Mo works perfect eighth in last ASG


NEW YORK -- New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera took the mound at the mid-summer classic for the final time.

The 43-year-old right-hander, who threw 16 pitches total (11 strikes), retired all three batters he faced in the eighth inning of Tuesday night’s All-Star game at Citi Field.

Rivera, MLB’s all-time saves leader, has said he’ll retire at the end of the season.

The 13-time All-Star will hang up his cleats having never allowed an earned run in nine appearances -- 9.0 IP, 1 R, 4 SV, 5 SO. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Rivera has 28 career holds. His last one came back on Sept. 21, 2002.

Rivera entered to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” the same song he’s entered to his entire career.

When he got to the mound, he doffed his cap to the crowd. His teammates on the American League All-Star squad stood outside the dugout, but did not take the field immediately, allowing him to soak in the moment.

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland decided to go to Rivera in the eighth instead of the ninth, likely because he feared that the National League would rally, eliminating the possibility of Rivera getting into the game since the A.L. is the road team.

"I definitely wanted to pitch the ninth, but I also wanted to pitch, so if something happened when I was waiting for the ninth, I would never pitch," Rivera told ESPN Radio. "So Jim Leyland said, 'For sure I want you to pitch.'"

Rivera kept the ball after recording the final out of the frame. The stands began emptying shortly after.

The fans had come to see the greatest of all-time dominate for one last time -- and Mariano Rivera did just that.