ESPN New York. Ryan Feldman of ESPN's Stats & Info found that it there have been three situations in the past 25 seasons that led this type of outcome.
If you watched last night's game, you saw the Yankees take a lead, blow it spectacularly and take it back once again in the top of the 9th. A familiar situation followed: Mariano Rivera entered in the bottom of the 9th and finished the game, collecting his 44th save, to take the American League saves lead.
Or, at least, that's what they said on MLB Network (the channel I was watching) after the game concluded. Later, I received emails from Don S. and nycjobs commenting on the fact that Rivera was not awarded a save, but instead a win. The official scorer in Baltimore involved Rule 10.17(c), which reads:
The official scorer shall not credit as the winning pitcher a relief pitcher who is ineffective in a brief appearance, when at least one succeeding relief pitcher pitches effectively in helping his team maintain its lead. In such a case, the official scorer shall credit as the winning pitcher the succeeding relief pitcher who was most effective, in the judgment of the official scorer.
Rule 10.17(c) Comment: The official scorer generally should, but is not required to, consider the appearance of a relief pitcher to be ineffective and brief if such relief pitcher pitches less than one inning and allows two or more earned runs to score (even if such runs are charged to a previous pitcher). Rule 10.17(b) Comment provides guidance on choosing the winning pitcher from among several succeeding relief pitchers.
I've never heard of this happening. I wondered: how rare is it?
Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated did the research and he found that it hasn't been used in this way in the past two decades. That's amazing.
Given that Rivera happens to share the A.L. saves lead with Baltimore's closer and the game occurred in Baltimore, the rarity of the ruling will no doubt lend itself to the (conspiracy?) theory that the scorer did it to help the Orioles closer. I have a hard time going that far, but it is an awkward call, that's for sure. The scorer certainly has the right to invoke the rule, though, and so it stands.
honored Mariano Rivera with a bronze sculpture of a broken bat. Watch video on MLB.com.
MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that the Red Sox will honor Mariano Rivera prior to his final regular season game at Feneway Park this Sunday.
Pettitte was tough for 6 and 1/3 innings and was relieved by Shawn Kelley to finish the 7th inning.
David Robertson came back after a few days off and pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
In the ninth Robinson Cano led off with a home run on a high changeup from Tommy Hunter and the Yankees had the lead at 4-3. Curtis Granderson got a triple to left center and then Lyle Overbay got a two out infield single to give the Yankees an insurance run which they would end up needing.
Rivera entered with a two run lead at 5-3. He got the first two batters on four pitches. Both Hardy and Markakis grounded to first with Mo covering for the out. Nate McLouth hit a long double over the head of Brett Gardner and then Brian Roberts battled and got a single to right to pull the O's to within a run at 5-4. Then the stage was set as the oldest player in MLB faced one of the youngest in the name of Manny Machado. It only took three pitches and the game was over. Rivera got two quick strikes and then went up the ladder and Machado swung under the pitch and the game was over.
The save for Rivera was his 43rd of the season in 50 save opportunities and the 651st of his career. His 2013 season ERA now stands at 2.34.
In the eighth inning the Yankees really erupted. A-Rod led off with a double and scored to tie the game on a single up the middle from Robinson Cano. Soriano would quickly follow with his second home run of the game and the Yankees were in the lead at 6-4. The Yankees would another run with the aid of Granderson and Reynolds.
Shawn Kelley relieved Nova and only gave up one run as the Orioles would pull to within two at 7-5. Girardi called for Mo to get the last four outs.
Rivera got the last out of the eighth when Nate McLouth fouled out to the catcher to end the inning.
In the ninth he got three ground ball outs. J.J. Hardy grounded to short, Brian Roberts would ground to second and Henry Urrutia would bounce back to the box to end the game.
The save for Rivera was his 42nd in 49 save opportunities and the 650th of his career.
Shawn Kelley came in and pitched a scoreless 7th and Mo was summoned to try to get his first two inning save since July of 2006.
In the eighth he struck out David Ortiz looking for the first out. Mike Carp got a base hit and Quentin Berry was inserted as a pinch runner. Mo almost picked him off and Berry did not even get an attempt. He struck out Saltalamacchia and got Stephen Drew to pop up in foul territory to third to end the inning.
The Yankees could not add any insurance and Mo had to go out for the ninth with only a one run lead at 3-2.
