The Yankees don’t care how long a win takes, as long as it ends with Mariano Rivera on the mound.
Rivera is expected to return from tightness in his left side that sidelined the closer for a week. The Bombers’ trip to Boston this weekend is the first since umpire Joe West ripped the teams’ slow pace as “pathetic and embarrassing.”
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“We’re there to win games, not get finished in two and a half hours,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “So I expect our players to play hard, continue to be selective and do the things they need to do to win a game.”
One of those things includes handing off the ball to Rivera. The 40-year-old stopper was ready to return Wednesday, but the team opted to give him another day off. The decision almost backfired, as a patchwork bullpen gave up three homers and barely hung on for a win against Baltimore.
“We had to deal with it the last few days, but we did OK,” Girardi said. “But I like having [Rivera] down there.”