Mariano Rivera gets the hold (?!?) in final All-Star Game as AL wins 3-0

Severino continues to impress as GCL teams square off
2013 Midseason Review: Grade D’s

I’m very happy I got to see Joe Nathan close out Mariano Rivera‘s final All-Star Game in person. I’ll cherish this forever.

Ugh, this felt so wrong. I mean, yeah, I know there was a chance Mo may not have pitched if a bullpen full of All-Stars couldn’t hold a three-run lead in the eighth. I get that. But I don’t like it. It was a great moment, the two-minute standing ovation and cap tip to the crowd, but man it felt so wrong to see Rivera — who was named the All-Star Game MVP — out there in the eighth instead of the ninth. Jim Leyland out-thunk himself a little too much.

Anyway, the AL won 3-0 because the pitching staff held the NL to just three hits. Jose Bautista had a sacrifice fly in the fourth, J.J. Hardy a run-scoring ground out in the fifth, and Jason Kipnis a run-scoring double in the eighth. Robinson Cano left the game after being hit by a pitch in the first inning but is expected to be fine. has the box score and video highlights while FanGraphs has the WPA Graph. For the first time since 2009, the AL will have homefield advantage in the World Series. That’ll be useful if the Yankees get their act together in the second half.

Severino continues to impress as GCL teams square off
2013 Midseason Review: Grade D’s
  • TishTash

    Listen, Speedy, if the NL scored four or more runs in the eighth off of whoever else pitched, and the AL couldn’t tie by the end of the top of the ninth, Rivera would’ve never had the chance to pitch at all.

    That being said, I suppose Leyland might’ve trotted out the usual suspects and only brought in Mariano had a couple runs scored, allowing for the possibility of having him come into the ninth. But you know what? This allowed not only the AL to top their caps to him, but the NL too, something that may not have occurred in a pressure-filled ninth.

    • nycsportzfan

      Thats true. I didn’t even think of that some reason. Now it makes alittle more sense to me. I cant believe that didn’t cross my

  • Pa Poo

    White people problems.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I laughed.

    • TishTash

      Not any more white than wondering when Carmelo Anthony will become a premiere player is a black people problem.

  • David N

    Yeah, there was no reason to bring him in in the 8th. Even if the NL does come back and tie the game or take the lead, you just take out whoever is on the mound, bring in Mo and have him close out the inning. So he wouldn’t be pitching with the lead, but would that really make a difference?

    That said, I can’t get too upset about it, and it is nice that he was able to get the field to himself like that. I hope the Yankees do something similar for the last home game.

  • forensic

    Agreed on Leyland. I’m not gonna go crazy about it, but it was just unnecessary and overdoing it.

  • Mac

    You sure do like to complain a lot.

    I’m going to bet that should Leyland wait until the 9th, this article is all about how dumb he is for risking Mo not getting to pitch in his last All-Star game.

    It seems like every article on this site is just whining about something Yankee related.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Really? They whine about Yankees stuff on this site? That’s weird.

      • Mac

        THe difference between whining about Yankee stuff on a site and *just* whining about Yankee stuff on a site is not a particularly subtle one.

        • vicki

          laser-sharp critique there, susan sontag.

          • Kosmo

            Ann Coulter ?

  • Joel

    It was the right decision, all things considered. Quit whining.

  • Rizi Walnutz

    And what would you say if he hadn’t pitched at all? Good move by, Leyland. Too important a moment to f up.

    • Cliff

      This is not only a stupid thing to say, but totally inexplicable. If you could only have one pitcher per inning, then yeah. Otherwise, there is no way humanly possible that Rivera could have lost the opportunity to pitch.

      • Mac

        It’s not just about having him P, though. It’s about the moment. I think it’s difficult to argue the moment he walks in is as special mid-inning as it is to start a clean frame.

        Most people on here seem to agree.

  • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

    If Mo doesn’t get into this game, can you imagine the uproar? I think Leyland played it safe. That entrance was spectacular.

