during last night's postgame celebration. He gets doused.

Posted by: Patrick
Fittingly, Mo closed out the Yankees Wild Card clinching victory over the Devil Rays on Wednesday night. With a 12-4 lead, he pitched a 1-2-3 inning, retiring Justin Ruggiano, Delmon Young and Greg Norton in order. His ERA for the season is now down to 2.82.
Posted by: Patrick
For the annual rookie hazing dress up, the Yankees went with a The Wizard of Oz theme.

Jen from NoSenseWorrying.com has a great set of photos including a couple of classic shots of A-Rod and Mo and Mo and Jeter enjoying the moment.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees were in for another extra inning affair with the Blue Jays yesterday evening. Though, thankfully, it didn't go 14. It went 10 with Melky Cabrera delivering a 2 out, walk off single to win it.

Mo entered in the 9th, beginning the inning with a ground out from Adam Lind. Curtis Thigpen doubled to make it interesting, but Mo struck out both Ray Olmedo and Reed Johnson to end the threat. He came out after that, as he was relieved by Jeff Karstens, who got the win. Mo's ERA falls to 2.86.

Before the game, Mo caught the first pitch, which was thrown by Panama President Martin Torrijos Espino. Here's a picture. (The President dressed very well, I'd say). Peter Abraham has more:

UPDATE, 12:00 p.m.: ... The President of Panama, Martin Torrijos Espino, will throw out the first pitch. I suspect Mariano Rivera will catch it. ...

UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: The president of Panama threw out the first pitch and Mo came out to catch it. As he got behind the plate, Posada offered him his mask. Mo declined. The prez tossed a 59-footer that bounced past Mo.
Posted by: David
Rivera entered in the 10th inning with the scored tied and worked a perfect inning. He got Ray Olmedo to pop to A-Rod for the first out. Reed Johnson then flew out to right and Lyle Overbay struck out looking to end the inning. His season ERA now stands at 2.90.
Posted by: Patrick
Mo closed out the Yankees sweep of the Orioles with a nerve wracking 9th. After retiring Miguel Tejada to start the inning, Nick Markakis doubled. Mo then retired Kevin Millar, but walked Aubrey Huff and Ramon Hernandez. With the bases loaded, Scott Moore came in to pinch hit for Brandon Fahey. Mo struck him out.

That's save number 30 for Mo, who now has an ERA of 2.94.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that, Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe, Eric Gagne said that he didn't throw the ball that hit Mo. He does have an idea as to who might have, though.

However, Gagne did reveal that there was a wild pitch and that it came from Devern Hansack, who was warming up at the same time he was.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Rivera was clipped by a stray baseball from the Red Sox bullpen on Sunday, startling him while he was stretching during the eighth inning. The ball struck his interlocked hands and robbed him of all sensation in his right pinkie finger just prior to his entrance into a two-run game.

"That thing was numb," Rivera said. "I didn't have feeling for the whole game." ...

Rivera said that the pinkie was sore a day later, but nothing worse. He was available to pitch on Monday night, though for only one inning.

Accident? I'm just kidding (about the headline, as well).

Update: Peter Abraham says it was Gagne. We have a photo of him practicing over at YanksBlog.com.

Update 2: Gagne says he didn't do it.
Posted by: David
Kyle Farnsworth started the ninth with an 8-3 lead but Nick Markakis struck for an RBI to make it 8-4 and a walk and two out single from Kevin Millar put the tying run on deck and Mo was summoned.

The first batter he faced was Aubrey Huff who had taken Mo deep earlier in the year during a bad stretch for Rivera. Huff greeted him with a line single to right to make the score 8-5. Rivera then got tough and struck out Melvin Mora to end the game.

For Rivera its his 29th save of the season and his ERA now stands at 2.98.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera made it extremely exciting for both Yankee and Red Sox fans on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

He entered in the bottom of the ninth with the Yankees leading 4-2. Jason Varitek worked a walk and, following that, Mo was able to retire Hinske and Crisp on weak ground balls to the right side. Yankee fans let out a breath, but only for a second. Julio Lugo got on top of a fastball which got too much of the plate and lined it up the alley in left to score Varitek with a double. Rookie Jacoby Ellsbury was hit with the first pitch and Rookie of the Year candidate Dustin Pedroia worked a walk.

For Yankee fans, it was the worst possible match up, as arch nemesis David Ortiz (Big Papi) was up with the bases loaded and all that was needed was a single to win the game. Mo worked him to 2-2 and threw a perfect cutter which jammed Ortiz and made him pop up to short center field. Jeter caught it to end the game.

