Saturday, August 10, 2013
Oh, Mo! Rivera blows second straight save
By Matt Ehalt
NEW YORK -- For nearly 28 months, the Yankees hadn't felt such a deflating sensation in the ninth inning of consecutive ballgames.
They experienced it Wednesday and Friday.
For the second straight game -- gasp! -- the legendary Mariano Rivera blew a save.
Closer Mariano Rivera blew his second consecutive save when he served up a game-tying two-run shot to Miguel Cabrera in the ninth inning of the Yankees' 4-3 win on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
It's the first time since April 19 and April 24, 2011, that Rivera blew two straight saves. Rivera also blew the save in Wednesday's 6-5 loss in 12 innings to the White Sox.
"I didn't do what I needed to do," Rivera said. "Bottom line. Can't make excuses for it."
Rivera blew Wednesday's save against the White Sox by serving up a game-tying single to Adam Dunn on an 0-2 count with two outs, and once again was just one strike away from ending the game on Friday.
Facing arguably the best hitter in baseball with a runner on second with two outs, Rivera got ahead 0-2, but Cabrera battled to a 2-2 count. At one point, the slugger fouled a ball off himself and walked around gingerly for a moment before stepping back in.
On the seventh pitch of the at-bat, Cabrera squared up a 93 mph pitch and hit it into Monument Park to tie the game. Cabrera's homer snapped Rivera's stretch of 23 consecutive saves against the Tigers.
"I wanted to get it in," said Rivera, who has blown four saves this season. "You're talking about one of the great hitters."
Rivera's blown save came just six pitches after first baseman Lyle Overbay failed to haul in a foul ball that would have ended the game.
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Cabrera fouled off the first pitch of the at-bat into the Yankees' dugout, and Overbay ran over, expecting the ball to go deep into the dugout. Overbay was positioned where there was no railing, meaning he couldn't rest against anything. The ball ended up tailing back on him and he was unable to make a game-ending catch.
Minutes later, Cabrera shocked the sellout crowd at Yankee Stadium.
"It's not an easy play. I'm not hanging my head," Overbay said. "You try to get there as soon as possible and try to make a play and I didn't. But you still got Mariano on the mound. I'll take him over any hitter, any day. Obviously Cabrera, he put a good swing on that pitch."
Prior to Friday's win, the Yankees had been 0-3 this season when Rivera had blown a save, including a 6-5 loss on Wednesday.
They finally were able to overcome a rare blown save by their closer as Brett Gardner singled in the winning run in the 10th inning.
"That was big," Gardner said. "That [blown save] doesn't happen too often. I said it two or three days ago in Chicago, I'll say it again tonight. He probably won't do it again the rest of the season. He'll probably reel off 15 or 20 straight from here to end of September so it's good to pick him up like that."