Mariano Rivera Blows First Save Opportunity, but Yankees Look Strong

Bill Ford@billfordwritesCorrespondent IIIApril 7, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06:  Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees throws a pitch against the Detroit Tigers during Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on October 6, 2011 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

New York Yankees legendary closer Mariano Rivera blew his first save opportunity in the Opening Day game against the Tampa Bay Rays, but there is no need to be concerned.

The Yankees were quickly down by four runs in the first inning, but Raul Ibanez proved his worth with a three-run home run blast in the third inning.

Reliever David Robertson, a likely candidate to become the full-time closer after Rivera retires, walked one and gave up one single, putting runners on the corners, and then struck out three batters in the eighth inning.

New York held a 6-5 lead until the ninth inning when Rivera entered the game and blew the save. Carlos Pena got the game-winning hit off of Rivera.

Every game is important, but this is only one game. Losing the first game of the season doesn't exactly boost the confidence of the team, but there is plenty of baseball ahead.

Back in 2009, the Yankees were swept by the Boston Red Sox in three separate series during the season. The Yankees went on to win the World Series that year.

The point is that although the Yankees fell apart, in the end they will get it together and have a strong season. They will regain their confidence and overcome, just like they always do.

For the first game of the season, the Yankees appeared to be solid even with some mistakes.

Losing the first game knocked the wind out of the players and the fans, but with 161 games left to play, the Yankees have plenty of time to take the AL East.