Mariano Rivera Blows 3 Straight Saves for First Time in His Career

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2013

Mariano Rivera will go down as the greatest MLB closer of all time, but his final season is taking a turn for the worse.

In Sunday's game against the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees held a 4-2 lead going into the ninth inning. Unfortunately, Rivera was unable to seal up the victory.Β Β 

The 43-year-old pitcher gave up home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez to blow his third save in as many opportunities. As ESPN Stats and Info notes, this is something we have never seen before:

Rivera also suffered blown saves on Aug. 7 against the Chicago White Sox and Aug. 9 against the Tigers, when Cabrera hit a game-tying home run. This was another rare feat, according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports:

Ryan Field of Fox Sports 1 provides this statistic as well:

The reigning AL MVP has made a lot of pitchers look awful over the past few years, so his latest conquest should not be all that surprising.

New York eventually won Sunday's game thanks to a Brett Gardner walk-off home run, giving Rivera the win. Still, the recent slide provides plenty of reason to be concerned about the future Hall of Famer.

Heading into the week, the closer ranked second in the American League with 35 saves while only blowing two all season. He had a 1.56 ERA and provided little reason to doubt that he would continue this dominant level of play.

However, the last three appearances have seen his ERA balloon up to 2.44 thanks to five earned runs in a total of four innings.

The Yankees remain in striking distance of a playoff spot after the recent win, but the team will have to get better play from its All-Star closer in order to reach the postseason.

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