Game 2: Counting on Mussina


Mike Mussina is, whether we like it or not, a key cog to the Yankees’ success this season. Until the team is ready to move Joba Chamberlain out of that 8th inning role — and if he keeps doing what he did last night, that won’t be anytime soon — Mussina will be starting every fifth day. He needs to give the Yankees innings, and he needs to keep them in the game.

2007 will not be one for the ages for Mike Mussina. He hurled a career, full-season low of 152 innings while turning in a 5.15 ERA, a mark 1.40 runs above his career average. He failed to reach 100 strike outs for just the second time since 1992 and gave up 36 more hits than innings pitched.

If Mussina can keep his ERA around 4.50 this season, the Yankees will win his games. This a team that will score a lot of runs in many different ways, and if Moose can go 5-6 innings and allow 3-4 runs a start, the Yanks can find a way to win. Mussina is optimistic about his season. He knows that he needs to turn in a solid 2008 if he wants a contract somewhere in 2009. Let’s see if he’s true to his word.

The Yankees will go with the same lineup as last night. The Blue Jays have some changes.

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez SS
Giambi 1B
Cano 2B
Posada C Matsui DH
Matsui DH Molina C
Cabrera CF

Mussina RHP

Blue Jays
Eckstein SS
Stewart LF
Rios RF
Wells CF
Thomas DH
Overbay 1B
Hill 2B
Scutaro 3B
Barajas C

Burnett RHP

Notes: A.J. Burnett is 3-2 with a 3.20 ERA in six career starts against the Yanks. In 39.1 innings, he’s given up just 27 hits while striking out 35…Please consider donating to the Big Three Ks Craniosynostosis fund drive…Last night, we had over 200 posts on the game thread. That’s a RAB record.

Update 6:30 p.m.: Jorge Posada out; Jose Molina in. Jorge reportedly is day-to-day with a stiff right shoulder. He tweaked it yesterday and could not get loose enough to play in today’s cold weather. With 160 games left, there’s no point in running Jorge out there this early if he’s not feeling up to it.

Categories : Game Threads


  1. pete c. says:

    The thing about Mussina is he runs smoking hot then ice cold. In the past he started of ok and improved till the all-star break. After the break he went in the tank, and gradually pulled himself out of the funk so at the end of the season he was pitching well again. He’s 40, but that doesn’t nessacarily mean he’ll pitch a stinker. Wang didn’t have his best last night, and he perservered, look at the results.
    Besides, who had the milkman delivering last night?

  2. GoYankees says:

    If Moose pitches well in the first half, that will be a big boost to the Yanks chances. Young pitchers will be ready to step in if he then fades.

  3. Brian says:

    Looking at the Sox-Athletics game in the 8th…
    never has “fuc*in’ A’s” ever been so appropriate. Who gave up the game for Boston? Hmmm…..Alan Embree and Lenny DiNardo. Just sayin….

  4. chris says:

    mussina doesnt pitch hot and cold anymore. he pitches well against bad teams. he has become nothing more than a junkballer and not even an effective one alla david cone late in his career. good hitters will crush him all season because his fastball, which has always been straight as an arrow, can barely touch 90 on a good day.

    lay off the knuckle curve and he is a dead man walking. i was for a santana trade, but at the least the team should have looked at some insurance in the offseason – i would rather have fat assss bartolo colon on this team than moose. i say he goes about 3-8 in 15 starts before he is removed from the rotation

  5. Manimal says:

    AHHH I hope I’m not stuck with the espn feed.

  6. Manimal says:

    Unfortunately for Posada, we are playing in cold weather untill the 14th. Get well soon Jorge.

    And if games are on ESPN you can still get the feed from MLB Extra innings. In the words of the great Borat, “VERY NIICE”

  7. Manimal says:

    Game started, where is everyone? lol.

  8. Manimal says:

    WOW, Giambi. =|

  9. RichYF says:

    GJ Mike, get to that bag.

