It wasn't easy contemplating the loss of Mariano Rivera. All around the Yankees' blogosphere, writers chimed in with their thoughts about possibly having to say goodbye to the greatest closer of all time. However, Rivera had a message to those writing his epitaph: "I'll be back." In a gathering with reporters before last night's game, the all-time saves leaders expressed optimism about his recovery and vowed to return to the mound.
Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner are both progressing, but neither player is expected back until at least the beginning of next of week. Unfortunately, that means the defense will continue to be an adventure for at least a few more games. Last night, one of the main culprits, Eduardo Nunez, committed another misplay, which, although not labeled an error, opened the door for the Royals' only two runs of the game. Earlier in the week, a misplay in left field, which was originally scored an error but later rescinded by Joe Torre, also led to two runs, adding to a growing list of costly blunders committed by Nunez.
Andy Pettitte's next minor league tune-up is scheduled for Sunday, but up until yesterday, no one was sure exactly where the game would be played. Pettitte will take the mound for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, which have been forced into a nomadic existence because of stadium renovations. The original match-up between Scranton and Pawtucket was supposed to be played in Batavia, but the Yankees' balked at having Pettitte pitch in a ballpark below the triple-A standard. As a result, Frontier Field in Rochester will be the new home, but in order to accommodate Pettitte, a game between the Buffalo Bisons and Rochester Red Wings had to be canceled.
After spending the week testifying in the Roger Clemens' perjury trial in Washington, Pettitte probably would have agreed to pitch anywhere. Pettitte's testimony was very favorable to Clemens, but yesterday, federal agent Jeff Novitzky's appearance on the witness stand seemed to favor the government.