  • Elan

    As weird as it was to see Mariano pitch the 8th in a save situation, it would have been ten times worse if some other pitcher pitched the eighth, blew the game, and made it so that Mariano couldn’t pitch at all. Having him pitch in this game wasn’t really about him going out there to pitch the 9th and try to get the save – it was about acknowledging his greatness and the massive impact he has had on baseball over his amazing 19 years in the game. And that message was sent just as well with him coming out for the eighth and receiving an awesome standing ovation from the fans and the players.

  • CS Yankee

    Would have liked to see him come out agin in the ninth and earn the MVP versus the lifetime-MVP. He was at 16 pitches and would have made those NL bitches go down in another 10 pitches.

    This means that the Yankees have home field advantage though.

  • Kramerica Industries

    Jim Leyland out-thunk himself a little too much.

    Considering the RAB consensus is that Leyland is a senile schmuck, it would be rather remarkable for him to out-think himself.

  • Gonzo

    Rumor is that Joe Nathan bribed Leyland with a carton of smokes. Still can’t find confirmation.

  • Duh Injuries

    Leyland almost put the AL in danger of a tie game by having Mo pitch the 8th and Nathan in the 9th.

    Joe Nathan is a fine pitcher who I’d have no problem closing last year’s All-Star Game (had the AL won it and since Mo couldn’t pitch it) or next year’s ASG (assuming Mo retires after this year), but this ASG was not his to, it was Mo’s.

    Nathan was ONE PITCH (one ball) away from bringing the potential tying run to the plate and the potential winning run on deck. How smart would Leyland have looked had Nathan given up a three-run homerun and guess who can’t hold the tie since he was used for the 8th? That’s right, Mo, and if Mo didn’t pitch in the game yet, how could he not with the AL up only 3-0 going into the 9th, HIS INNING? I would definitely have Mo hold the tie if it meant staving off a potential walkoff come from behind extra innings NL win for an inning.

    Leyland managed like a pre-homefield advantage in the World Series All-Star Game manager i.e. managed to get Mo / a player into the game instead of manager for homefield advantage in a World Series his team may appear in for a third time since 2006, and that is inexcusable. He also managed scared and like he couldn’t trust Nathan with the 8th. Why? Seriously, Joe Nathan is giving up three or more runs? Leyland would actually have not brought in Mo for a four-out save with a little less than three days off for the Yanks since they play a night game in Fenway Friday if it was 3-1 or 3-2 AL with two outs a man or two on or base or the bases loaded? Of course he would’ve.

    Robinson Tilipia enlighten us on why Mo shouldn’t have closed the game. Spare me he wouldn’t have got in the game had the NL tied or went ahead when he would’ve, especially if the NL went up 7-3 or some shit (if Mo is brought in that late as that’s alot of time to suck in the 8th inning before bringing in Mo to put out the fire.)

    • 4 Train

      Well Fish Stick loser Tilipia doesn’t really like the Yankees. Nothing is ever a big deal to him, he just loves hanging out here pretending like he has friends.

      What Leyland did was an absolute travesty. One of the most embarrassing moves of all time. If MO wasn’t such a completely classy guy he would’ve told that cigarette smoking fuck that he was pitching the 9th and 9th only. Leyland that MF’er.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I lost a fish stick?

      • jsbrendog

        “One of the most embarrassing moves of all time.”


        • Robinson Tilapia

          He’s never seen me dance, apparently. That’s where some of the most embarrassing moves of all time happen.

        • 4 Train

          THE MOST embarrassing move of all time. Their I fixed that. Sorry for my mistake earlier.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Here’s your answer, and make sure your hand’s off your dick this time, because you may get hurt….

      I couldn’t have cared less if he pitched the fifth.

      Now blow me.

      • 4 Train

        As classy as Leyland, that’s why you see nothing wrong with it. The only way you can relate to the word “class” is that it has “ass” in it. You being the biggest.

    • Pasqua

      Yor point that Nathan nearly blew the game makes Leyland’s decision relative to Rivera make MORE sense. Imagine Nathan coughs up the lead in the 8th — what happens to Mo then?

  • Duh Injuries

    *this ASG was not Nathan’s to close, it was Mo’s.

  • Get Phelps Up

    Now this gives Mo a reason to come back next year when the AL will have a 9th inning to pitch no matter what!

