The Yankees and Royals played a baseball game last night, but it didn’t feel like it mattered. By the time the game
started, Mariano Rivera was not in the bullpen. He was not in the dugout. He was not available. While catching flyballs during batting practice, Rivera twisted his knee and collapsed in a heap. It was obviously bad, and every baseball fan’s worst fears were confirmed later in the night; he had torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
The injury is so much more devastating for Rivera because he is 42, has been hinting at retirement after this season, and there is a chance he will never play the game again. Of course, there is equal chance he will come back in 2013 and give it one more go. We won’t know until that time comes, so for now, it’s simply a sad injury with historical ramifications. Rivera is a first ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible, but most would rather him go out on his own terms, not in cringing pain on the waning track of Kauffman Stadium.
The Yankees had no choice but to carry on. They played the Royals while their minds were certainly on Rivera. Mike Moustakas of the Royals continued his hot hitting and helped Kansas City to their first home win of the year. He was 2 for 4 with a home run, his fourth of the year.
Despite the Yankees attempts at chipping away the lead, the Royals scored early and kept extending their cushion. The 4-3 victory was just Kansas City’s 8th win this year.
Seattle – 3
Tampa Bay – 4
The Rays are beginning to look like the contender we all thought they’d be. They completed the sweep of the Mariners and have improved their record to 18-8 on the season. Jeff Keppinger hit a home run while replacing the injured Evan Longoria.
Cleveland – 7
Chicago (A) – 5
As the White Sox got within striking distance, the Indians, and Jason Kipnis specifically, kept pushing them further away. Kipnis was 2 for 3 with a home run and four RBI on the night as Cleveland improved their road record to 9-3.
Toronto – 5
Los Angeles (A) – 0
With Dan Harren on the mound for the Angels, it would have been easy to assume the three-hitter thrown in this game would have been thrown by him. Instead, it was Brandon Morrow of the Blue Jays who shut down the Angels and tossed a three-hit shut-out.
Philadelphia – 4
Atlanta – 0
Joe Blanton pitched a complete game shut-out. It was his first shut-out in five years. Clinging to a 2-0 lead, the Phillies gave Blanton a little bit of breathing room before sending him out to finish things in the bottom of the ninth. In the top of the ninth, Shane Victorino hit a two-run home run to put the Phillies up 4-0.
Chicago – 3
Cincinnati – 4
Closer have struggled this season, but struggles are not new for Carlos Marmol. He blew a 3-0 lead and the Red eventually won in ten innings. Ryan Dempster, fresh off the disabled list, threw eight shut-out innings, but Marmol was wild and couldn’t close the game. Scott Rolen hit a walk-off sac-fly in the bottom of the tenth.
Pittsburgh – 6
St. Louis – 3
Journeyman pitcher Erik Bedard struck out eleven, allowed just two runs, and helped Pittsburgh to victory. Pedro Alvarez went 2 for 4 and hit his seventh home run of the year for the Bucs. For the Cardinals, Jake Westbrook allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched.
Miami – 3
San Francisco – 2
Each game was decided by one run, but the Marlins completed the sweep of the Giants. The sweep was capped off yesterday with Hanley Ramirez driving in two of the Marlins three runs. Anibal Sanchez went seven innings, allowed just one runs, and got the win.
Arizona – 1
Washington – 2
Bryce Harper has proven he can hit, field, and run. Yesterday, he showed off the hitting part of the equation. In the seventh, with Arizona having just tied the game, Harper blasted an RBI double and drove in the deciding run. Harper is now batting .375 with 3 RBI this season.