You are currently viewing archive for July 2009.
Posted by: David
Joba Chamberlain had arguably the best start of his career on Wednesday night vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. He left after eight innings with a 6-0 lead and gave way to Brian Bruney.

Bruney gave up a triple to Carl Crawford and a home run to Evan Longoria to push the score to 6-2. He was able to get Ben Zobrist out on a pop out but then fell behind Carlos Pena before he doubled to right center. One more baserunner would have made a save situation but Girardi didn't want to push it and called for Mo.

More struck out Pat Burrell on three pitches but then walked Gabe Gross on four pitches. Michele Hernandez battled but eventually struck out on an outside cutter to end the game.

This appearance for Rivera lowered his ERA to 2.08 on the season.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera earned his 29th save of the season and 511th of his career on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx. The Yankees defeated the Oakland Athletics 7-5 to complete a 9-1 record on the homestand and extend their lead in the AL East back to 2 1/2 games over the Red Sox who lost at home to the Orioles.

The save for Mo was his 25th consecutive of the season and 24th in a row at home. The Yankees fell behind 2-0 in the first inning but came right back for a four spot with Robinson Cano's base clearing double being the key hit in the inning.

The A's battled all day and had the lead at 5-4 on a two run home run off the bat of Mark Ellis. The Yankees battled back with Derek Jeter getting a key two run single to get the lead back and then scratching out one more run to extend the lead to two.

Phil Hughes pitched a perfect seventh inning but ran into trouble in the eighth by walking his first batter since entering the bullpen and then giving up a double to Daric Barton to put runners on 2nd and third with only one out. Girardi called on Bruney for one batter and he was able to strike out Mark Ellis for the second out.

Mo then entered and faced Nomar Garciaparra pinch hitting for Eric Patterson. Mo got him to ground back to the mound to end the inning.

In the ninth the A's had no chance. Adam Kennedy struck out looking and Orlando Cabrera struck out swinging on an outside cutter tfor two quick outs. Scott Hairston then grounded out to third to end the game.

Rivera is now 1-2 on te season with 29 saves in 30 save opportunities and his ERA now stands at 2.11.
Posted by: David
When the Yankees scored an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to extend the lead to four runs, it looked like Rivera would not have a save situation. Not so fast! Brian Bruney entered in the ninth and struck out the first two batters, but then gave up back to back home runs to Adam Jones and Nick Markakis to pull the O's within two runs at 6-4 and create a save situation for Mo.

Rivera entered and faced Aubrey Huff and struck him out looking to end the game. It's Rivera's 28th save of the season and 510th of his career. His season ERA now stands at 2.18.

With the win and a another Bosox loss the Yankees now have enjoy a two game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

I happened to be present for the game and intended on using my visit to see Monument Park. I was suppose to get an escorted tour but instead received passes to the Audi Club to watch the game in real comfort. The suites at the stadium are just that - S-W-E-E-T. They are beautifully decorated and well maintained and the service is great. What a great place to enjoy a ball game from.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera has blown only one save this season and that was early on. Since then he has converted the last 23 including tonight against the Orioles with some fine defensive help from Derek Jeter.

A-Rod had a two out bases single to put the Yankees ahead at 3-2 and they never looked back, however it got a little bit scary as Sergio Mitre made his first appearance of the 2009 season for the Bombers. He left with the Yankees leading 6-4 and was followed by Alfredo Aceves and Phil Coke.

Mariano took over in the ninth and faced Melvin Mora to start the inning. He got him on a grounder back to the mound. Nolan Reimold was 1 for 1 in his short career against Mo and that was a home run. He hit the first pitch up the middle which Jeter got close to the bag and threw from the outfield grass to nip Reimold for the second out. Rookie phenom Matt Wieters was the last hope and he looped a ball to short left which Jeter raced back on and made a grreat running catch on to end the game.

For Rivera, it's his 27th save of the season and 509th of his career. His season ERA now stands at 2.20.
Posted by: David
The script couldn't have been any better for the weekend. Great starting pitching, timely home runs and hand it over to Mo to finish the job. For the third consecutive game of the series Mariano Rivera earned a save against the Detroit Tigers helping the Yankees to a weekend sweep of the series.

