One of the most intriguing things about the ninth inning rally by the Blue Jays on Tuesday was Mariano Rivera's inability to finish off two hitters -- Adam Lind and Jose Molina.
Rivera had both of them in favorable two-strike counts (0-2 or 1-2) and in those situations, he's historically money to either get the out, or at worst, throw a ball and extend the at-bat a little bit more. The last three seasons, opponents on-base percentages against him in all two-strike counts were .137, .199 and .177.
But Lind got his hit on a 1-2 pitch, and after John McDonald's bunt, Molina got his hit on an 0-2 pitch (Rivera allowed only one hit all of last season on 0-2). Rivera did get an out with an 0-2 pitch (Corey Patterson's double play ball) after the damage was already done.
In 2010, Rivera allowed a total of six hits in favorable two-strike counts (as we noted, 0-2, or 1-2). This season, he's already yielded five.
A search of Baseball-Reference.com showed that Tuesday marked the first time that Rivera allowed a pair of two-strike hits in highly-favorable counts (0-2, 1-2) IN THE SAME INNING of a regular season game since September 4, 2004 against the Orioles.(Rafael Palmeiro, Larry Bigbie).