A Baseball Weblog

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rivera's mistake

Last night, Mariano Rivera had an uncharacteristic outing in that he allowed four men to reach base in less than an inning. First, he faced Michael Young, who hit an infield single. This is where each pitch to Young crossed the plate:

With a runner on first, Rivera then had to battle Josh Hamilton, who found a hole between first and second.

With two runners on, Vladimir Guerrero came up and sent a first pitch sinker to the left side. It wasn't hit hard at all, but it would have been another hit if not for a diving and (then) game-saving stop by Alex Rodriguez.

With first base open, the Yankees elected to walk Nelson Cruz and put the force play at every base, bringing up David Murphy with the bases loaded. This was where Rivera made his only mistake. He fell behind 3-0 on Murphy with pitches that were, for him, wild. After battling back to make it 3-2, he was forced to throw a cutter too far to the center of the plate, and Murphy was ready for it.

To the first three hitters, Rivera made all the right pitches, but had terrible misfortune on the placement of the groundballs he induced. He then got too careful with Murphy, and paid the price.

Gameday screenshots are courtesy of MLB Advanced Media.

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