After three disappointing outings, the Yankees closer finally had a clean one last night, and as a small group of reporters began to gather around his locker afterward, Rivera laughed when the first question was asked.
Is the crisis over?
The crisis sarcastically in question was quite literally four hits in a span of 2.2 innings. But because of who Rivera is and what he does, it was a big deal. I wasn’t even covering the game on Thursday, but very soon after Russell Branyan’s home run, I got my first email from a reader saying it was time for Rivera to be placed on the disabled list and Dave Robertson to be inserted into the closer’s role.
“Everyone’s going to struggle,” Joe Girardi said last night. “You’re going to go through your struggles, I don’t care who you are. Even the greatest closer of all time is going to go through his struggles.”
The Yankees never saw a crisis, and Rivera dismissed the idea that he needed a nice, quick, clean outing to ease his own mind.
“I don’t worry about it,” he said. “I have peace of mind, believe me.”
For a guy like Rivera, three outings — no matter how bad — don’t constitute a crisis, and one clean inning doesn’t signify the beginning or end of anything.
“You just want to do your job,” Rivera said. “Especially in a situation like that when your teammates are there battling and you go out there and don’t do your job. We won. The whole team did great.”
Associated Press photo