It took New York closer Mariano Rivera blowing his first save at home in seemingly forever as the Twins beat the Yankees on Sunday. The Twins had not beaten the Yankees in baseball lines since 2007.
Baseball odds favor New York on a regular basis and against the Twins it has been for good reason. The Yankees had won the last twelve against the Twins before Sunday’s loss. Rivera has saved 51 straight games at home, a Major League record. He didn’t get the save on Sunday though as he walked Jim Thome before Jason Kubel hit a grand slam. It was such a shock that even Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire was surprised. "You probably should have recorded that. Take pictures. It's probably not something you will see often," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's the best in the game."
No player had hit a grand slam off Rivera since 2002. "You assume he's going to close every single game," Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira said, "If you ask people in New York, they probably think his save percentage is a thousand, because that's how good he is." It was the first time this season Rivera had allowed a run. Rivera was more upset about allowing the walk than giving up the grand slam. "Home run, anything can happen. But walking a run in is unacceptable," Rivera said. "You can not go in there and do that."
The last win for Minnesota before Sunday against the Yankees vs. the baseball lines came in July of 2007. "As far as I'm concerned, we're 1-0 against the Yankees in our last one game played," Gardenhire said. "We'll construe the numbers any way we want now."
The Twins and Yankees could easily be headed for another meeting in the playoffs this season. Minnesota looks very strong in the American League Central while the Yankees are right with Tampa Bay in the American League East. While the Twins win vs. the baseball odds might not seem important now, it could give Minnesota some much needed confidence if the teams meet down the road in the playoffs. You never want to have a big losing streak hanging over your head against any team, particularly one as good as the Yankees.