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Posted by: David
The game started out as though Rivera wouldn't be needed. The Yankees trailed 4-1 after the first inning, but battled back to take the lead with a sixteen hit attack. With the Yankees ahead 6-4 to start the eighth inning, Kyle Farnsworth entered and gave up a home run to Justin Morneau to cut the lead down to only one run.

Mo entered in the ninth and got Mike Lamb to ground back to the box on the first pitch. Harris walked on a close 3-2 pitch but Mo got tough and struck out Carlos Gomez swinging and pinch hitter Craig Monroe looking to end the game.

For Rivera its his 14th straight save of the season and his ERA is down to 0.38.
Posted by: Patrick
After pitching two innings the night before, Mariano was called upon to close out the Yankees 4-2 victory over the Orioles, relieving Joba Chamberlain to start the ninth.

He struck out Adam Jones for the first out. Luke Scott reached first on an error by A-Rod. Brian Roberts popped out to Cano at second. Scott moved up to second on fielder's indifference. Finally, Melvin Mora popped out to Cano, as well, to end the game.

For Mo, it was his 13th save of the season. His ERA is now down to 0.39. The Yanks have a day off today, so Mo can get some rest.
Posted by: Patrick
With the game tied 8-8, Mariano entered in the ninth and set the heart of the Orioles' order (Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff and Luke Scott) down in a row, to send the game to extras. He came back out to start the 11th and, though he had a little more trouble, he escaped without allowing any Orioles to score.

The Yankees grabbed the lead in the top of the eleventh with Mo in line to get the victory - but, unfortunately, LaTroy Hawkins gave the lead up and the Orioles won, 10-9.

Rivera's ERA is now at 0.41.
Posted by: Patrick
Tyler Kepner and Ken Davidoff write about Mo's dominance this year and the help that he has given fellow reliever, Edwar Ramirez.

Said Joe Girardi: "People, a lot of times, ask me, 'Who's the best pitcher you've ever caught?' and I've been pretty fortunate. I've caught Greg Maddux. I've caught Roger Clemens. But a lot of times, I'll say Mo because he's been so dominant for so long, basically doing it with one pitch.

"I know he's not a starter. Nothing against Maddux or Clemens, because they're both unbelievable pitchers. But I probably caught Mo more than any one of those guys. It's just remarkable to me what he does day in and day out."
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera saved the dramatic comeback victory for the Yankees on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx. The Yankees were 0-23 when behind after the 7th inning, but changed that stat today with a four run outburst in the eighth inning.

Rivera faced Jose Lopez to start the inning and he battled to a 2-2 count before popping up to second. Hot hitting Jose Vidro was next and Mo caught him looking at a called third strike on the outside corner. Raul Ibanez didn't have a chance as Mo got ahead quickly and blew him away with high heat to end the game.

The win put the Yankees at .500 on the season at 25-25. For Rivera, it's his 12th save on the season in as many opportunities and his ERA is lowered to 0.45.

05/23: Mo's Start

Posted by: Patrick
Dan Graziano has a story about the early parts of Mo's Major League career.

He has put together a Hall of Fame career that includes four World Series titles and 454 saves. But on the day his major-league career started, nobody could have seen it coming -- not even Rivera.

When he thinks back to that debut, he doesn't bring up the eight hits, five runs and three walks the Angels got against him in the first 3 1/3 innings of a 10-0 loss. As all great closers do, he skirts the negative memory and goes right to the positive.

"I won the only game we won on that road trip," Rivera said, and he's right. His debut began a nine-game trip on which the Yankees went 1-8. The only win was Rivera's second start, a 4-1 victory in Oakland on May 28.
Posted by: David
Robinson Cano delivered a walk off single to left scoring Hideki Matsui with the winning run as the Yankees defeated the Orioles 2-1 on Thursday night at the stadium.

Rivera entered the game in the ninth with the scored tied at 1. He faced Kevin Millar to start the inning and on the seventh pitch of the AB, Millar softly lined back to Mo for the first out. Luke Scott then grounded to first and Ramon Hernandez struck out swinging to end the game.

Rivera is now 1-1 on the season with 11 saves in as many opportunities. His ERA for the 2008 season is now at 0.47.
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees got crushed by the Orioles on Tuesday night, but as Mo hadn't pitched since May 14, Joe Girardi decided that he needed to get a little work in. So, with his team down 12-2, Rivera took the mound in the 9th and made quick work of the Orioles 8, 9 and 1 hitters.

First, he allowed a single to Adam Jones. This was followed by a fielder's choice off the bat of Freddie Bynum, allowing Jones to be retired at second. The final batter would be Luis Hernandez, a fielding replacement for Brian Roberts that entered in the eight inning. Hernandez lined back to Mo, who threw over first to double Bynum off.

The inn ing of work brought Rivera's ERA down to 0.50 for the season.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham writes that Mo likes to shag fly balls during batting practice to keep his legs in shape. He robbed A-Rod of a home run yesterday and Abraham spoke with Rivera about the catch. Funny stuff.
Posted by: David
Mike Mussina has reinvented himself with changing speeds along with control and command within the strike zone. The 39 year old won his fifth straight decision and Mariano Rivera rebounded from the previous night by pitching a perfect ninth inning.

Mussina pitched 6.1 innings and was relieved by Ohlendorf who got help from Derek Jeter when he grabbed a line drive headed to center and turned it into a double play. Chamberlain struck out the side in the eighth and Mo entered in the ninth.

