A question for the assembled masses to start things off: How many of you thought the Yankees were going to win Thursday night's game with the Rays after Johnny Damon tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth inning?
With the way this week has gone, we'd wager that more of you were wondering how they'd wind up losing this thing. Turns out they'd lose it in the worst way possible. Mariano Rivera gave up back-to-back homers in the ninth to secure an 8-6 loss and create the latest headache in a week of migraines.
Rivera giving up back-to-back homers? That just isn't supposed to happen, even in the wind tunnel of a stadium that the Yankees were playing in last night. In fact, it had never happened before last night, and was followed with the grim admission from Joe Girardi that Rivera was suffering from a tired shoulder as a result of his offseason shoulder surgery.
The Yankees can come back from 13-15, especially with Alex Rodriguez coming back on Friday night, but they probably can't go far without the mighty Rivera at his best. He's now given up four home runs already this season, the most he's given up in any season since 2001. He's 39 and coming off of surgery. It is too soon to go into a complete panic about Rivera's performance, but it isn't too soon for thoughts of his end to wander into your mind.
Damon and a few others have done good things, but just about everyone on the roster has done their fair share to contribute to an awful week. Keeping a stiff upper lip was hard, yet not impossible because of Rivera. It's quivering this morning, because we've never seen anything like this before.