Mets get to Mariano Rivera in 9th, beat Yankees 2-1

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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.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.