Rivera Blows His First Save, Yankees Lose Opening Day

Pitcher CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays
C.C. Sabathia

In an Opening Day game that wasn’t particularly sharp on either end, the Yankees dropped 1 of 162 this afternoon in Tampa Bay. We saw some interesting managerial decisions — Joe Girardi’s two-on, two-out intentional walk of Sean Rodriguez, Joe Maddon’s squeeze call with two on in the eighth — backfire, both starting pitchers get shelled, and a lot of runners were left stranded. CC Sabathia (pictured) gave up a first-inning grand slam to Carlos Peña (a play set up by the intentional walk), but was steadier the rest of the way. The Yankees offered a return salvo in the second and third anchored by a welcome homer from Raul Ibañez (John Sterling, defying all of our predictions, reportedly uttered both “Raul be seein’ you!” and “Raul, so cool!”), then watched David Robertson get out of an eighth-inning jam. Then Mariano Rivera strode to the mound up 6-5, and … promptly blew the hell out of the save, retiring just one batter while Ben Zobrist’s triple tied the game and Peña’s bases-loaded single won it. Oh well. 161 to go. Everything will be alright, probably.

Rivera Blows Save, Yankees Lose Opening Day