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Sunday, September 22, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Giants 2, Yankees 1

By Matt Ehalt

NEW YORK -- The only thing missing was a victory.

The New York Yankees gave Mariano Rivera a beautiful sendoff Sunday, and Andy Pettitte pitched a fantastic game in likely his last start at Yankee Stadium, but the Bronx Bombers couldn't come through with the win as they fell 2-1 to the San Francisco Giants.

The Yankees' loss leaves their playoff hopes on life support as they are now four games back in the wild Ccard chase with six games left.

THE CEREMONY: The Yankees honored Rivera before the game by bringing back former teammates, giving him gifts and letting him walk to the mound with Metallica playing a live version of Rivera's entrance song, "Enter Sandman." The ceremony took approximately 50 minutes. Rivera pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings on Sunday, the fifth time he's thrown more than one inning this month.

SEE YA: In what was likely the last game Pettitte ever pitched at Yankee Stadium, he gave Yankees fans one last great outing to remember him by. Pettitte pitched seven solid innings, giving up two hits and two runs, and even carried a perfect game into the fifth inning. Pettitte lost his perfect game on a walk to Pablo Sandoval, and lost his no-hitter on a homer by Ehire Adrianza in the sixth inning. He left to a standing ovation and tipped his hat to the fans as he departed the field, then came back out for a curtain call. He fell to 10-11 with the loss.

HONORED THROUGHOUT: The Yankees played clips of famous personalities congratulating Rivera on his retirement throughout the game. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, Knicks Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, Giants receiver Victor Cruz, Mets third baseman David Wright, musician Paul Simon, Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson and others were shown. Boston's Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz's segments were booed, as was Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez's. Mattingly's was heavily cheered.

WASTING A CHANCE: Trailing 2-1 in the eighth, the Yankees had runners on second and third with no outs but couldn't get the tying run across. Zoilo Almonte ran into an easy out at the plate, Curtis Granderson struck out, and Robinson Cano was thrown out at the plate after a single by Eduardo Nunez. Cano seemed to be hurt on the plate, but he stayed in the game.

RUNNING OUT OF TIME: The Yankees are now 4 1/2 games behind the Rays and four games behind the Indians in the wild-card race. With just six games left, they're in serious danger of missing the playoffs.

UP NEXT: The Yankees have an off day before beginning a critical three-game set against the Rays at Yankee Stadium. Hiroki Kuroda (11-12, 3.17 ERA) will start for the Yankees on Tuesday.