Mariano Rivera pitched his final game at Yankee Stadium on Thursday evening, leaving with a prolonged and tearful impromptu ceremony. After Rivera's bullpen warm-up commanded more attention than anything the hapless Yankees could muster on the field, he entered in the eighth inning to one last rumbling rendition of "Enter Sandman."
Rivera cleaned up after Dellin Betances to get out of the eighth, then took down two batters in the ninth -- one with a quick glove play -- before Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter strode out to the mound to fetch him. After a long, sobbing embrace, Rivera departed, making one drawn-out curtain call for the packed stadium.
In a fashion typical of this lost season, the Yankees offered only emotional support, not run support, losing 4-0 to the Rays. Rivera did his job as he always has, though: 1⅓ innings, four batters, 13 pitches, seven strikes, and not a single man on base.
After one final, solitary moment in the dugout, he marched out to the mound, gathered himself some dirt, and bid farewell to the stadium he made his own for 19 years.