The Yanks lose their opening game of the 2012 season to the Rays. That’s it! Why they lost, how they lost and who is to blame, should not be made an issue of. I will simply give the Yankee fans, the numbers, that’s how I’m going to approach this game. They lost and that’s it! Although every single game is important, this one was the first of the season and there are 161 games still to be played.
ST. PETERSBURG — What could be Mariano Rivera’s final Major League season began with an Opening Day blown save, as the Rays toppled the all-time saves leader to post a 7-6 victory on Friday at Tropicana Field.
After belting a grand slam in the first inning off Yankees starter CC Sabathia, Carlos Pena delivered the game-winning hit in the ninth off the 42-year-old Rivera, who has strongly hinted that 2012 will be his last go-round in the Majors.
“That’s bad — you don’t want to start the season this way,” said Rivera, who converted 44 of 49 save chances last year and owns a career total of 603. “But at the same time, thank God it’s only one game. We’ll come back tomorrow and play hard again.”
Desmond Jennings opened the ninth inning with a single up the middle on a 1-2 pitch that Rivera left over the plate, and Ben Zobrist quickly followed with a triple to the gap in right-center field, tying the game at 6.
Two intentional walks loaded the bases with no outs, and Rivera struck out Sean Rodriguez swinging with the Yankees employing a five-man infield. Pena cleared them all, connecting for a blast that struck the wall in left-center field.
“It’s early,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It is the first day of the year. You don’t expect these guys to be perfect. He’s not going to be perfect the whole year, but I believe he’s going to be really, really, really good.”
The three-hour, 44-minute affair took on the feeling of a playoff game late, long after it was apparent to a paid crowd of 34,078 that a predicted pitchers’ duel between Sabathia and the Rays’ James Shields wouldn’t materialize…..Read More
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