You are currently viewing archive for July 2008.
Posted by: Patrick
The New York Post reports that Mo will be on "Good Day New York" tomorrow (Friday) to discuss "The Final Engagement". The show airs from 7:00 - 9:00 AM on Fox 5.
Posted by: Patrick
In last night's game, Mariano reached 1,000 innings for his career. This qualified him for the career ERA leaders page at Baseball Reference, writes The Immaculate Inning, who calls Rivera the greatest pitcher of all-time.

Via Alex.
Posted by: David
There is a clear, discernible difference when Rivera pitches in a save situation vs. when he doesn't. Since Mo hadn't worked that much lately, Girardi brought him in, in the top of the ninth with the Yankees losing 6-3. He surrendered a solo home to Aubrey Huff when his cutter didn't move far enough inside. He then retired Mora, Peyton and Millar to end the inning but the Orioles extended their lead to 7-3.

The Yankees rallied for three in the bottom of the ninth to cut the lead to one and had a man on second with one out but George Sherrill was able to strike out Cano and Betemit to end the game and give the Yankees their third straight loss.
Posted by: Patrick
On Thursday, Mo will be hosting a press conference to announce a contest where a lucky couple can win the chance to have their marriage proposal displayed on the big screen at the Stadium during the game against the White Sox on September 18. They'll also receive an engagement ring valued at as much as $40,000. Details from the press release:

All-Star Closer, Mariano Rivera will announce "The Final Engagement," a chance to win the exclusive opportunity to "close the deal" via a live in-stadium marriage proposal on the Diamond Vision Screen during a game played on September 18th, a 1.5 carat Hearts On Fire diamond engagement ring valued up to $40,000, and 4 Yankees tickets. The Final Engagement proceeds will benefit the Mariano Rivera Foundation.

Participants can enter to win The Final Engagement at, or link to the site from and websites.
Posted by: David
Joba Chamberlain dueled Josh Beckett for seven innings. The Yankees clung to a 1-0 lead and it was time for the bullpens to take over. In the eighth, Kyle Farnsworth started and surrendered a single to Jed Lowrie to start the inning. With one out, Coco Crisp hit a swinging bunt up the first base line which appeared to be going foul, but Farnsworth attempted to field the ball and booted it as Crisp reach first safely. With two on and one out, the Sandman was summoned for a five out save.

Mo delivered! He got Jacoby Ellsbury looking and then faced the hot hitting (and pesky) Dustin Pedroia. He was able to get him on a bouncer back to the mound to end the inning.

The Yankees couldn't add any insurance runs and Mo had to face the heart of the Red Sox order with only a one run lead. Yankee nemesis David Ortiz, just off the DL, led off the inning and Mo threw a cutter inside which Ortiz couldn't quite get to and he flied out to right for the first out. Kevin Youkilis singled to left and then Mike Lowell was next. Lowell battled Rivera by continaully fouling off outside pitches. Rivera then came inside and Lowell was rung up on a pitch which appeared inside. Lowell argued and was eventually ejected from the game. All-Star game MVP J.D. Drew was the last hope and Mo caught him looking to end the game.

For Rivera, it's his 26th save of the season in 26 save opportunities and his ERA now stands at 1.17 for the 2008 season.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera earned a one out save as the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins, 5-1, on Wednesday afternoon at the stadium. LaTroy Hawkins relieved a brilliant start by Mike Mussina as he entered the ninth with a 5-0 lead. He was able to get two outs but then surrendered a run scoring double which made the score 5-1 with two outs. Since the potential tying run was on deck, it was a save situation and Mo was summoned. He struck out pinch hitter Jason Kubel, looking, to end the game.

Rivera is 4-3 on the season with 25 saves in as many save opportunities. Mo is only ten saves shy of Lee Smith for second place on the all time career saves list. His ERA for the season now stands at 1.21.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera saved Andy Pettitte's 212th career win as the Yankees completed the series sweep of the A's with a 2-1 win on Sunday afternoon at the stadium.

