Mariano Rivera blew his third save already this season after giving up a pair of singles and a Vladimir Guerrero sac fly in a 1-0 game against the Orioles on Wednesday.
The occasion may mark the start of the annual “what’s wrong with Mo?” columns in the New York press, though the obvious answer is nothing at all. Rivera has yet to surrender a homer and has given up a total of four runs in 20 innings. Unfortunately for the Yankees, those runs all resulted in blown saves.
With the three blown saves, Rivera has already exceeded his totals from 2008, when he was 39-for-40 saving games, and 2009, when he was 44-for-46. He was 33-for-38 last year, though he finished with a sub-2.00 ERA for the seventh time in eight years. His career high for blown saves is nine from his first year as a closer back in 1997.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: