New York Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera earned his 500th career save in a 4-2 victory over the crosstown New York Mets.
He becomes the second major league pitcher with at least 500 saves. Only Trevor Hoffman of the Milwaukee Brewers has more with 571.
But the evening might be best remembered for Rivera driving in his first run of his long major league career.
Closers don't often have an opportunity to get a plate appearance especially AL closers. In fact, prior to this season, Rivera had only one career plate appearance.
Rivera entered the game in the 8th inning and had to bat in the 9th when Derek Jeter was intentionally walked to load the bases. Rivera had the unenviable task of facing Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez, his closing counterpart with the Mets. Last season, K-Rod set a single season record with 62 saves while with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Yet in only his third career plate appearance, Rivera drew a bases loaded walk from K-Rod and drove in his first major league run giving the Yankees some insurance. This makes his 500th save that much more interesting.
Yes, I am a diehard Red Sox fan. Yet Mariano Rivera is a first ballot Hall of Famer and his 500th save is a magnificent milestone. Even if he did it all with the Yankees.