Yankees Rumors & News
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2007 at 5:24 pm and is filed under Baseball, Yankees Rumors & News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

After Shelley Duncan went Tino Martinez/Scott Brosius/A-Rod Wednesday afternoon with a game-tying three-run home run with two outs in the 9th inning, New York Yankees fans had to figure they were about to witness another of those crazy, improbable victories that sometimes happen in the Bronx.

Something else improbable did happen, but it wasn’t good news for the Yankees. Mariano Rivera got torched by Baltimore in in the 10th inning, giving up three runs on two doubles and a two-run home run as the Yankees lost, 6-3.

It is time to worry about Rivera.

In his last three appearances, Rivera has surrendered 9 hits and 5 runs in 3.1 innings. He has a blown save and a loss in those three games.

The key question, of course, is whether or not he is healthy.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Rivera insisted that he is.

“Physically I’m fine. I’m fine. Nothing is wrong. I’m just human, that’s all. I know you guys are trying to find something but I’m fine.”

You have to wonder, though. He missed several weeks last season with a forearm injury, and has been used more heavily than the Yankees would like due to the struggles of Kyle Farnsworth and other recently-departed Yankee relievers.

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman is calling for an end to going to Mo in the 8th inning, as well as a few days off for him.

Sherman is probably right. Even with the Detroit Tigers in town for four key games, getting Rivera some rest is a good idea.

The Yankees have, of course, completely restructured the bridge to Rivera with youngsters. Joba Chamberlain has been lights out since coming up from Scranton. Newly-recalled Sean Henn and Edwar Ramirez combined for four shutout innings yesterday, showing that they can contribute. Luis Vizcaino has been solid for the past two months.

None of that is going to matter, though, if Rivera isn’t Rivera. The Yankees, with baseball’s best offense, might be able to bash their way to a wild-card berth without him but it won’t make any difference. An early playoff exit would await if Rivera is injured or ineffective.

(via: Valentine’s Views)

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