So far this season, the Tampa Bay Rays have twice knocked Mariano Rivera out of a game mid-inning. The first came on May 7 at Replica Yankee Stadium when Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria both took Mo deep. The second came this past Saturday when both Joe Dillon and BJ Upton hit run-scoring singles.
How rare is it to see Rivera hand the ball to his manager from the mound?
Prior to these two games, it had not happened since April 27, 2007, when Rivera allowed 4 runs against the Red Sox and only recorded 1 out.
Of course, Rivera came back and recorded the save in each of the last two games, so we wouldn’t dare say the Rays own Rivera. But at least the Rays will be able to lean on these two games later in the season, as they now know that the Great Mariano is no longer invincible.