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Posted by: Patrick
Before tonight's win against the Royals, both Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter were honored and presented with paintings and momentos.

The Yankees gave Jeter home plate and first base from the night when he surpassed Lou Gehrig for most hits as a Yankee. They also gave him the two seats he collided with when he made that memorable leap into the stands against the Red Sox in 2004, along with the "I want to thank the Good Lord for making me a Yankee." sign from the old stadium. Meanwhile, Mo is now the proud owner of the bullpen bench from the old stadium and the pitching rubber from Citi Field, when he collected save number 500. Cool stuff.

Update: Here are some pictures. Mo looks positively tickled.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Mariano Rivera will be featured on the cover of the October 5 issue of Sports Illustrated. He has a picture, as well.
Posted by: Patrick
Jim Mandelaro at the Democrat and Chronicle spoke with Tomas Flint, Irondequoit, NY based photographer who worked with Mariano Rivera on a free poster that will be given away at tonight's Yankee game. He spoke glowingly of the Yankees closer.
Posted by: David
The man who was on the mound for the final out of three consecutive World Series victories was also there on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx.

Andy Pettitte started out shaky and was behind 2-0 early. Melky Cabrera got a home run to pull the Bombers within a run and Pettitte settled down through the sixth.

In the sixth Saito replaced Paul Byrd and Matsui delivered a key two run single to right to put the Yankees ahead at 3-2. Brian Bruney and Phil Coke got through the seventh and eighth innings.

In the bottom of the eighth Mark Teixeira belted his 38th home run of the season to provide an insurance run and extend the lead to 4-2.

In the ninth Mo got Mike Lowell to fly out to right on the second pitch for the first out. J.D. Drew took a big swing and his ball dropped in front of Brett Gardner who obviously never really picked up the ball in the sun. Victor Martinez was jammed and hit a grounder in the hole at second which Cano grabbed and tried to wheel to get the force at second, but then dropped the ball and the tying runs were on base with only one out. Casey Kotchman pinch hit and grounded to Cano for the second out. Jacoby Ellsbury was overmatched and was jammed on a cutter and grounded back to Mo who threw an underhand flip to Tex to end the game and clinch the 2009 AL East Division Championship for the Yankees.

The save for Rivera is his 44th of the season in 46 save opportunities and the 526th of his career. His season ERA now stands at 1.82.
Posted by: David
CC Sabathia was brilliant for seven innings. He only gave up one hit and no runs and left with a slim one run lead. In the eighth Phil Hughes was also awesome with two strikeouts.

The Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth due to some sloppy fielding on a run down play and a bloop two run single from Johnny Damon.

The Yankees had chances to put the game away all day long but couldn't get the big hit. They had the bases loaded and none out and A-Rod hit a roller up the first base line which Martinez got and dove back to touch home plate ahead of a sliding Derek Jeter. Matsui and Swisher popped out to end the inning.

With a 3-0 lead it was a save situation and "The Sandman" was summoned to close the door. Jacoby Ellsbury grounded back to the box for the first out. Dustin Pedoria struck out swinging and there were two quick outs. Victor Martinez hit the first pitch to right for a single to extend his hitting streak to 25 games, being the first player from Venezuela to do so. Kevin Youkilis put a tough at bat on Mo and was eventually hit with a pitch to bring the potential tying run to the plate. Mike Lowell, however struck out on four pitches to end the game.

The save was the 43rd for Rivera in 45 save opportunities. His record for 2009 is 3-3 and he now pitches to an ERA of 1.85. The Yankees can clinch tomorrow afternoon with a win.
Posted by: Patrick
MLB.com has video of Panama President Ricardo Martinelli throwing out the first pitch to Mariano Rivera, crouched behind home plate. The throw was low, but Mo made the scoop.
Posted by: David
The Yankees have always had difficulty winning in Anaheim. They lost playoff series in 2002 and 2005 to the Angels and prior to this series it was seen as pivotal for their postseason psyche.

Last night they fought hard and pulled out a 6-5 victory with Mo slamming the door despite not having his best stuff. The Sandman was called upon again this afternoon and didn't disappoint.

A.J. Burnett pitched strong with eleven strikeouts and was followed by Damaso Marte, Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy. For Kennedy it was his first appearance in the major leagues since last year and he was able to pitch into and out of a bases loaded jam.