Will Middlebrooks was the first batter and he took Mo deep to right as the pitch was too high and out over the plate. Hence, another blown save, the 7th of the season for Mariano and second of the series. Rivera then rebounded and struck out Mike Napoli, got Daniel Nava on a grounder unassisted to first and Gomes lined out to third to end the inning.
In the ninth Ichiro Suzuki got a one out single to left and was able to steal second. He advanced to third on a fly ball to right from Vernon Wells and Alfonso Soriano had the chance to be a hero again. He did not even get the chance to take a swing as the first pitch was over the head of the catcher and Ichiro scored the winning run.
With the win Rivera is now 5-2 on the season. He has converted 41 of 48 save opportunities for the 2013 season and his ERA now stands at 2.28.
David Robertson entered and simply did not have it tonight. He allowed the two inherited runners to score and also gave up two more runs as the White Sox pulled to within a run at 6-5 and still had two runners on base.
Girardi summoned Rivera in the 8th inning and Mo entered to face Alejandro DeAza. He went to a 3-2 count and then caught him looking on a pitch that just graced the outside corner.
The Yankees were retired easily in the ninth and Mo was right back on the mound to face the best hitters in Chicago's lineup.
Gordon Beckham flew out to center for the first out, Alexi Ramirez grounded hard back to the mound, but Rivera was able to stab it and threw to first for the second out. The last hope was Paul Konerko who was 5 for 13 coming into the AB against Mo including a home run. On a 2-1 pitch Konerko lined it hard to third but A-Rod was able to stab it close to the ground to end the game.
For Rivera the save was the 41st of the season in 46 save opportunities and the 649th of his career. His 2013 season ERA now stands at 2.06.
Now with the sweep of the White Sox the Red Sox come to the Bronx for a big four game series starting on Thursday night.
ESPN.com reports that, after this season, Joe Girardi will talk with Mariano Rivera about the closer's decision to retire and encourage him to take his time before making it final.
"I don't see any reason why he couldn't do it next year, I don't," he told ESPNNewYork.com. "He's made it pretty clear that he doesn't want to [return], but I always say, you know, January rolls around and sometimes you have a different feel about what you want to do."
For his part, Rivera told reporters that he's already made his decision. At this point, after Rivera has accepted all of the various farewells and retirement gifts, it seems like a virtual certainty that he will not return. Rivera just doesn't seem like the type of guy who would go through all of these festivities, only to come right back. But you never know.
Hiroki Kuroda was better but still left some pitches up and got hurt. Boone Logan relieved Kuroda was able to put out the fire.
In the eighth Chris Sale got one out and then Derek Jeter singled and Robinson Cano doubled. Alfonso Soriano got down two strikes but then was able to single up the middle to score 2 runs and bring the Yankees to within a run at 4-3. A-Rod followed with a single to center and Soriano was able to race to third. Curtis Granderson pinch hit and lined a single over the second basemen to tie the score. Mark Reynolds struck out but then Eduardo Nunez lined a double down the third base line to score A-Rod and Granderson to give the Yankees a two run lead at 6-4.
Rivera entered for the ninth and went to 3-2 on Conor Gillaspie but then caught him looking for the first out. Jordan Danks grounded weakly to second as he broke his bat on a cutter. Leury Garcia pinch hit and was also caught looking to end the game.
The save for Rivera was his 40th of the season in 45 save opportunities and the 648th of his career. His 2013 season ERA now stands at 2.12.
The Yankees would erupt for a five run inning in the middle of the game with Granderson leading off with a double, followed by a double from Mark Reynolds and then a two run home run from Ichiro Suzuki to give the Yankees the lead at 5-4. The Yankees would scratch until Cano got up and he came through with a big two RBI single to give the Yankees a 7-4 lead. A-Rod would add an RBI single later to give the Yankees their last run.
The Yankee bullpen was great. Three and two thirds innings of scoreless relief from Shawn Kelley, Boone Logan, David Robertson and then Mariano Rivera.
Rivera entered with the Yankees leading 8 to 5 in the top of the ninth. Brian Roberts pinch hit and battled to a 3-2 count before grounding out to third for the first out. Matt Wieters would also pinch hit and popped up to Cano at second and Nate McLouth flew out to left to end the game.
Rivera has converted 39 of 44 saves opportunities on the season. He now has 647 career saves including the 77th tonight against Baltimore, more than any other team for his career. His 2013 season ERA now stands at 2.16.