For Rivera, it was his 28th save in 31 save opportunities. It was the 441st career save for Rivera. His record is 3-4 and his season ERA now stands at 3.00. Rivera threw 29 pitches on the evening and did not have his best location, but got the huge out against the best clutch hitter in baseball when he desperately needed it.
Posted by: Patrick
MLB.com has an interview with Rockies closer Manny Corpas (who has been a valuable member of my fantasy teams this year).

What were your goals when you signed with the Rockies years ago?

I always wanted to be like Mariano Rivera [the Yankees' closer], who's from Panama. I was going to do everything I could to make it to the big leagues, then show that I can help my team win the way he does.
Posted by: David
It looked like Mo would not be needed with the flat and sloppy performance his teammates were putting on. However, they erupted for six runs in the eighth inning to erase a 7-2 deficit and take an 8-7 lead.

Rivera entered in the ninth and faced J.D. Drew to lead off. Drew was batting in the eighth when Coco Crisp was caught stealing to end the inning. Crisp hit a ground ball to second which Cano usually gobbles up but it scooted under his glove for a lead off single. Varitek struck out and Kielty flew out to center for the second out. The last hope for the Red Sox was rookie sensation Jacoby Ellsbury who had two hits on the night. Mo climbed the ladder on him and got him swinging to end the game.

For Rivera it's his 27th save of the season and his ERA now stands at 2.91.
Posted by: Patrick
From MLB.com:

In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins on Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15, FOX's "This Week in Baseball" won't be offering a history lesson. Instead, "TWIB" lead producer James Potocki says, it will celebrate the month with an "all-Latin show."

Latin American stars Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Jose Reyes, Hanley Ramirez and Mariano Rivera are just some of the featured guests. The "TWIB" crew followed the stars to their homes in the Caribbean -- the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Panama -- where they trained their cameras on a region that has produced as much as one-fifth of Major League Baseball's current players. ...

The show will air at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday (times vary nationwide; check local listings).
Posted by: David
When A-Rod's throwing error allowed a run to score off of Joba Chamberlain, Mo was summoned to put out the fire. He entered with the Yankees leading 4-1 and two runners on base.

He faced Lyle Overbay and got him to ground to deep short but the ball bounced too high and Jeter couldn't make a play. The bases were loaded but Mo beared down and struck out Gregg Zaun to end the inning.

In the ninth, he got Adam Lind to ground out to second for the first out. Vernon Wells grounded to second also and Russ Adams flied out to left to end the game.

For Rivera, it was his 26th save of the season and his ERA now stands at 2.95.
Posted by: Patrick
Mo pitched a scoreless 9th inning against the Royals to preserve a 6-3 Yankees win. After getting a groundout from Mark Teahen and striking out Alex Gordon, Jason Smith singled and took second on fielder's indifference. But, that would be all there was as John Buck grounded out to end the game.

It's Mo's 25th save and his ERA is now at 3.02.
Posted by: Patrick
From Kat O'Brien:

Don't worry about Mariano Rivera. That was the message from one veteran scout who watched him pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning for a save in Friday's 3-2 win over the Royals. Rivera needed only seven pitches to get through that inning, even with a strikeout, and several scouts who witnessed his work were impressed. One said: "That's the best I've ever seen him last night. Ever."
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera concluded a solid bullpen effort with a perfect ninth inning to gain his 24th save of the season. He got pinch hitter Mike Sweeney to ground to short for the first out. Joey Gathright then got jammed and popped up to A-Rod for the second out. Tough hitting Mark Grudzielanek then struck out to end the game.

Rivera is 3-4 on the season with 24 saves in 27 save opportunities. His season ERA now stands at 3.06.
Posted by: Patrick
Tara Sullivan of Newsday has an article talking about Mo's 1997 ALDS loss and what has happened since. October 5 will mark 10 years since it happened.

"Guys go one way or the other, there's no halfway," said manager Joe Torre, whose Yankee tenure parallels Rivera's. "To me, I never had a doubt he would be fine. He's got great self esteem. That really helps, no question. I never doubted his ability."

More importantly, neither did Rivera. Over the 10-year span since the devastating mistake to Alomar, Rivera has become the game's most dominant relief pitcher. His ensuing postseason performance is the best in major league history, his 34 saves and 0.80 ERA in the playoffs both all- time records. Anchored by a peaceful inner confidence, Rivera is convinced he emerged from the 1997 season a better baseball player. And a better man.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera entered in the 8th inning with two outs and the Yankees leading 9-6. Luis Vizcaino was ineffective and surrendered three runs in the eighth to bring the Devil Rays to within a save situation.

Mo faced pinch hitter Norton and got him to ground to second to end the inning. In the ninth, he was simply dominant as he struck out Josh Wilson and pinch hitter Dioner Navarro swinging and then got Akinori Iwamura looking to end the game.

For Rivera it was his 23rd save of the season and 436th of his career. His season ERA now stands at 3.17.