In the ninth with a slim 3-2 lead Rivera faced Bobby Abreu to start the inning. Abreu fought off a cutter on the hands and looped it over Jeter at short for a leadoff single. Mo then set up Torii Hunter and Kendry Morales and was able to strike both of them out swinging. Juan Rivera was the last hope and flew out to right center to end the game.

The save for Rivera is his 42nd of the season and 524th of his career. His season ERA now stands at 1.88. With the victory the Yankees magic number is reduced to five for clinching the AL East.
Posted by: David
The Yankees got the Anaheim monkey off their backs for at least one night. They hadn't won a game in Anaheim all year and it looked like they were going to blow a 5-0 lead, but clutch pitching from Phil Hughes kept the game tied at five.

With two run home runs from A-Rod and Posada the Yankees jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Matsui would add his 28th of the season to extend the lead to 5-0. However, Gaudin and Aceves gave all but one run of the lead back and Phil Hughes was summoned in the 7th inning. Hughes got two ground balls to end the seventh and preserve a one run lead.

In the eighth Cano made a crucial error on an Kendrick grounder and he reached first with none out. He stole second and Posada's throw was wild sending him to third with no one out. Hughes eventually gave up the lead on an Aybar single but then closed the door without any further damage.

In the ninth Brett Gardner led off with a single and on an 1-0 pitch stole second even though the Angels pitched out. Jeter walked and Damon bunted them over on a two strike pitch. Texeira was walked and A-Rod lined a sacrifice fly to center on the first pitch to give the Yankees the lead at 6-5.

In the ninth it looked like Kendry Morales was struck out on a 3-2 pitch but it was called a ball and Anaheim had the lead runner on. Juan Rivera then struck out and Posada got pinch runner Reggie Willits stealing on the play for the second out of the inning. Aybar grounded the first pitch to second to end the game.

The save for Rivera is his 41st on the season in 43 save opportunities and the 523rd of his career. His season ERA now stands at 1.91.

With the Texas Rangers losing earlier the Yankees clinched at least a Wild Card playoff berth. The Red Sox lost to Zack Greinke and the Royals which reduced the Yankees magic number for clinching the AL East to six.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Panama President Ricardo Martinelli will be throwing out the first pitch for the September 25th game against the Red Sox. Abraham made a great joke that I just have to share

"If you’re the president of Panama, one would assume that staying on the good side of Mariano Rivera is key to retaining power," Abraham wrote. "One word from the Sandman and you’re out." Ha! Good one.
Posted by: Patrick
Tyler Kepner of the Times has a feature on Mariano Rivera's emotional consistency with Phil Hughes talking about the closer and their relationship.

Via Joseph Pawlikowski.
Posted by: David
It was set up perfect with A.J. Burnett pitching seven strong innings, Phil Hughes pitching a strong eighth and the Bombers with a one run lead. However, Mo was summoned and got two outs but Sweeney got a double on a cutter which got two much of the plate and Ichiro delivered his fourth hit of the night with a walk off home run.

Rivera's consecutive save streak ended at 36 and Mo was tagged with the loss to put his record at 3-3. It was only the second blown save of the season for Mariano. His season ERA now stands at 1.94.
Posted by: Patrick
Over at his companies website, there is a video of former Yankees trainer Jeff Mangold discussing Mariano Rivera's conditioning habits. Check it out below.

Posted by: David
Hideki Matsui came through late again. With the Yankees down 4-2 and the Yankees only having a few hits off of Toronto pitching, Matsui connected on a slider for a two run home run to tie the score at 4.

Phil Hughes had pitched a scoreless eighth and Mo came in for the ninth with a day off tomorrow before the West Coast trip. Travis Snider bunted on the first pitch and lined it past Mo for a single. Marco Scutaro grounded back to Mo but a low throw to Jeter prevented a double play. Aaron Hill popped out to short center and power hitter Adam LInd grounded out to second to end the inning.

The tradition at the stadium for 2009 is to give the hero a shaving cream pie in the face during the post game interview. Tonight was no exception as Francisco Cervelli provided the knock to score Brett Gardner with the winning run. Gardner had led off with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a Jeter ground out.

With the win Rivera is 3-2 on the season and his ERA now stands at 1.66.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera hadn't pitched in six days but nonetheless got the job done again. Phil Hughes struggled in the eighth and gave up the lead. Hughes gave up two hits and a walk but was able to get out of the inning with only one run due to a double play ball.

