You really have to just stand back and marvel at what Mariano Rivera did out there today. After legitimately blowing the save on Friday night even though he reduced Miguel Cabrera to basically hitting on one leg, Mo had another chance to lock down a game win and a series win in the process this afternoon. Instead of being the typical closer and just getting the job done, Mo graciously decided to pass the torch to his teammate Brett Gardner in the bottom of the 9th.
Gardner came through with the game-winning hit Friday night to bail Mo out and get him the W to replace the save. In the selfless, giving fashion that has become so typical for him, Rivera decided that repaying the favor was more important than adding another save to his record-setting total. He also gave Gardner the chance to prove that Friday night was no fluke instance of BABIP luck. Mo grooved a couple pitches to Miggy and Victor Martinez that he knew they would hit for homers to tie the game, then shut down the rest of the inning to set things up for Gardner in the 9th. Gardy made the most of the opportunity, yard jobbing one for another walk-off win. Mo sets 'em up, Brett knocks 'em down.
Mo ended up with another win today, so I guess we'll have to see how he plans on repaying Gardner the next time he comes in to close a game, but once again you just tip your cap and shake your head at how painfully professional Mariano Rivera is. Hard to find a teammate this great.
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