Aug
28

16-0 looks ugly no matter what

By

Ain’t much to say tonight. That was ugly all around, the Yanks lost a chance to gain ground as the Mariners fell to the Angels. But let’s chat about two pitchers not long for their current roles.

A few weeks ago, I noted that Mike Mussina was thriving because his strike out totals were up. I also wondered if that success was a mirage. I wondered if his good July was more a product of the crappy teams against which the Yanks had played rather than some sort of Fountain of Youth that Mussina had developed. When I said that his next few starts against the Tigers and Angels would go a long way toward tell us about the real Mike Mussina, I didn’t expect this debacle.

In his last three starts — two against Detroit, one against The O.C. Angels — Mussina has lasted a total of 9.2 innings. His up 25 hits allowed and 5 walks have led to 19 earned runs, and he’s mustered just 3 strike outs. His fastball is sitting in the low 80s, and his breaking pitches aren’t doing much of anything.

That being said, to whom do the Yankees turn? Matt DeSalvo was great tonight, but was 1-3 with a 6.18 in 7 Big League appearances earlier this year. I would always rather take my chances with Mike Mussina than Kei Igawa, and Ian Kennedy just isn’t coming up. Maybe the Yanks go with Steven White, but in reality, their best bet has been turned into their 8th inning set-up guy. Joba won’t be starting this season, but maybe he should be.

As the Yanks look past next week to next year, they’re going to have to address the Mike Mussina issue. Maybe they’ll buy out the last year of his contract, but I doubt Mussina would go for that. He’s due $12 million, and he wants to pitch. The question becomes can he pitch?

On the other side of things is Sean Henn. Henn, 26, has gone 6.1 IP over his last three appearances. His 15 hits and 8 walks have led to 15 runs (and two losses). At this point, I truly believe something is going on between the Yankees and Chris Britton that has kept this pitcher in the minors. Maybe he’s going through some personal issues. Maybe there’s some odd beef between him and Torre. Maybe the Yanks wanted to closely monitor his innings after watching two other relievers (Chris Ray, B.J. Ryan) blow out their arms after getting overworked by the Baltimore Orioles. But any way you slice it, Henn’s gotta go.

The Yanks could call up Britton. They could call up Ben Kozlowski. Just please, end the Sean Henn Era.

Categories : Game Stories

10 Comments»

  1. Luddy Bazcej says:

    Youre right on the money Ben, what can you say?

    Tonight was the first time this season I felt like we didnt deserve to make the playoffs. Just a horrible showing on every front.

    By the way, keep the game thread going, the one Petey Abe has is good but theres so many posts its hard to follow. I like the low key nature of last nights thread. Cheers mate

  2. Relaunch says:

    Good call on Mike “Metldown” Mussina’s performance in July. Unfortunately though, I now don’t even want him pitching to bad teams like the Drays.

  3. Mike A. says:

    As bad as Moose & Henn (sounds like some crappy cartoon hero & sidekick combo) where, what Joe Torre dubbed his “A” lineup failed to produce anything. Maybe they just coasted after getting down by double digits, but 16 run drubbing hides the fact that the offense did nothing.

  4. Jersey says:

    Verlander ain’t chopped liver – a guy like that can shut down anyone.

    It’s sad to see Moose fade the way he has…I know he’s been unpopular for some, with his whiny and neurosis and eccentricitiy, but I’ve always liked him for that reason.

  5. David says:

    Just saw Britton pitch – he’s listed at 280 but looks closer to 300 … perhaps that has some bearing on the Yankees’ unwillingness to call him up – he just looks huge and out of shape. He’s also given up a hit an inning in AAA, which probably makes him a below-average reliever in the majors. Just my thoughts.

    • Mike A. says:

      But everything’s better when you get a fat guy involved.

    • Ben K. says:

      Chris Britton in the Major Leagues pitching for Baltimore in 2006: 53.7 IP, 46 H, 3.35 ERA, 17 BB, 41 K. He’s given up seven fewer hits than innings pitched in the Minors, which is substantial given the number of innings he’s thrown. He has Major League experience, and he sure is better than Sean Henn or Brian Bruney.

  6. Wordekemper = Wizard says:

    Looking at call-ups for Moose, I’m betting on either Kozlowski or DeSalvo and I’m leaning to DeSalvo. The precarious nature of Mussina’s tough luck time has me thinking that Joe will want to go with a semi-known quantity, really the poor man’s Mike Mussina, a somewhat perfect reflection of what Mussina said the other day. Moose may as well have said, “Who were they going to replace me with? I mean, I have seen DeSalvo at this level from up close.”
    The good pitching of late from the 9 pitch, 2 are MLB quality wonder is obviously further reason to give the spot-start to him, along with the rotation ease of DeSalvo having pitched the same night. I think he has even started against the Rays already, which will somehow be sold into the picture. What figures is that DeSalvo actually pitches ok; Moose identifies a flaw in his delivery, a strand of muscle that was achy, something; Moose gets another shot and pitches ok, and our unease continues on into the playoffs.

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