Well this wasn’t the way the Joe Girardi had hoped to start off the New York Yankees’ season. The Yankees started their 2012 season in St. Petersburg, Florida to face AL East rivals, Tampa Bay Rays. It was a game that had two great pitchers set to duel it out until the end. That is until Carlos Pena ruined CC Sabathia’s outing with a huge grand slam. How is that for a “Did you miss me folks cuz I am hear to stay!” from Mr. Pena. Pena played with the Rays’ previously, but signed with the Chicago Cubs for a one-year deal last year. You would think that was enough of a confidence boost, but not with those pesky Yankees. Despite the grand slam, the Yankees went up 6-5 up until the ninth inning. If this was a few years ago, every Yankee fan would have turned their television off knowing that Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all time, was coming in to throw about five or six pitches and end the game. However, this is an older Rivera who is still one of the top in the league, but he is vulnerable to giving up big hits which is exactly what happened. Desmond Jennings led off with a single right up the middle to start the rally. Ben Zobrist followed that up with a triple deep to right center that brought the tying run home. Girardi decided to load the bases up and in a smart move he took Nick Swisher out and replaced him with an infielder. This left the Yankees playing with five infielders guarding all the gaps and only two infielders because if anything was hit out there the game was over regardless. So who steps up to bat? Mr. Carlos Pena of course. With one out, Pena crushed the ball once again to deep center for what looked like a possible second grand slam. However, the ball stayed in the park and Zobrist came trotting in to home leaving Rivera to walk off the field with his head hung low. This was definitely one of the most exciting games this Opening Day weekend. However, I am sure this will be one of maybe four blown saves this year that we will see from Mariano so I do not think that the Yankees should be worried. It sure does feel good to see though as a Mets fan who’s bullpen really came through yesterday!

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