Rivera faced Carlos Pena to start the inning and looked like Mo would be snakebitten with a bloop single to right center, but with Cano playing short right field he was able to catch the ball in short right center for the first out of the inning. Evan Longoria was overmatched and struck out swinging and Cliff Floyd then grounded to short to end the game.

Rivera is 11 for 11 in save opportunities for the 2008 season and last night's save was the 454th of his career. His record is 0-1 on the season and ERA is down to 0.53.
Posted by: David
Mo is finally mortal! Although he didn't get banged around that hard, his command was not as exceptional as usual.

Hideki Matsui tied the game in the ninth with one out as he homered off of Rays closer Troy Percival.

Rivera entered in the tenth and faced Carl Crawford to start the inning. Crawford singled up the middle on the second pitch of the AB, but remained at first as Mo toughened. B.J. Upton struck out swinging for the first out, Carlos Pena fouled out to third and Evan Longoria fouled out to first to end the inning.

The Yankees could not get the lead in the 11th and Mo stayed in for the bottom of the 11th. Cliff Floyd singled sharply to right past Giambi and was replaced by pinch runner Jonny Gomes. Gomes proceeded to steal second when Molina's throw bounced and Jeter could not get the tag down in time. Gabe Gross then grounded a single to right center past Cano and Gomes scored the winning run.

Rivera was tagged with the loss and his season record is now at 0-1. His ERA for the season increased to 0.56.
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera reamained perfect on the season by converting his tenth straight save opportunity as the Yankees defeated the Detroit Tigers, 5-2 on Saturday afternoon at Comerica Park.

Rivera faced Magglio Ordonez to start the inning, and as usual, Ordonez got a hit. Ordonez was 6 for 12 off of Mo before the at bat and he hit the first pitch from Mo up the middle for a single. Miguel Cabrera was facing Rivera for the first time and Mo overmatched him with hard stuff inside. On a 1-2 pitch, Mo sawed the bat off in Cabrera's hands and induced a 6-4-3 double play. Gary Sheffield then grounded to second to end the game.

Rivera is still 0-0 on the season with 10 saves in 10 save opportunities. He has pitched 15 innings and has only allowed six hits and no walks. The save for Rivera was the 453rd of his career. His ERA for 2008 remains at 0.00.
Posted by: Patrick
Jack Curry has a feature on Mo and his dominance this season.

Rivera called himself a blessed guy, politely dodging the idea that he is a walking, talking, tossing legend.

I tell you the truth, man, its good to be recognized, Rivera said. I aint going to lie to you. Its good to be recognized. But I dont feel that its all me. I have a bunch of teammates that help me.
Posted by: Patrick
From USA TODAY:

"You always knew he was great," first-year Yankees reliever LaTroy Hawkins said. "But until you're here, you don't realize just how great."
Posted by: David
Mariano Rivera did it again by pitching a scoreless ninth inning to help Mike Mussina and the Yankees defeat the Cleveland Indians 6-3 on Thursday afternoon at the stadium.

Mo got Jhonny Peralta to ground to short for the first out. Franscisco then hit a fly ball down the right field corner which fell for a double with Abreu playing in right center. Franklin Gutierrez popped to Cano for the second out and Ryan Garko grounded to Betemit at third to end the game.

For Rivera, it's his ninth save of the season in nine save opportunities. He has surrendered no runs and only five hits and no walks in fourteen innings on the 2008 season. His ERA for the season remains, of course, at 0.00.
Posted by: Patrick
From Bryan Hoch:

Asked to explain his early-season success, Mariano Rivera wonders if it could have something to do with the regular opportunities the Yankees have provided. That shouldn't come as a shock, because the 38-year-old is still making it easy to hand him the ball in tough spots.

Rivera was selected as the winner of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" for April in an announcement made Wednesday. This officially sanctioned Major League Baseball award recognizes the most outstanding relief pitcher during each month of the regular season.
Posted by: Patrick
SI.com is doing a feature called "Best Baseball Players by Number". Number 42 was given to Jackie Robinson.

But, SI.com's Bryan Armen Graham feels it should have gone to Mo. He states that if the list was the "most important players by number", then Jackie Robinson would be the obvious choice. But, this is "best players" and he feels that Mo takes the cake:

Baseball's best No. 42 is Mariano Rivera, and as the last active player still wearing the digits due to baseball's 1997 decree, the 38-year-old right-hander need not worry about any future challenge to the distinction.
Posted by: Patrick
Going into the ninth inning on Sunday, the Yankees held an 8-2 lead over the Mariners. This would not usually be a situation for which you'd call Mariano. But, with him last having pitched on May 2 and the Yankees having a day off on May 5, I take it that Girardi wanted to get him an inning of work after one day of rest, rather than having 3 days of rest, in order to keep him locked in.

No worries. Mo needed exactly 8 pitches to carve out the Mariners' five, six and seven hitters; Jose Vidro, a pinch hitting Willie Bloomquist and Jeff Clement, respectively. No decision for Rivera, but he has now pitched 13 innings in 12 games, has allowed 4 hits, 0 earned runs, 0 walks and has struck out 12 hitters. This is good for a 0.00 ERA, 0.31 WHIP and .095 BAA. Not a bad line.
Posted by: David
It looked like the game was setting up for Mo to get his 9th save, but the Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to extend the lead to 5-1.

Mo entered anyway and made quick work of the middle of Seattle's order. He caught Raul Ibanez looking for the first out and then Adrian Beltre lined to center. Jeff Clement then grounded out to third to end the game.

Rivera has now pitched twelve scoreless innings to start the season.