BALTIMORE -- Mariano Rivera insists that no matter what the numbers look like, this season is still going to mark the end of his illustrious career.
If so, then what a way to go out. Rivera has converted all 17 of his save opportunities, the second-longest such streak of his career, and he leads the American League in saves.
"I feel good. Just going out there day in and day out, giving my best, everything that I have," Rivera said. "I always feel confidence, always, no matter what the situation is. I always have confidence in my teammates, confidence in myself, and the rest keeps moving."
Rivera, 43, has plenty of work ahead if he wants to match his longest streak, 28 converted opportunities, a string he put together to open the 2008 season. In addition, with one more appearance, he'll snap a tie with Hoyt Wilhelm (1,070) and move into a tie with Dennis Eckersley (1,071) for fourth place all-time for games pitched.
"Mo is special. It's not normal what he does," outfielder Vernon Wells said. "We're just glad to have him on this team. We'll continue giving him opportunities, he'll continue slamming the door, and we'll shake hands after the game."
Rivera said that having so many save opportunities early in the season has helped keep him sharp, but there's also another side to that equation that needs to be watched closely.
"Definitely, you're pitching more, so the sharpness is going to be there, but at the same time, you're pitching more, so it's a lot of wear and tear," he said. "As long as you stay healthy and do what you have to do to be ready to perform at that time and the way that we're going, you don't think about it. You just have to continue."
Rivera is fine with the amount of calls that manager Joe Girardi has made for him, and noted that he is not the only one in the bullpen handling a heavy workload.
"Oh, yeah. I'm fine," he said. "Everybody is pitching. That's what it is. It's not only about one player. It's about 25 players and a bunch of guys in the bullpen that we have. Everybody is doing their job. It's a nice thing, and I enjoy every bit of it."
Granderson slowly regaining timing, rhythm
BALTIMORE -- Curtis Granderson has been working on knocking off the rust after spending most of the season on the disabled list, and he has been reviewing video with hitting coach Kevin Long in hopes of getting his swing right.
It's always nice when a few results start to come into play. Batting leadoff against the Orioles on Wednesday, Granderson went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, finishing a triple short of the cycle.
"That's just baseball," Granderson said. "It's a matter of a game, a pitch, a swing, all the stuff like that. It doesn't necessarily mean anything is resolved by any means, it's just one game."
Manager Joe Girardi had Granderson leading off because he said that Ichiro Suzuki's numbers against Orioles starter Jason Hammel (7-for-14) factored into his thinking and that he wanted to give Brett Gardner an extended break with Thursday's off-day.
Granderson is trying to get his timing and rhythm right, and suggested that he might need just one swing or at-bat to turn things around. He also said that because of his late start, the sample size on which to judge him has been quite small.
"I felt like across the board everything was roughly the same," he said. "You look at the two balls that were hit [on Tuesday]; if they're a few inches left or right, they could go as two hits. Today, same thing. If they were two inches left or right, they could go as outs. Just continue to keep swinging it, and working with K-Long. That's the big thing right now."
With Gardner on the bench, Granderson started on Wednesday in center field. He has also played left field and right field since returning and has not been affected by bouncing around.
"It doesn't matter to me. I've played all three outfield positions before," he said before the game. "It's just a matter of when and where. I look at the lineup every day, and it's always going to potentially change, like it has been since I've been here. It's not anything different for me."
Yanks exec Tymon honored by U.S. Army
BALTIMORE -- The Yankees announced on Wednesday that Deborah A. Tymon, senior vice president of marketing, will receive the Outstanding Civilian Service Award from the U.S. Army in recognition of her decades of service in support of the military.
The award is the third-highest public-service honor the U.S. Army can bestow upon a civilian. Presenting the honor to Tymon will be Gen. Ray Odierno, the 38th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army.
Since joining the Yankees' front office in 1985, Tymon has spearheaded many initiatives involving the military and veterans. She has been instrumental in developing the Yankees' close relationship with the Wounded Warrior Project, making injured veterans the focus of hundreds of public and private ceremonies and events.
"I'm incredibly honored and overwhelmed," Tymon said in a statement. "Over the years, I have had the great privilege of meeting countless members of the armed services. Their stories of sacrifice always leave me breathless. It has been an honor for me to give back to them with the support of the Yankees and show them the appreciation they deserve."
Tymon's father, James Tymon, served in the 6th Marine Division and 29th Regiment during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.
Joining Tymon in receiving the award on Wednesday are actor Gary Sinise of the Gary Sinise Foundation, Ryan Blanck of the Center for the Intrepid, Kathleen Gagg of the Got Your Back Network and Ken Fisher of the Fisher House Foundation.
• Left-hander Andy Pettitte (strained left trapezius) will play catch on Thursday in Tampa, Fla., and would then progress to long-tossing. Pettitte, who is on the disabled list retroactive to May 17, would need to throw a bullpen session and a simulated game before returning.
• Mark Teixeira (right wrist) and Kevin Youkilis (sprained lumbar) each had six at-bats in simulated action on Wednesday in Tampa, and according to manager Joe Girardi, Youkilis is getting closer to increasing his action.
• In additional injury updates, Eduardo Nunez (strained left oblique) took batting practice on Wednesday, and right-hander Ivan Nova (right triceps) threw a light side session. Michael Pineda (right rotator cuff) could pitch in another extended spring game on Thursday.
• On this date in 1963, Mickey Mantle hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning off the A's Bill Fischer that struck the frieze in the upper deck of right field at Yankee Stadium. The drive is believed to be the closest a fair ball ever came to leaving the old Stadium, and several eyewitnesses claimed the ball was still rising when it struck the frieze.