  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)
  • trr

    I’m just gonna say thanks again, Mo.
    Thanks for EVERYTHING

    • GreenArm

      agreed +100000

      who cares where he went in. he handled himself perfectly and is exactly what we need in this semi-dismal season. i’m 32 and at this point in my life, Mo is the best player (all around, on and off field) i have ever seen in real life) so bitch about gime not pitching in the 9th for the save. or shut the fuck up and enjoy what little we have left,

      (trr, not offending. just kinda drunkenly trying to build on what you said!)

      i vomited Mo love on twitter if you care to check: @GreenArmMike

  • Kramerica Industries

    When watching the highlight by itself, all context removed…

    Bone chilling.

  • Kiko Jones

    I’m going to bet MLB, and not Leyland, decided to bring in Mo in the 8th despite the score and that way ensure a clean tribute.

  • bkight13

    Mo started as a set up guy and finishes as a set up guy.

    Seriously, Leyland played it right. Mo got the entrance, the mound to himself, the standing O and a full inning to work. You knew he was getting the MVP and Corvette anyways. No reason to chance him not pitching at all.

  • forensic

    Didn’t really watch most of the game, but just took a look at the box score. If the White Sox were any good, I wonder how many conspiracy theories there would be about Leyland pitching Scherzer for only one inning but using Sale for two innings.

    • vicki

      yeah, leyland probably just wanted the better pitcher out there longer. since he can fairly expect to benefit from the home field advantage and all.

      • FIPster Doofus

        There’s no way Leyland thinks Sale is better than Scherzer. He probably threw his own guy one inning to preserve his arm as much as possible.

    • RetroRob

      When did Scherzer pitch last and when did Sale pitch last? It might have been a workload situation. I’m pretty sure Leyland would have had a conversation with the White Sox (and the other managers with pitchers at the game) on how they will be used.

      • forensic

        Scherzer pitched on the 13th and Sale pitched on the 11th. There’s a definite difference there. But again, I’m not saying there was a problem with it (he used the better pitcher longer, but of course gave his guy and the all-important pitcher wins the start), but it would’ve been interesting to see what would’ve come out in the next few days if there was a division race between the White Sox and Tigers.

        For example, maybe these two innings for Sale force him to wait until Sunday (4 days rest) to start again (unlikely, but you never know). That would mean he would miss the entire 4-game series the White Sox have against the Tigers as the 2nd series after the ASB.

  • Steinbrenner’s Ghost

    I think they wanted to get Mo in before 11 PM

  • SDB

    Don’t care about when it happened.

    But that was an amazing moment. Just an unbelievable sight that had me near tears.

  • FIPster Doofus

    I got major chills as soon as “Enter Sandman” hit. And I’m actually going to cry when Rivera makes the final appearance of his career, as pathetic as that might sound. Let’s just hope this deeply flawed team can somehow will itself into the playoffs so Mo can have one more run. My favorite athlete ever, hands down.

    • Kramerica Industries

      Can’t wait for the Yankees to come back to town in late August.

      Snapping up tickets to all three games ASAP. There’s no way I can pass up that opportunity. Totally with you on that last part. No one will ever replace Mo on my hierarchy.

    • SDB

      “I’m actually going to cry when Rivera makes the final appearance of his career, as pathetic as that might sound”

      there will probably be a lot of other fans being equally pathetic, in that case.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Good. Let’s all be pathetic together – hopefully after a World Series-clinching game that Rivera saves. Pipe dream, I know.

        • JLC 776

          Yeah, I’ll be crying like a baby too. And if 42 saves in the postseason is the final number, I’m kind of okay with that for the nice coincidence!

    • forensic

      I’m not typically a real touchy-feely (for lack of a better term at the moment) guy, often trying to keep things impersonal/detached.

      But, tonight was awesome and it was one of the first/few times that it really hit me that this is it for Mo. Him meeting with people at stadiums, getting gifts, etc. was largely just background noise to me. This one was definitely a big thing though.

  • RetroRob

    I was fine with how it played out.

    No knocks on Leyland. He did it to ensure Mo appeared and in a situation where the fans and players could honor him. Worked out fine.

    • forensic

      He got his honors and accolades and what have you, but it sucks that the 8th vs. 9th inning is now the main story rather than Mo’s last ASG. That’s the issue for me.

