October 6, 2010 — “The Great Rivera.” That’s a common way journalists and broadcasters refer to Mariano Rivera these days.
Well, I can’t think of a better way to introduce the greatest pitcher of this generation, and probably any other generation for that matter.
Rivera came into tonight’s game in the eighth inning and got the Yankees out of the frame by retiring the first batter he faced.
Then in the ninth inning, Rivera retired the first two Twins hitters and broke both of their bats in the process — which shows that his devastating cutter is as good as ever. Then, with two outs, Delmon Young blooped a cutter to right field, where Greg Golson — who entered the game prior to the ninth inning for defensive purposes — made a shoe string catch… or so it seemed.
From the TV replay — and from the live view that I had — it was clear that the ball didn’t touch the ground, but that’s not what the umpires say. And as the saying goes, that’s life (see photo below, which was taken during the controversy).
Rivera never got rattled, even with the dangerous lefty Jim Thome coming to the plate — and representing the tying run.
Rivera got Thome to hit a weak pop-up behind third base on the very first pitch. That’s right; one pitch ended the game — and the controversy.
For Rivera, tonight’s save was the 40th of this postseason career (and of course that is a record).
–Alfred Santasiere III