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.
Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.
While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.
Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.
SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.
Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.
Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.
At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.
In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.