The Texas Rangers have done the unthinkable.
Not only was it big news last night when the great Mariano Rivera blew only his third save of the season but it marked the second time this season that the Rangers have beaten Rivera in walk-off fashion.
In doing so, they became the first team ever with two walk-off wins in one season against Rivera.
A quick recap: With the Yankees ahead, 6-5, Rivera pitches the ninth to close it out. He starts by walking the "un-walkable" Vladimir Guerrero. Esteban German pinch runs for Guerrero. The next batter, Nelson Cruz, hits a single to right, moving German to third. The next batter, Ian Kinsler, doubles to left, scoring German and moving N. Cruz to third. Game tied 6-6, blown save for Rivera. With runners on second and third, no outs, Rivera intentionally walks the next batter, Chris Davis, to load the bases. The next batter, pinch-hitter Andres Blanco, pops to first, one out. Then Rivera, who has impeccable control, unconventionally hits the next batter, Jeff Francoeur, forcing in the winning run. Rangers win 7-6, on a walk-off hit-batsman.
It was the first time in Rivera's career that he losses a game on a hit-batsman and the first time he loses twice in one season (in walk-off fashion) to a single team. The Rangers also beat Rivera in walk-off fashion on August 10.
I guess sometimes fact is stranger than fiction.
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