Flickr image by BaseballBacks
History was made today when Mariano Rivera recorded his 602nd save and took sole possession of the number one spot on the all time saves list.
Early on it looked like 602 would have to wait. The Yankees were up 5-0 and AJ Burnett was cruising. But, again, it was AJ Burnett pitching and he made things interesting – and stressful in the fifth inning. Minnesota pulled to within one and he didn’t even factor into the decision.
Some people were mad at Burnett’s performance but if you think about it, he was doing Mo a favor. He created the save situation. (Hahaha.)
Mo set the Twins down in order in the ninth, he got 602 out of the way, right away and with no issues whatsoever.
After Rivera struck out Chris Pamalee to end the game – the pitch before the final strike produced a broken bat foul ball, the Yankee Stadium crowd roared, his teammates surrounded him on the field to congratulate him and the Twins remained in their dugout applauding his achievement.
Following the hugs, Mo was about to leave the field with his teammates when Jorge Posada pushed him back onto the mound so he could be recognized by the crowd. Rivera looked embarrassed and uncomfortable.
Mariano Rivera is a very humble man and he is all about the team, never about himself but this was his moment and it was well deserved. With a smile on his face, he tipped his cap to the fans and to the Twins players and coaches who continued to salute him then walked off the mound to be interviewed by Kim Jones of the Yes Network.
Oh and by the way, this was Rivera’s 43rd save of the year.
Some Stats (Thanks to YES):
Russell Martin caught his 33rd Mariano Rivera save placing him 3rd behind Jorge Posada who has 368, Joe Girardi who has 73 and allowing him to pass John Flaherty who has 32.
The Yankees begin their now four game series against Tampa tomorrow at 7:05pm. The Yankees have a 5 and 1/2 game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East standings and Tampa – at the moment – is now only 1 and 1/2 games behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card standings.
Things are getting interesting in the East folks. Buckle up, refill your Xanax prescriptions and try to enjoy the next two weeks.