The Yankees rallied in the bottom of the eighth with Texeira leading off with a double to right. A-Rod was semi-intentionally walked and Girardi replaced Tex on the basepaths with Brett Gardner. The move proved to be prophetic as Gardner tried to steal third and Chone Figgins let the throw get past him into left field and allowed Gardner to score the go ahead run. On the play A-Rod took third and scored an insurance run on a single from Cano.

In the ninth Eric Aybar led off and Mo shattered his bat as Nick Swisher handled it at first unassisted for the first out. Gary Matthews, Jr. battled but grounded back to Mo for the second out. Chone Figgins had a nine pitch at bat and eventually walked. Maicer Izturis then grounded back to Rivera to end the game.

For Rivera it's his 36th consecutive save on the season and 40th overall for 2009. For his career he now has 522 saves. His 2009 season ERA is now at 1.69.
Posted by: David
Nick Swisher had hit only three of his twenty-four home runs at Yankee Stadium until tonight. He got the Yankees on the board early when he turned around a David Price fastball and launched it into the second deck in left field.

A-Rod would add an RBI single later to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Chad Gaudin made his best effort since joining the Yankees and left with a 2-1 lead after seven innings.

Phil Hughes relieved and couldn't hold the lead by surrendering a home run to Jason Bartlett to tie the score at two. Carl Crawford looped a single to center but Hughes got tough and got Longoria to fly out to right and then induced a double play to end the inning.

The Yankees couldn't score in the bottom of the eighth and Mo was summoned to start the ninth. He made quick work of the Rays by getting Pat Burrell to ground to first, Gabe Kapler to pop to short and then got Dioner Navarro to strike out swinging to end the top of the ninth.

A-Rod grounded to short before Nick Swisher connected off of Dan Wheeler for his second home run of the night and 26th of the season to win the game for Rivera and the Yankees 3-2.

With the win Rivera is now 2-2 on the season and his ERA is lowered to 1.72.
Posted by: David
He hadn't pitched since last Tuesday in Baltimore but Mariano converted his 39th save in 40 opportunities on Labor Day in the Bronx.

The game was a great pitcher's duel between CC Sabathia and Matt Garza with both pitchers only giving up one run in seven innings.

Phil Hughes took over for CC in the eighth and proceeded to walk Carl Crawford. However, Crawford tried to steal second on the first pitch and the Yankees pitched out and Posada just nailed him for the first out of the inning. Hughes finished the inning without giving up a run and set up the Yankees and Mo to win the game.

In the eighth Swisher led off with a single and moved to third on a sharp single from Teixeira. Texeira took second as Gabe Kapler bobbled the ball in right. A-Rod was intentionally walked but Cano got a sacrifice fly, Posada scorched a single to right to score a second run and then Hinske produced a sacrifice fly for the third run of the inning and a 4-1 lead.

In the ninth Mo walked Pat Burrell to lead off the inning but then got tough. He struck out Evan Longoria for the first out. Gabe Gross pinch hit and popped out weakly to third and Akinori Iwamura pinch hit and struck out swinging to end the game.

The save was the 35th consecutive for Rivera and 521st of his career. His season ERA now stands at 1.75.
Posted by: Patrick
MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Mariano Rivera threw his scheduled bullpen session today and felt no pain. He could pitch Sunday.
Posted by: Patrick
The AP reports that Mariano Rivera will have a bullpen session on Saturday and may get back into game action on Sunday. He had hoped to have the session today.
Posted by: Patrick
Mo spoke to the AP and he's feeling better after dealing with some tightness in his groin (makes you cringe just typing it). He's wants to get a chance to throw before seeing any game action and he's hopeful that will happen on Friday.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Mo is feeling a bit of tightness or stiffness in his groin. Both Mo and Joe Girardi seem relatively unconcerned - if this were the playoffs, Rivera said he'd be pitching. He'll likely get a few days off to rest and then, hopefully, will be good to go.
Posted by: David
A.J. Burnett wasn't solid again but with the aid of five home runs the Yankees battled the Orioles and eventually came out on top with a 9-6 victory.

Rivera faced Nick Markakis to start the inning and got him to ground to second on a 3-2 pitch for the first out. Nolan Reimold singled sharply to left and Luke Scott battled and on the seventh pitch of the AB hit a sharp one bouncer to Cano who turned it into a game ending 4-6-3 double play.

The save for Rivera is his 38th of the season and 520th of his career. It is also his 34th consecutive save of the season and his ERA now stands at 1.78. Rivera has only given up one earned run in his last 29 appearances.