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YORK -- Metallica's "Enter Sandman" played earlier on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium than in previous postseason games, as injured closer Mariano Rivera threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Orioles.
Public-address announcer Paul Olden never announced Rivera's name as the 42-year-old took the mound in full uniform to the sound of his iconic warmup music and delivered a strike off the mound to backup catcher Chris Stewart.
Should the Yankees find themselves in a save situation this postseason, it will instead be "Pitch, Soriano" playing throughout Yankee Stadium -- the song personalized for Rafael Soriano, who took over closing duties for New York shortly after Rivera tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while shagging fly balls during batting practice on May 3 in Kansas City.
Soriano converted 42 saves in 46 opportunities during the regular season but has yet to appear this postseason. The right-hander has one career playoff save, which he recorded for Tampa Bay in 2010, while Rivera holds the record with 42 career playoff saves.
Rivera has repeatedly said he has every intention of returning next season, unlike veteran left-handed starter Andy Pettitte, who said before throwing out the first pitch prior to Game 2 of the ALDS last season against Detroit that he believed he would remain retired. Pettitte made 12 regular-season starts this year and took the loss in Monday's Game 2 at Baltimore.