June 29, 2009

Mariano saves 500th in sweep of Mets

Mariano Rivera pitched four outs to earn his 500th career save, and also added his first career RBI on a walk to give the Yankees (43-32) a sweep and 4-2 win over the Mets (37-37).

Quick ‘Cap:
The Yanks jumped out to an early lead off Livan Hernandez, but he was able to hold the Yankees scoreless from innings two through seven. After a Derek Jeter double and a fielders choice attempt, Mark Teixeira drove in two runs with a double to left. Jorge Posada drove him in on a sac fly, giving the Yankees all they would need to beat the Mets.

Chien-Ming Wang notched his first win of the season (wow) with 5-1/3 quality innings. His only blemish was allowing a two-run rally to the Mets in the fourth. His groundout-flyout ratio was very promising: 11-2.

Phil Coke relieved Wang and struck out Fernando Martinez in the sixth, and Phil Hughes induced a fly ball to end the threat. Hughes pitched the seventh, and Brian Bruney recorded two outs in the eighth before Rivera entered the game.

He got out of the jam left by Bruney on a strikeout, and then accomplished something unforgettable in the top of the ninth. He then did his thing in the ninth for his 18th save of the season. Full box score here.

Rivera accomplished another amazing milestone, and showed such class in doing so — not even showing a fist pump. He is clearly the greatest reliever this game has ever seen, and 500 career saves is just another gem to add to his resume. Congratulations, Mo.

Let’s not forget about Wang. He was good again, and pulled early again (85 pitches). Girardi said before the game that he will make his next start, so that’s good news at this point.

Line of the Night:
Rivera: 0-for-0, BB, RBI. 1-1/3 IP, 1 H, 2 K, SV.

Up Next:
The Yankees have a well-earned off-day on Monday, and open a three-game set against the Mariners on Tuesday. I’ll post a complete series preview later.

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