There’s never any guarantee that a relief pitcher will get into
a game, but it seems like a good bet that Mariano Rivera will be
coming out of the bullpen for the New York Yankees against the
Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
The future Hall of Fame closer and last player to wear No. 42 is
in his final season, and he’ll be joined by teammates and opponents
alike in wearing 42 on their jerseys as Major League Baseball
commemorates the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the
Though the formal honoring of Robinson’s feat took place Monday,
as Robinson made his debut April 15, 1947, the festivities
continuing a day later at Yankee Stadium seems particularly
appropriate with Rivera appearing in uniform for the final time
during the landmark anniversary. MLB retired Robinson’s No. 42
across baseball in 1997, and Rivera will be the final one to wear
it as he’s announced his retirement after the season.
“As a minority, I feel honored wearing the No. 42 and carrying
the legacy that Jackie Robinson left,” Rivera told MLB’s official
website. “I wear it with good pride. That’s the way it goes. All
the guys retired or left, and I’m still carrying the number. I feel
blessed for that.”
If Rivera does pitch Tuesday, the Yankees hope it’s with a
chance to extend their surge. New York (6-5) has won five of six
since a rough start, defeating Baltimore 3-0 on Sunday.
Hiroki Kuroda pitched a five-hitter for his fifth career
shutout, the fourth strong performance by a New York starter in the
six-game span. In those four contests – all wins – starting
pitchers went at least seven innings each time, allowing two total
Ivan Nova will have to be much better than he was in his first
start to add to that trend. The right-hander, who hasn’t pitched
since April 5 due to two consecutive weather postponements and then
being skipped in the rotation, gave up four runs in 4 2-3 innings
of an 8-3 loss at Detroit.
Nova seemed to be nearly a sure thing when he took the mound
during a 30-start stretch June 10, 2011-June 23, 2012, going 21-2
with a 3.71 ERA while the Yankees went 25-5. Since then, he’s 3-7
with a 6.00 ERA in 15 games, with his team posting a 5-10 mark.
Nova has never faced Arizona.
The Diamondbacks (8-4) have also gotten some strong pitching of
late, posting shutouts in two of their last three. Arizona defeated
the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on Sunday behind Trevor Cahill and
However, Arizona will also be sending a struggling pitcher to
the mound Tuesday in Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 7.71 ERA). The
right-hander gave up six runs – four earned – and 10 hits in 6 2-3
innings of a 6-5 loss to Pittsburgh last Tuesday in his second
“I apologized to him, because I feel like I called a really bad
game,” catcher Miguel Montero told MLB’s website. “I think he had
really good stuff going, I just didn’t make the right calls.
“… I started mixing up, changing speeds more, because we were
going hard, hard, hard. I think I’m going to grab what we did there
and use it from now on, because it was pretty good.”
McCarthy is 2-0 with a 5.29 ERA in three starts versus New York,
the last coming in August 2011 while with Oakland.
Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt, batting a team-best .348, had an RBI
single in the ninth inning Sunday and has gone 4 for 8 in the past
The Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli and Lyle Overbay have each gone
7 for their last 16.