Mo entered in the ninth and got Mark Ellis to pop up to Cano at second for the first out of the inning. Tough rookie phenom Ryan Sweeney grounded a single up the middle and he was followed by Bobby Crosby. Crosby launched a fly ball to right field which Abreu camped under but seemed to lose in the sun. He made the catch but didn't have the ball long enough when he dropped the ball. However, he quickly threw to second but threw the ball over the head of Jeter. Luckily, A-Rod was backing up and flipped to Jeter to nip Sweeney at second for a fielder's choice force play and record the second out. Raja Davis was inserted as a pinch runner for Crosby and on a 1-0 pitch to Emil Brown he was thrown out stealing by Jose Molina to end the game.

For Rivera its his 24th consecutive save of the season and his ERA now stands at 1.22.
Posted by: David
In his first appearance since the All-Star game, Mariano Rivera surrendered a run in the ninth to the Oakland A's. He entered with the scored tied at two. Jack Hannahan looped a single to left and pinch runner Raja Davis stole second. Rookie Ryan Sweeney took an outside pitch right down the third base line to score Davis and give the A's the lead at 3-2. Sweeney stole second off Posada who is clearly having trouble throwing. Mo toughened and struck out Suzuki swinging and Cust and Gonzalez looking to end the inning.

The Yankees looked like they would pull a rock in the bottom of the ninth. Jason Giambi led off with a walk off A's closer Huston Street and Justin Christian was inserted as a pinch runner. He got a good jump and probably would have stolen second but fell down between first and second and was eventually tagged out. With two outs, Robinson Cano delivered a double to left center and Wilson Betemit came up big with a single to left with two strikes on him, tying the game.

The Yankees had several chances to win in extra innings but couldn't get the big hit when they needed it. In the 12th, Derek Jeter led off with a single and was pushed to second on a swinging bunt from Bobby Abreu. The replay at first showed that Abreu was clearly safe but the Yankees didn't get the call. A-Rod and Sexson walked to load the bases and it was up to Jose Molina. Molina worked the count and eventually was hit by a pitch to force the run in and win the game for the Yankees at 4-3.

Rivera is 4-3 on the season with 23 saves and his ERA now stands at 1.25.
Posted by: Patrick
Sam Border has some quotes from Mariano Rivera on his All-Star Game experience.

As he walked off, the fans stood and cheered. It was loud, just like the sing-song chants of "Mar-i-ano" that bounced off the façade when Papelbon was pitching in the eighth.

"It was special to hear that," Rivera said. "Very special."

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
From Harold Gutman:

Last night's All-Star Game wasn't only a showcase for the players. It was also a big night for Fosina, the executive chef and general manager at Mo's. Fosina has spent the last four days preparing a buffet that included 50 lobster tails, chicken marsala, Atlantic salmon, salads and sides after his restaurant was chosen to provide the American League's postgame meal.

"The object for me is to make Mariano proud," Fosina said of Mariano Rivera, the restaurant's namesake and part-owner. "He's one of the most respected guys in baseball. To go down there to represent his restaurant, it's important that it's done right, because that's the kind of guy he is."

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera was on the mound after Jonathan Papelbon, but it wasn't a save situation since the scored was tied at 3. K-Rod started the inning and surrendered a walk. With one out, Mo was summoned and he struck out Ryan Ludwick swinging and Dioner Navarro gunned down the baserunner trying to steal second, completing a strike him out, throw him out double play..

The 10th inning was a bit more hairy but Mo was cool as always. He got McLouth looking but then yeilded one out singles to Martin and Tejada. However, Dan Uggla then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

The game was eventually won in the 15th inning by the American League, 4-3. Justin Morneau scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Michael Young.
Posted by: Patrick
I am watching the All-Star Game broadcast and Joe Buck just said that, before the game, Terry Francona told them that if there is a save situation, Mo will pitch.
Posted by: Patrick
Joel Sherman, Ken Davidoff and Bill Madden all write that Mo should close tonight's game. Sherman and Davidoff take a similar and more aggressive stance: they say, that by delaying the official decision, Francona didn't treat Rivera with the respect that he should have.

The three articles, plus a blog entry from Sherman all have fun quotes from the players.
Posted by: Patrick
Kat O'Brien spoke with Mo, discussing his first impressions of Yankee Stadium.

Rivera remembers his first impressions of Yankee Stadium, and how much he wanted to soak up its aura: "It was beautiful. I used to come out every Sunday, every Sunday morning, when nobody was there." ...