Joba Chamberlain was the pitcher of 2007 as his fastball was clocked in the mid to upper nineties for most of the game. He only surrendered a home run to rookie Clete Thomas. A-Rod struck right back in the fourth to tie it and Tex hit his 23rd of the season to put the Yankees ahead at 2-1.

Joba was pulled with two outs in the seventh in favor of Phil Coke who threw only one pitch to retire Curtis Granderson on a soft liner to short. Phil Hughes pitched a scoreless eighth and the Sandman closed the door.

In the ninth Brandon Inge led off and Mo fell behind 2-0 but induced a grounder to short for the first out. Magglio Ordonez pinch hit and he broke his bat on a weak grounder to second. Gerald Laird battled and drew a rare walk from Mo. It was only the fourth walk of the season and first since June 12th for Rivera. Ramon Santiago was the last hope for the Tigers and he ended as so many batters have done before against Mariano with a broken bat grounder to second to end the game.

The save for Mo is his 26th of the season in 27 save opportunities and 508th of his career. His season ERA now stands at 2.25.
Posted by: Patrick
Mike Puma at the Post says that, with last night's save, Mo has joined Lee Smith as the only other closer to reach at least 25 saves in 13 consecutive seasons.
Posted by: David
The game was a pitcher's duel between Justin Verlander of the Tigers and CC Sabathia of the Yankees until the seventh inning. Sabathia struggled early but was able to get out of jams with key strikeouts and a couple of double plays.

Verlander was equal to the task until the seventh inning when A-Rod left off the inning with his 18th home run of the season just over the wall in right field. The Yankees scratched for another run with Melky Cabrera hustling out an infield hit to score a runner from third for a 2-0 lead.

Aceves worked the eighth and surrendered a home run to Marcus Thames to pull the Tigers to within a run at 2-1. The Sandman was called for the ninth and as usual did not disappoint.

Rivera faced Ryan Rayburn to start the inning and blew him away swinging with an outside cutter. All-Star Brandon Inge hit a ball in the hole which Jeter gloved on the outfield grass and threw his patented jump pass throw to first to just nip Inge for the second out. Gerald Laird battled but popped out to Jeter on the seventh pitch of the AB to end the game.

For Rivera, it is his 25th save in 26 save opportunities on the 2009 season. It's save 507 of his career. His season ERA now stands at 2.31.
Posted by: Patrick
Before throwing out the first pitch in the All-Star Game, President Barack Obama sat down with MLB Network's Bob Costas, answering questions from Major League players.

But, before that, he talked about meeting the players, including Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, along with Rivera's sons. Obama said that he asked one of the kids, he thinks it was Mariano Jr., if he had learned Mo's cutter and he said that he was getting it.
Posted by: David
The Yankees fell behind early with A.J. Burnett really not having his best stuff, but they hung tough and waited for the bomb from Tex in the 7th. The Tigers were leading into the 7th when Jeter led off with a single to right and Damon followed with a double just out of the reach of the right fielder. On a 2-0 pitch, Tex crushed a home run to right to put the Yankees ahead to stay at 5-3.

The rain came in the bottom of the eighth and lasted for 57 minutes. The Yankees didn't score and the Sandman entered with a two run lead.

He had to face the top of the order and got Curtis Granderson on a fly to right on the seventh pitch of the AB. Placido Polanco bounced an inside cutter down the third base line for a double and suddenly the tying run was at the plate with only one out and All-Star Miguel Cabrera on deck. Mo was cool as always and only needed two more pitches to end the game. He got Cabrera on a grounder up the middle for which Jeter made a nice play for the second out. Polanco moved up to third on the play and then Marcus Thames popped out of Texeira to end the game.

Rivera now has 24 saves on the season in 25 save opportunities and 506 on his career. His season ERA now stands at 2.37.
Posted by: Patrick
From Yahoo! Sports:

INF Ben Zobrist got to keep an interesting souvenir from his first All-Star Game, the ball he caught for the final out. Zobrist first offered the ball to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who earned his record fourth All-Star save. He said hed like it, but if I want it, I can have it, Zobrist said. So I have it.

