Hiroki Kuroda out-dueled rookie sensation Matt Harvey, but the Yankee offense failed to capitalize on a few, rare opportunities for insurance runs that would come back to haunt them as Mariano Rivera blew his first save of 2013. Rivera failed to record an out before giving up a double to David Murphy, an RBI single to David Wright to tie the game, and an RBI single to Lucas Duda that scored Wright after he advanced on an error by Brett Gardner after his hit. It was the first time in Rivera's career that he took the loss after failing to record a single out in the game.
Kuroda's brillance was ultimately wasted, but not enough good things can be said about the pitcher he has been for the Yankees. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits while accumulating seven strikeouts on the night. He was relieved by David Robertson, who managed to shake off his struggles from the night before with a clean inning to keep the Yankees' narrow lead intact.
Ten Yankees fell victim to strikeouts by Harvey, but Gardner very nearly won the game by himself after scoring the team's only run on a Lyle Overbay single. For the second night in a row, Gardner made a web gem catch in center field to keep the Mets off the board, robbing Murphy of extra bases once again. Reid Brignac picked up his first hit as a Yankee with a single, one of the seven the offense tallied on the night. Not being able to score runs to prevent wasting fantastic pitching performances have bitten the Yankees both games this series. If you were uncomfortable relying on backups of backups to keep winning games, those feelings are certainly beginning to look justified. The good news is that reinforcements should be coming soon. The bad news is that the team lost two straight games to the Mets before the problem could be remedied.
Rivera's perfect record on the year was bound to end sometime, but this one will leave a rotten feeling behind for a while. There is no need to overreact to it; Mo is human, even if he does a good job of hiding it almost all the time. He'll nail this down far more often than he won't and he had absolutely no wiggle room to work with tonight. Maybe with better hitters and Chris Stewart managing to keep balls in front of him sooner than later, we'll all have a little more breathing room in the late innings. I'm sure Mo and your blood pressure would appreciate that.