      Can he really not trust Joe Nathan to get 3 outs before 4 runs score in the 8th? And even if he does implode, then you bring Mo in during the inning and a similar reaction can occur (maybe not quite to the same level but still terrific).

      • RetroRob

        I think we’re chatting about it, but the rest of the world (judging by the news articles) are reporting on the positive moment, the ovation, etc.

        Leyland, from what I read, told Mo before the game that he was closing the 9th if the AL had a big lead, or he’d pitch in the 8th in a close game to ensure he appeared in the game. He had a plan to get Mo in the game so that he was honored, and he followed through on that plan.

        Yes, I would have preferred Mo closing it out, but I’m more than okay with the way it played out.

        • forensic

          You’re probably right. I’m basing a lot of it on what’s happening here and I don’t feel like looking around to see what MSM’s are saying about it.

          Oh well, still kinda sucks though.

          • RetroRob

            True. I can only judge this by what I’m reading since I’m in Europe at the moment, so missed the appearance. That’s the part that sucks for me! I checked the stories when I woke up, focused first on Cano getting hit to make sure he was alright, then read all the Mo tributes in the media, which made the appearance seem special. Then I came here and saw some complaining.

            As Yankee fans we want it to play out perfectly. This seems to have come as close as can be and I understand Leyland’s reasoning. It seemed to be the plan long before the game started.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          NPR actually mentioned it this morning. I was surprised.

      • gc

        It’s Jim Leyland. He’s used to having his Tigers closers suck ass and blow the game, so maybe it was just instinct kicking in? :)

  • Jeremy

    The “what if Mo didn’t get to pitch” thing doesn’t work SINCE THE NL DIDN’T SCORE A SINGLE DAMN RUN THE WHOLE GAME.

    “Mo started as a set up man, and ended as a setup man”, too bad he is going into the HOF as a CLOSER, not a setup man. He made his bread and butter as a CLOSER, not a setup man(No matter how good he was).

    MO should have pitched the 9th inning. Nathan and MO should have been warming up together, and Nathan should have been put in the 8th inning. THEN if Nathan gives up a run, or hell even a hit, you could then bring MO in and he would have still had a lead when he came in to pitch if that is what they were so damn worried about.

    Then again, that would be common sense and that is lacking these days.

    • forensic


      Sorry, just wanted to channel my inner Greg.

      Seriously though, I agree with many of your points, but I wouldn’t have Nathan and Mo both warming up. In a largely pointless ASG, I don’t want Mo warming up, sitting, then warming up again.

  • JLC 776

    No part of that game gave me even the slightest indication that the NL was suddenly going to put together four runs. Freaking ridiculous.

    At least he was rewarded with the MVP, although even that feels kind of like charity.

    • JLC 776

      But I’m being kind of unnecessarily curmudgeonly. Watching the videos again of Mo coming in last night and getting the MVP (with his entire family) was a great moment and quite tear inducing. And I don’t think Mo cared even one bit that he came in for the eighth.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    Mo got to pitch, had an incredible and unforgettable moment, was given the MVP, got an awesome car, a prolonged standing ovation, got to do an interview on national TV and got to address the fans with his family beside him on the field.

    Does it really matter if he got the save or a hold?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Let me answer that, on behalf of sanity, and I’m then putting this to rest: no, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter one goddamn bit.

      Thank you, Mo.

    • Pat D

      Considering the way it played out, it didn’t matter.

      If the result had been different, it might have mattered.

      • Mac

        I’m a little confused by your comment. There seem to be more ways it could have played out that would have made it a less fitting celebration of his career than bringing him out to start a fresh inning,