Nice of Mo.
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News talked to both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera about the fans in St. Louis and they had only good things to say.

"This town has some great fans - real, true baseball fans," Rivera said. "As a player, you really appreciate that."

Rivera was quick to note that Yankees fans are the most passionate he's seen when it comes to their own team, but the St. Louis fans have struck the closer as being pure fans of the sport, cheering every player they have seen throughout the week.

"This town is all about baseball," Rivera said. "They treat everyone very nice. I like the way they go about their business."
Posted by: David
For the fourth time in his career Mariano Rivera earned a save in the All-Star Game. The 2009 version on Tuesday night in St. Louis saw the Sandman enter with a slim 4-3 lead.

He faced Justin Upton of the Arizona Diamondbacks to start the inning and got him on a grounder to short for the first out. He struck out Brad Hawpe of the Colorado Rockies with a perfect pitch on the outside corner and then induced Miguel Tejada to pop up to second to end the game.

Rivera surpassed Dennis Eckersley with his fourth save in All-Star game appearances and is still perfect for his career with eight scoreless innings.

Carl Crawford was named the MVP with his save of a home run off the bat of Hawpe as Jonathan Papelbon did not give up any runs but three very loud outs.

Joe Nathan got Ryan Howard of the Phillies to strike out with the runners on second and third in the eighth to set up the save situation for Mariano.

Derek Jeter scored two runs and was hit by a pitch. Mark Teixeira did not get any hits but played solid defense at first while he was in the game.
Posted by: Patrick
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, before each series, Athletics closer Andrew Bailey watches footage of Mariano Rivera pitching against said team, to see how the veteran attacked their hitters. Bailey, the A's lone representative at the All-Star game, is excited about the prospect of meeting Rivera during the festivities.
Posted by: David
For the second straight game Mariano Rivera had to face A.L. batting leader Joe Mauer to end the game. Mauer is also the starting catcher for the American League in the All-Star game. Last night with only a one run lead Mo got Mauer to line to short. This afternoon, Mo retired the first two hitters rather easily, but pinch hitter Brendan Harris singled to left to bring up Mauer. Mo kept the ball well in and got him to ground out to first to end the game.

With the win, the Yankees have swept the Twins for the season. Earlier in the season the Yankees swept a four game series and today's win completed a three game sweep at the Metrodome. Mo faced Nick Punto to start the inning and got him to ground to Tex for the first out. Denard Span grounded out weakly to second for the second out.

For Rivera, it is his 23rd save of the season and 505th of his career. His season ERA now stands at 2.43.

The game saw Mark Texeiera end his home run drought by hitting his 21st of the season. Alfredo Aceves made an emergency start to replace recent DL starter Chien-MIn Wang. Aceves only lasted into the fourth with a 65 pitch limit. He was followed by four other pitchers prior to the Sandman and the Bronx Bombers held on for a 6-4 win.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera was summoned a little bit early on Wednesday night in Minnesota as he entered with one on and two outs in the eighth inning.

A.J. Burnett worked 6 and 2/3 innings before giving way to Phil Hughes who worked an inning but gave up a single to pinch hitter Brian Buscher after getting down in the count.

Rivera entered and faced pinch hitter Jose Morales and got him to line to Jeter to end the inning. The Yankees could not add any insurance and Mo had to protect a one run lead in the bottom of the ninth.

Denard Span led off and grounded out unassisted to Texeira at first. Brendan Harris was caught looking at an inside cutter and the drama built as all-star catcher Joe Mauer faced Mo as the potential tying run. Mauer was up with a .390 average and already had three hits on the game including a home run to pull the Twins within a run in his last AB. Mo got him to line to Jeter to end the game and record his 22nd save of the season.

Rivera is 1-2 on the season with 22 saves in 23 save opportunities. The save was the 504th of his career. His season ERA now stands at 2.50.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera was named to the American League All-Star Team for the tenth time on Sunday. He will join fellow teammantes Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira who were voted in as starters.
Posted by: Patrick
Nine innings wasn't enough for the Yankees and Blue Jays on Independence Day. Tied at 5 and heading into the ninth, Joe Girardi opted to bring Mariano Rivera in. Mo was good and, after allowing a single, elicited a double play ball and and a ground out to give the Yankees a chance in the ninth.

