Over at WasWatching, Steve took care of some research I was about to conduct on Mike Mussina. Here’s what he (and I) have found:
In the 12 games started by Mussina where the Yankees lost: Mussina averages 4.8 IP per start and has an ERA of 8.16.
In the 10 games started by Mussina where the Yankees won: Mussina averages 6.3 IP per start and has an ERA of 2.57.
While Steve’s conclusion is that Mussina is good while on and terrible while off a la Randy Johnson 2006, I have a different conclusion: Mike Mussina simply cannot pitch against good teams and expect to win.
The ten games in which Mussina has pitched and the Yanks have won came against some pretty woeful teams going through bad stretches. He beat Texas in back-to-back starts in May; he has pitched well in wins against the White Sox twice; he beat the Royals twice; he stifled a pathetic Oakland offense and downed the Devil Rays.
On the flip side, Mussina has gotten shelled by the Red Sox (twice), Angels, Tigers, and, um, the Devil Rays and Orioles. He can’t beat playoff contenders and seems to have problems with teams that have a few good hitters.
And, hey, we’ve got him for another season too. That two-year extension just looks better and better with every passing minute. Ted Lilly and his 3.88 ERA would have come to New York for a lesser per-year deal that Mussina received.