"I would just sit in the bullpen, sit in the dugout and try to picture those guys," Rivera said. "I would picture Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, all those great players. I would imagine that. It's amazing, (being) in the same dugout, on the same field. Amazing ... It's special when you march on the same field that these guys marched, that these guys played on. The legacy that they leave, it's amazing."

The article also contains quotes from Jorge Posada, Mike Mussina and Joe Girardi, sharing some thoughts on Rivera.
Posted by: Patrick
The New York Times quotes Mariano as saying he hopes to close out the upcoming All-Star game in New York.

Rivera never mentioned the possibility of starting during an interview about the All-Star Game on Wednesday. Instead, he discussed the importance of closing the game. That is what Rivera has done since 1997, and done better than anyone else.

“I hope Tito gives me the opportunity to close,” Rivera said, referring to Francona by his nickname. “It would be nice.”

While he hasn't officially said that Mo won't start - pretty much all indications point to him closing the game.
Posted by: Patrick reports that AL All-Star team manager Terry Francona will not rule out starting Mariano Rivera in the All-Star game. However, though, Newsweek reports that he has "indicated" that he plans to have Mo close. So, we'll see what happens when he names the starter, the day before the game is played.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees made a dent in the AL East standings by sweeping the Rays in a two game set, with yesterday's final game requiring extra innings before New York came away with a 2-1 win.

After Sidney Ponson threw 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, Jose Veras and Kyle Farnsworth each collected 1-2-3 innings, keeping the game tied at 1 in the seventh and eighth innings. In the top of the ninth, Mariano entered to face the 5, 6 and 7 hitters. Outside of a walk, he was flawless; striking out two batters.

The Yankees threatened in the ninth, but came away empty and, as such, the game headed to a 10th inning. Mo came back out for a second inning of work - now marking two straight appearances where he had been called on to pitch more than one inning. You run out of superlatives here, though. Mo set down the 8, 9 and 1 hitters in order, striking out another 2 batters.

In the bottom of the 10th, Derek Jeter walked and Bobby Abreu drove him home with a walk off double to win the game. This allowed Mo to earn his 4th win of the season, while pulling his ERA down to 1.06.

For the night, his line was 2 innings, 0 hits, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. It capped off an awesome day for the Yankees pitching staff as a whole, where they held the first place Rays to 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks over 10 innings, while striking out 11. The bullpen was especially dominant, holding Tampa Bay hitless over the final four innings.
Posted by: Patrick
As expected, Mariano Rivera was named to the American League All-Star team. It'll be his 9th time on the squad.
Posted by: David
It was amazing theater again as the Red Sox faced the Yankees on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead on A-Rod's 536th career home run, which tied him with Mickey Mantle.

The Red Sox gained the lead off of Joba Chamberlain as pesky All-Star Dustin Pedroia fought off an inside fast ball and looped it over Cano's head for an two RBI single giving Boston the lead at 3-1.

Both teams exchanged runs until the seventh with the Red Sox leading 4-2. The Yankees struck for two runs on a single from Rodriguez, a double from Posada and a two run tying triple from Cano.

With the score tied at 4 in the ninth, Rivera was summoned. Sean Casey looped a single to left center on the first pitch, giving Boston a good start to their inning. Coco Crisp sacrificed pinch runner Moss to second but Rivera retired pinch hitters Jason Varitek and Manny Ramirez to end the inning. Ramirez actually struck out looking as he never lifted the bat off his shoulders.

The Yankees couldn't score in the bottom of the ninth and extra innings had arrived. Rivera stayed in for the 10th and got Jacoby Ellsbury to pop to A-Rod in foul territory for the first out. He got Pedroia swinging for the second out and J.D. Drew grounded to short to end the inning.

In the bottom of the tenth, Robinson Cano led off with a single up the middle off of Jonathan Papelbon and then was quickly sacrificed to second by Melky Cabrera. Wilson Betemit pinch hit and struck out and the game was left in the hands of recent rookie call up Brett Gardner. Gardner battled and then bounced a single up the middle on a splitter from the Red Sox closer to win the game for the Yankees and Rivera.

Rivera is now 3-3 on the season with 23 saves in 23 save opportunities and his ERA now stands at 1.12.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham pitches the idea of Mo starting the All-Star game, in an open letter to Terry Francona.

