After 626 saves in 19 seasons, Mariano Rivera doesn’t have many firsts left. The Mets, however, tagged him with an unfortunate one Tuesday, collecting three straight hits off him in the ninth to overcome a 1-0 deficit and beat the Yankees 2-1.
It was the first time Rivera had ever taken a blown save or a loss in an appearance without recording an out. It was just the third time that he’s appeared in a game and failed to get an out.
The Mets were fortunate to have the right part of their order up against Rivera tonight. Daniel Murphy started the bottom of the ninth with a double the other way. David Wright then singled up the middle, plating Murphy and tying the game. When the throw home got away from catcher Chris Stewart, Wright moved up to second. He then raced around ahead of Ichiro Suzuki’s throw home on Lucas Duda’s game-winning single to right.
The only previous times Rivera had appeared and not gotten an out came on Sept. 26, 1995 and Aug. 10, 2008. In the first, he was making just his eighth career relief appearance. He allowed a single to the Brewers in the eighth inning and was immediately replaced by Rick Honeycutt. The latter appearance came in the ninth inning in a tie game against the Angels. Rivera entered with two on and gave up a game-winning single to the first batter he faced.
Rivera’s blown save and loss tonight were his first since April 6, 2012. The Yankees prevailed in his each of his previous 28 appearances, with Rivera picking up saves in 23 of those games.
The defeat tonight came after the Mets honored Rivera prior to the game and had him throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League Central
It’s the Cubs’ world and we’re all just living in it. But repeats are rare in baseball nowadays, so maybe it’s better to be on “field” than on the Cubs?
That said, who in the division has a real shot at unseating them? No one I can see, even if the Cardinals and Pirates should be competitive.
The Brewers played .500 ball this spring. Which means absolutely nothing, but I thought I’d mention it. As for the Reds, well . . . Cincinnati has some underrated restaurants and you can go across the river to Kentucky and find a super great bourbon selection at a number of stores. Make a day of it.
Our previews of the NL Central teams:
St. Louis Cardinals
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central
Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?
As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox