It doesn't happen often but when it does, it's nothing short of shocking when Mariano Rivera blows a save.
“He’s human,” Joe Girardi said. “He showed that he’s human today.”
Rivera walked Jim Thome with the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth but still had a 3-2 lead. That didn't last as Jason Kubel hit a grand slam, just the second grand slam Rivera has given up as a reliever. The last was to Bill Selby of the Indians July 14, 2002 at Cleveland.
"Just trying to use my hands," Kubel said. "I'm just hoping something will fall."
Later he said: "I'm not thinking home run."
Said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: “You should probably have recorded that because it’s probably not something that you will often see. As far as I’m concerned, he’s the best in the game.”
But to Rivera, who simply doesn't walk people, the Thome at-bat, one in which he fell in a 3-and-0 hole to the veteran slugger, bothered him most of all.
"Walking in a run, it’s unacceptable," Rivera said. "You can’t go in there and do that.”
Mark Teixeira said “we get spoiled,” when it comes to Rivera, who last blew a save at home Aug. 13, 2007 and came in not having allowed a run in 11 innings this season.
“You just assume, you assume he’s going to close every single game,” Teixeira said. "If you ask people in New York they probably think his save percentage is 1.000 because that’s how good he is. But he’s human, just like everyone else.”
And with that, back tomorrow as the Red Sox come to town for the first time this season, with Phil Hughes (5-0, 1.38) taking on Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-1, 6.35).