Mariano Rivera Just Ended a Crazy Streak

Tuesday was the first time he's blown a save without recording an out.

ESPN tweeted out a just plain nuts Mariano Rivera stat this morning.

Ok, I hate the Yankees, you hate the Yankees, we all hate the Yankees. I really enjoyed seeing the Mets string together three hits against Rivera to start the bottom of the 9th last night, scoring two runs to beat the Yankees, 2-1. That being said … that statistic is crazy! Think about it: Never in his 17 seasons as the Yankees closer has Rivera come into a game with a one-run lead, and given up, say, a lead-off single and an RBI double. Or a lead-off homer. In fact, he’s never ever given up a lead-off homer—not once in the 1,072 times he’s entered a game to pitch.

For all the Yankees I’ve come to hate over the years (personal Yankee hatred rankings: 1. Paul O’Neill, 2. Roger Clemens, 3. A-Rod), I’ve never quite been able to bring myself to loathe Rivera, who’s announced that he’s retiring at the end of this year. I think many Red Sox fans might even have a little bit of a soft spot for him, not only for the way he blew those two saves in the 2004 ALCS, but for how he gamely tipped his hat to the crowd on Opening Day in 2005 when the Fenway Faithful gave him a standing ovation to thank him for his performance in the previous postseason.

Before he blew that save last night, the Mets honored the retiring Rivera by letting him throw out the first pitch. I don’t know that the Red Sox should go that far, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t get another standing O at Fenway—this one in earnest—before the season is done.