In the post game show tonight on YES, Joe Girardi admitted that Mariano Rivera's surgically repaired shoulder has been bothering him for a while now. He said it wasn't a major issue, but that it just seems to be a little tired which is affecting his velocity. Say, what? Is he kidding me?
A depressed Rivera said afterwards that his shoulder isn't really hurting him, but that his velocity is down. Is it me or are their stories not quite on the same page? Even if Mo never gets back to 94 mph and he still might, Rivera has good enough stuff, fight and control to be very effective.
I do have a big problem with Girardi. I thought he was going to be more honest to us about injuries? Wasn't that the word after he was criticised for not handling the media well last year? It didn't take him long to break that promise because he misled us when he never mentioned Brian Bruney's elbow was bothering him on a Wednesday right before the Boston series in Fenway. Girardi even kept it quiet when he was interviewed by Mike Francesa I believe on that Friday afternoon before the game. We all realized something was wrong with Bruney, including the YES broadcast team when he wasn't even in the bullpen as the Yankees were trying to nail down a 4-2 victory. Rivera had to come into the eighth inning of that game after Joe told Francesa that it was too early in the season for Mo to pitch two innings up in Boston and then Mo got whacked by Jason Bay, who hit a two run bomb to center to tie the game in the ninth. That led to a loss, and a series sweep for Boston and now they have won five straight against the Yanks.
I wondered why Rivera didn't pitch the tenth inning during Wednesday's game after he dominated Tampa in the ninth until Joe admitted that he was protecting Mariano's shoulder. I was talking to my friend on the phone right after the Yanks had come back yet again to tie the score late in the game on a red hot Damon two run jack and I saw Carl Crawford standing in the box, I was trying to figure out how they would lose this game, I mean they've lost every which way possible at this point.
I said the to my friend, "the Yanks are so bad right now I bet you Carl reaches first base on a walk, steals second and third and then scores on an infield dribbler," but instead the joke was on me because Crawford hit his first HR in almost three hundred at bats.
And then it was quickly followed up by Longoria's deep bomb to make it an 8-6 game and then another painful loss. It was the first time in Rivera's career that he gave up back to back HR's. Even I couldn't have dreamt that one up.