Rivera out with stiffness, Joba called to close
Tonight, Joba Chamberlain entered a 4-1 game in the ninth inning and, with a save situation on hand, many were left wondering why Mariano Rivera did not get the call instead. Well, we have an answer to that situation via Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger. According to Carig, Mariano Rivera reported stiffness in his side on Saturday after pitching in Friday’s game against the White Sox. Until now, the Yankees haven’t really needed Rivera since his appearance on Friday. His absence today might indicate that the stiffness has yet to subside, although Joe Girardi was likely just being safe with the 40-year old pitcher.
UPDATE (10:00 pm) – In Joe Girardi’s post-game interview, he said that Rivera’s stiffness originated from his left side. When asked to name the problem area explicitly – “side” is a very general term – Girardi said that the Yankees’ trainers had been referring to it as a “flank,” and by that, I think he means “abdominal flank.” While this is a problem, Girardi did note that the issue was improving, and that Rivera played catch earlier today (a good sign). He also added that Rivera could be available tomorrow.