One day, two big-league records.
Mariano Rivera finished off the Yankees’ 7-3 win over the Blue Jays with a one-hit ninth. It marked appearance No. 1,000, all with one team. No one had ever done that.
“You have to be old to do that,” Rivera said after he lowered his ERA to 1.71. “It’s a blessing, being on the same team and to be able to do that. The most important thing is we won.”
There have been only 14 other pitchers to appear in 1,000 regular-season games.
“When you simplify it, he’s a one-pitch pitcher coming from a small fishermen village in Panama, and to have this type of success in one of the biggest cities in the world, it’s incredible,” Brian Cashman said. “And he’s that great a guy at the same time. He’s the same person he was when he signed.”
Andruw Jones remembers facing him in 1996 with the Braves.
“He’s the same guy, same pitcher, still getting them out,” Jones said. “I think he’s super human.”
Then there’s the case of Jo-Jo Reyes. The Toronto lefty tied the record held by Matt Keough and Cliff Curtis – 28 straight winless starts.
“I’m not worried about that streak,” said Reyes, who’s 0-13 with 15 no-decisions dating to his time with the 2008 Braves. “When I step on the rubber, all I think about is executing pitches. We have fun with it, but it doesn’t get to me and doesn’t bother me. … Once I start pressuring myself into this funny streak, that’s when I get into trouble and try to do way too much.”
Brian Cashman had this to say about Dr. James Andrews’ diagnosis of an inflamed ligament in Rafael Soriano’s right elbow that will keep him out at least another six to eight weeks:
“I didn’t talk to Andrews directly,” Cashman said, “but talking to (team physician) Chris Ahmad, it sounded like Andrews is optimistic with the time frame and course of treatment that he should come through this OK.”
Freddy Garcia is sure doing OK. He improved to 3-4 but with a 3.26 ERA in nine games, including eight starts. Not bad for a guy who arrived at spring training with a minor-league non-roster invitation.
“Everything we’ve needed and more,” Cashman said. “He’s allowing us to plug a major hole and answer our prayers because obviously the winter didn’t go the way we wanted it to. You go from Plan A (Cliff Lee) to maybe Plan Z, but it doesn’t matter. You’re looking for the end results. The one thing I knew about Freddy before he came here was this man would not be intimidated by this environment.”
Jones matched his home-run total for the season with a pair of two-run shots. He came in batting .191 with three RBI. He had been 3 for his last 24. But he finished with three hits in this game.
“My last 20 at-bats, I wasn’t happy with them,” Jones said. “So I just kept working with (Kevin) Long, trying to get it right. Today was a great day.”
So the Yankees have won two straight and seven of nine to go to 27-21.They lead the Red Sox by percentage points.
“It’s been an up and down first two months for us,” Joe Girardi said. “But the fact is we’re in first place and there’s a ton of baseball left to be played. You go through a two-week stretch where you really struggle and in some divisions you could be way back. In a sense, we’re somewhat fortunate that it’s been an up-and-down season for what seems like every team in our division.”
*The Yankees reacquired righty reliever Kanekoa Texeira, claiming him off waivers from the Royals and assigning him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. To make room on the 40-man roster, Phil Hughes was moved to the 60-day DL.
*Girardi passed Buck Showalter for eighth on the Yankees’ managerial victory list with No. 314.
*Derek Jeter passed Cap Anson for 23rd on baseball’s all-time runs-scored list with No. 1,713 and doubled for hit No. 2,976.
*Curtis Granderson is batting .296 vs. lefties as opposed to .273 vs. righties, and he’s batting .304 with eight homers and 18 RBI since taking over the two-hole on a regular basis on May 6.
*Mark Teixeira has homered four times in his last seven games.
*Alex Rodriguez owns a six-game hitting streak and has at least one hit in 14 of his last 17 games.
*The Yankees will spend tomorrow’s off day in Seattle and then A.J. Burnett will be on the mound when they open the series against the Mariners Friday night. The Yankees will be facing Michael Pineda and Felix Hernandez in the first two games of the series.
The photo of Mariano Rivera is courtesy of The Associated Press.