Without Mariano Rivera, the Yankees swept a three-game series against Baltimore this week. Each game required a save, but the Yankees stayed away from their closer, who was bothered by a sore left side.
“It was good for me a couple of days to give him a little break and get him back where he needs to be,” Joba Chamberlain said after his second of two straight saves.
Last night’s save went to Alfredo Aceves, who had close it out after a rocky ninth inning made things interesting.
Bottom line: The Yankees’ bullpen was able to get the job done this week without its leader, but the games certainly feel a little different when Rivera’s looming for those last three outs.
“He means a lot to us even when he’s not pitching,” Chamberlain said. “For us young guys to be able to pick his brain and ask him what he would do in this situation, and not only ask him why, but ask him how he would do it and elaborate a little bit. It’s one thing to be able to watch him, but it’s another thing for him to be actually able to actually explain it to us.”
Indications are that Rivera will be available again in Boston. The Yankees decided to move cautiously with him this week, but he reported feeling no pain after a mid-week bullpen session and Joe Girardi said the team was basically staying away from him as a precaution.
Here’s the brief leftover Chamberlain audio from Tuesday.