That would be the end of the day for Mr. Rivera as Phil Coke (2 innings) and Brett Tomko would toe the rubber after him. The Yankees collected a nice win on a Jorge Posada walk-off single that scored A-Rod.

Mo's ERA fell to 2.60 and it was the first game since May 24 in which he didn't receive some sort of decision - whether a win, loss of save.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera saved the opener of the series vs. division rival Toronto on Friday afternoon in the Bronx. The game was a pitcher's duel between Brian Tallet and A.J. Burnett.

Robinson Cano got the scoring started with a home run in the second. Toronto came back to tie the score at one before the Yankees scored two runs in the middle of the game due to walks from Tallet and some infield ground outs. Vernon Wells got the Blue Jays to within one run and A-Rod added an insurance run with a home run in the bottom of the eighth to extend the Yankees lead to 4-2.

In the ninth Mo faced Alex Rios to start the inning and got him swinging for the first out. David Dellucci flied out to right center and Raul Chavez was caught looking at a cutter on the inside corner to end the game.

For Rivera it is his 21st save in 22 save opportunities on the 2009 season and the 503rd of his illustrious career. His season ERA now stands at 2.67.
Posted by: Patrick's Joe Posnanski has a great feature on Mariano Rivera. Check it out. Thanks to Jack for the tip.
Posted by: David
Mo notched another save on Wednesday night in the Bronx. Andy Pettitte and Jarrod Washburn dueled for seven innings with Pettitte being just a little bit better. All the Yankee runs were from the long ball with Damon and Cabrera hitting solo shots and A-Rod hitting a two run shot to put the Yankees ahead at 4-2.

Alfredo Aceves and Phil Coke combined for a scoreless eighth inning and the Sandman entered in the ninth.

Jose Lopez battled and just missed hitting the foul pole in left but eventually grounded out to third for the first out. Ken Griffey, Jr. grounded to second and Franklin Gutierrez grounded to Ransom at third to end the game.

For Rivera it is his 20th save of the season in 21 save opportunities and it is also the 502nd of his career. Trevor Hoffman is the all-time leader at 572 career saves and is still active. Mo's season ERA now stands at 2.76.
Posted by: Patrick has video of Mariano Rivera throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before last night's game. He would later throw the real last pitch in the game, as well.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees and David Wells. Always destined to be together, it seems. John Harper of the Daily News says that the Yankees were eying the then 32 year old Tigers right hander and when Detroit sent back the players that they had in mind, Mariano Rivera's name appeared, according to Gene Michael, the Yankees general manager then.

Joe Klein, Detroit's general manager during that period, told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports that he offered Wells straight up for Rivera. Klein felt that Michael was interested, but wouldn't say yes. Klein made it clear the offer wasn't going to last forever - but he gave the Yankees GM some time. However, Michael says, somewhere around that point, Mo's velocity jumped up in the Minors and he refused to include him in a deal.

Michael says it was in the minors, but Knobler disputes that, saying that Mo was in the Major League rotation when Wells was eventually dealt to the Reds for C.J. Nitkowski, Mark Lewis and Dave Tuttle.

Talks of Wells to the Yankees revived in the next offseason, however, when the Reds were looking to trade the pitcher away. Ben Kabak was River Ave. Blues points to an article in The New York Times on December 27, 1995, authored by Murray Chass.

Chass said that, according to an "official familiar with the Wells talks", George Steinbrenner made a call to Reds general manager Jim Bowden, offering not just Mariano Rivera - but also Jorge Posada. Yikes. However, Wells ended up in Baltimore with the Reds receiving Curtis Goodwin and Trovin Valdez.

The Yankees would finally get David Wells in the offseason following the 1996 season, signing him on Christmas Day. Wells would pitch two full seasons, winning a world title, before being shipped in a package for Roger Clemens. He'd return once more for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, finally leaving the club for good. And, of course, we know what happened with Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.