The New York Yankees try to get acquainted to life without Mariano Rivera this evening when they continue a four-game set with the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
The future Hall of Fame reliever suffered a torn right anterior cruciate ligament while attempting to snag a fly ball along the warning track prior to Thursday's opener.
He leapt at the wall and as he came down, his knee buckled underneath him. He immediately clutched at his knee and was in visible pain.
"I grabbed myself between the grass and the dirt. I couldn't pull my leg up and twisted it (the knee). It's an ACL. Torn actually. Meniscus also," Rivera said.
Rivera, whose 608 saves are the most in MLB history, had to be carted off the field as concerned teammates and coaches looked on, wondering if that's the last image we'll see of the 42-year-old hurler.
"It all depends how the rehab is going to happen," said Rivera, who hadn't been on the disabled list since 2003. "From there, we'll see."
Still stunned by the Rivera injury the Yankees went out and lost Thursday's contest, as Mike Moustakas had two hits, including a solo home run, to go with three runs batted in as Kansas City picked up its first home win of the season with a 4-3 triumph.
Moustakas also made a nifty barehanded play on Alex Rodriguez's slow roller down the third-base line to end the ballgame, stranding Derek Jeter at third base.
Danny Duffy (2-2) allowed two runs on six hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings for Kansas City, which has won five of its past seven games. The win was the first in 11 home games for the Royals.
Derek Jeter had four hits, including his 500th career double, to go with two runs scored for the Yankees, who were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
David Phelps (0-1) took the loss after giving up two runs on six hits in four innings.
The Yankees are 23-9 in games immediately following shutout losses since the start of the 2008 season, winning six of the last eight such contests.
That number could improve tonight, as the Yanks turn to lefty CC Sabathia, who has won his last three starts. Sabathia beat the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, holding them to two runs and four hits in eight innings to improve to 3-0 and lowered his ERA to 4.58.
Sabathia is 17-10 lifetime against the Royals with a 3.30 ERA in 34 games.
Kansas City, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Bruce Chen, who is 0-3 with a 4.23 ERA. Chen dropped his third straight start on Sunday in Minnesota, as he gave up six runs in just 2 2/3 innings.
"It wasn't Bruce's day. He just didn't have his good stuff," Royals manager Ned Yost said after the game. "He couldn't command it, he didn't have the velocity on his fastball. It was just one of those days for Bruce."
Chen has struggled in his career against the Yankees, going 2-5 with a 6.52 ERA in 17 games (13) starts.
The Yankees split six meetings with the Royals last season.