Here's an idea that would make the game even more special: Name Mariano Rivera the starting pitcher for the American League.

Yes, we know, Rivera is a closer. But he also has been the best pitcher in the American League for more than a decade now. Here is an opportunity for his greatness to be recognized at his home ballpark in front of a worldwide audience. ...

What's in it for you as manager of the rival Red Sox? Glad you asked. After Rivera starts, you can use your guy Jonathan Papelbon as the closer. Papelbon is happy, Boston is happy and you win the game.

It's a win for everybody. You become the classy Boston manager who recognized the legendary Yankee. The New York fans get to cheer as Rivera warms up to "Enter Sandman," and it's can't-miss television for Fox. There is no downside to this. You'll be an example of good sportsmanship across the country.

I'd be surprised if it happens, but it's an intriguing idea. There's a good part of me that would like to see Mariano in his element: closing out a close victory for the American League. Judging by the past 20 years or so, the odds would seem to be in the American League's favor, as the team has gone 16-3-1 in the last 20 All-Star games and 10-0-1 in the last 11.

But, what if that doesn't happen? Surely, Francona will get Mariano into the game for an out or, more likely, for an inning - even in a losing effort. What would you rather see: Mariano start the game and throw one inning or Mariano close out a losing effort? How about this one: Mariano starting or Mariano closing out a winning effort? Tough call. If he starts, then he starts and we know where he'll be - but, if he doesn't, he'll still pitch most likely, but the situation is up in the air.

I wouldn't be adverse to him starting, but I'd still lean toward him closing.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera saved the biggest win of the season for the Yankees on an early Saturday evening in the Bronx vs. the rival Red Sox. However, it wasn't anywhere close to being the automatic that Mo usually is.

Rivera entered in the top of the ninth with the Yankees clinging to a slim 2-0 lead. Mike Mussina was masterful through six innings and was followed by Jose Veras and Kyle Farnsworth for the next two.

Mo had to face the heart of the Red Sox order and it truly was a nail biter. J.D. Drew led off and went to a 3-2 count before lining a single to left center to start the inning for the Bosox. Yankee killer Manny Ramirez was next and on an 0-1 pitch, Mo's came too far inside and hit Manny with the pitch - it was the third time in the game that Manny was hit.

Mike Lowell then singled to right scoring Drew and chasing pinch runner Moss to second. Kevin Youkilis was also hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs, the Yankees clinging to a one run league.

With the Red Sox poised to tie - or take the lead - Mo had other ideas. He overmatched Coco Crisp and struck him out on an outside fastball which Crisp just waved at. Jason Varitek was next. Varitek has struggled lately and he popped up to Wilson Betemit for the second out. Julio Lugo was the last hope and he went to 2-2 and Mo then blew him away to end the game and earn his 23rd save of the season and give Mike Mussina his 11th win.

The game was of the utmost importance. By losing the first two games of the series, the Yankees had fallen into fourth place, nine full games behind the Tampa Bay Rays and six games behind the Red Sox for the Wild Card. With the win, the Yankees gained a game on Boston and now are five games back in the Wild Card race.

Mariano's coolness under extreme pressure is why he is simply the greatest relief pitcher in the history of the game, bar none. With the run given up, his ERA now stands at 1.17 on the season.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera entered in the ninth with the game tied at two and surrendered a run which eventually lost the game for him and the Yankees.

Ian Kinsler doubled down the left field line on a pitch which was not far enough inside to. He promptly stole third and was there with no one out. The replay showed that a decent throw would have had him, but Posada's throw was on the foul side of the bag and Kinsler was able to beat the play. With the infield in, Michael Young bounced a single over the mound which got through to center field to score Kinsler with the eventual winning run. Josh Hamilton then grounded softly to second and Cano was able to force the runner for the first out. Hamilton stole second with one out and then Milton Bradley got an infield hit down the third base line to put runners at first and third with only one out. Murphy popped out to first for the second out and Boggs grounded to second to end the inning.

The Yankees put Wilson Betemit on first with a walk to start the inning but he was quickly erased on a double play ball from Melky Cabrera. Johnny Damon then grounded to first to end the game.

With the loss Rivera is now 2-3 on the season and ERA is now at 0.96.