For the third consecutive game, closer Mariano Rivera was not available as he continued to battle lingering soreness near his right elbow. But manager Joe Girardi said he expects the closer to be ready for Thursday night’s series opener against the Rays.
“He’s gotten better each day,” said Girardi, who has been encouraged by Rivera’s improvement. “It was my choice. Let’s make sure he’s OK before we send him out there. It’s only been three days. It’s not like it’s been two weeks.”
“I feel better today,” Rivera said. “I definitely feel better today. Better than yesterday, and we’ll see.”
Rivera said he could have pitched on Wednesday, but that the Yankees were being cautious with him and would not let him pitch. With the way the bullpen has been decimated this season it is probably better to be safe than sorry. Of course David Robertson has been amazing this year, but Rivera has been his usual rock solid self even as he is 41-years-old.
Rivera has not pitched since Sunday against the Mets.