  • David Brown

    I think the issue of Rivera pitching the 8th instead of the 9th is nitpicking, just seeing him put up zeros in the All-Star Game (as he has always done), is good enough. Winning the “All-Star Game MVP is like when Henry Fonda won the Oscar for “On Golden Pond” is essentially a “Lifetime Achievement Award.” But like Fonda, he deserved it. Everything surrounding Rivera last night, was like Ted Williams at the 1999 All-Star Game in Boston (oddly enough, the last time a Pitcher (Pedro Martinez) won the MVP)), basically celebrating what he meant to the Game. The fact he won an award, that no Reliever has ever won before, is simply icing on the cake.
    The main reason to follow the Yankees this season is Rivera (I doubt they will make the playoffs). But, something to watch for: What I just read today, is Mariano is tied with Dan Quisenberry with five Rolaids Relief Man Awards (interesting enough, something Trevor Hoffman only accomplished twice). Wouldn’t it be awesome if in his Final Season he added a 6th, and added yet another Record to his Hall of Fame Resume? Accomplishing that would be a great way to his playing career. Not perfect (that would mean winning the World Series), but by howing everyone that he is the rare athlete who retired, yet was still the BEST at what he does.

    • Pat D

      Hey, Henry Fonda definitely deserved that Oscar, dammit! John Wayne winning for True Grit was more of a lifetime achievement award.

      But this did have the feeling of a lifetime achievement award for Mo. It also had to do with the fact that there were really no other standout performers in this game.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      It was known as the Fireman Award once, right? I’m not mis-remembering that, am I?

      • TishTash

        MLB issued a Rolaids-sponsored award, while the Sporting News had a similar Fireman award.

  • Darren

    Do you really want Mo coming in to a pressure packed 8th inning with two runners on base if Nathan can’t get the NL 1-2-3? Is that really worth it to give Mo a better shot of pitching the 9th? WHich he probably wouldn’t do any way if he had to get 3 outs in the 8th?

    Sorry, but Leyland played this absolutely right here. Getting Mo in the game was WAY more important than trying to walk the tightrope and get him in in the 9th.

    • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

      So he thought Nathan could hold a 3 run lead in the 9th inning but not the 8th? #logic’d

      • Mac

        Ironically, I don’t see much logic in what you’ve said.

        The ultimate goal here was really to celebrate Mo’s career in the best way possible. The idea you are trying to respond to is that letting someone else start the 8th diminishes the chances of that happening. That being brought in mid-inning to take a truncated warm up in the middle of some degree of a jam was not the best time to celebrate his career. And, obviously, waiting until the start of the 9th might not have been an option. These are All-Star RPs, but they were also facing an All-Star line-up.

        In fact, it’s possible that MLB suggested to Leyland to bring Mo in to start an inning because of the logistics of things. Certainly seems like, objectively, it was the right way to handle things.

        • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

          The last time I checked Mariano Rivera was not the all time leader in Holds. He did not make his claim to fame pitching the 8th inning. (’96 yeah yeah yeah) The way you celebrate the all time save leaders career in the all star game is letting him get a save. Period. I wonder if any other All Star Game MVP was the guy who pitched the 8th inning. If Nathan gets into trouble you bring in Mo for most likely 1 batter and you can give him a standing ovation in the 9th inning. The important thing is for the greatest closer of all time to get the save. That being said I was more upset last night than I am today about it, and I predict that I will care even less tomorrow.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      They’re all All-Star closers. We should be able to trust any of them to get the job done. It’s not like Leyland was staring at Valverde and Albuquerque there.

  • hogsmog

    Knowing Mo, he probably didn’t care even a little bit what inning he pitched. Hell, he probably would have been just as happy if he played left field in the eighth. So I don’t really see why we should care.

  • Joe R

    I get why he did it. But I still just dont like it. It’s only right for Mo to be closing it out, especially in New York. If you have enough faith in Nathan to close out a 3 run lead, then you should have enough faith that he’ll get through the 8th without giving up 4 runs.

  • mt

    Although I thought it strange that that Mo didn’t pitch ninth but this is one of those things that people will forget in a day or so – basically he had his wonderful send-off moment and was acknowledged by fans and players from both sides – that it was matters most.

    If Yankees don’t make playoffs (more of a chance right now they don’t make it than they do make it) Mo’s last game will be a road game in Houston of all places.

  • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    I can’t wait until Jeter is at his last All Star game and Jim Leyland puts him at catcher.

    What happened last night was horrible. Glad Mo got MVP but it was just so wrong.

    • JLC 776

      The way things are going, Jeter is going to injure himself during the pre-game press conference.

  • Roadgeek Adam

    Meh, I’m not mad at Leyland. I’m mad at Brett Myers.