  10. Ben K. says:

    Now there’s the Yankee defense we know and love.

  11. RichYF says:

    So let’s see, Moose breaks down after an error in an inning. I expect nothing less that 3 unearned this inning. Even though that was 100% his own fault.

  12. Manimal says:

    That was Giambi’s, he took too long to pick it up. Here we go again with the cheap hits.

  13. Manimal says:

    I always thought that if the pitcher committed an error it should be and earned run if that baserunner touches home.

    Bobby Abreu has such a great arm but I’ve never seen it in a game.

  14. Ben K. says:

    Can no one field the ball on this team? Eckstein was out by ten feet if Molina comes up with that.

  15. Manimal says:

    Its too cold for most of these Latino’s to be comfortable(No offense, not trying to be racist)

    and gidp.

  16. Manimal says:

    Why does his fastball have so much movement? It looks like a cutter almost.

  17. RichYF says:

    Ben, I think I know what the issue here is:

    You guys spent all your time beating up on Melky (wow that was strike 3 to Thomas) and not enough beating up on Mussina. I’m not saying…I’m just saying.

    For the rest of the season, I want no less than 3 posts per week detailing Mussina’s uselessness. You’ll thank me later.

  18. Manimal says:

    1 run, none earned.

    and I agree with Rich. Melky helps once and a while. Moose just intimidates batters with his 2 strike battlecry from the fans.

    • RichYF says:

      For the record, I loved the Melky bashing. I didn’t love that it was Melky they were bashing because I like him, but I thought the arguments were generally pretty decent and not just “Melky will fail because he has dimples” kind of stuff. I just want Moose to not suck, and it seems like they have some sort of charm that makes them eat their hats about certain topics.

      Being wrong about Melky is more than likely something everyone here would love to do. Not like some bloggers…

  19. Mike A. says:

    Bah, the two hits were shitty little nubbers. He hardly got knocked around.

    • RichYF says:

      Mike, he’s throwing 86mph. Kids on your high school team threw that fast. Let’s just say he’s not missing many bats tonight. I love Moose, but he’s lost even more mph on that fastball. Color me worried.

  20. Mike A. says:

    “Let me ask you Paul, why does Derek Jeter have that natural ability to hit the ball to right field?”

    Because it’s natural ability you retard. That’s what makes Jeter Jeter and Kay an idiot.

    • RichYF says:

      After last night, I’ve muted the in-game “analysis.” I can’t hang with Michael Kay. It’s like every few minutes he realizes he’s been talking non-stop so he just randomly says, “Let me ask you Paul…” and then asks something so stupid I can just see Paulie O glaring at him in amazement.

  21. Mike A. says:

    Nice stolen base attempt by Frank Thomas … oh wait, that was Abreu.

  22. ansky says:

    moose playing with fire, yet to get burned.

  23. E-ROC says:

    Mike Mussina is a groundball pitcher. When did this happen?!

    I wonder how often Mike Mussina will struggle to put hitters away when they have two strikes.

  24. E-ROC says:

    Erin Andrews….’nuff said.

  25. Manimal says:

    This umpire is pissing me off now. Moose doesnt get jack while hes calling those loopy pitches at arods shins for strikes.

  26. Manimal says:

    SHIT, 3-1. Vernon wells HR.

  27. ansky says:

    …and now he has gotten burned.

  28. RichYF says:

    That was unexpected. I thought he was going to blow that 85mph gas right by him.

  29. E-ROC says:

    There goes the neighborhood. Vernon just HAD to start his Comeback Player of the Year compaign against the Yanks.

    I don’t think the umpire is squeezing Moose that much. That 2-2 pitch was outside, just off the “black”.

    The most games AJ Burnett has won in a season is 12. Unbelieveable.

  30. Mike says:

    why dont all the rich dudes with the 3rd-7th row seats behind home plate just sell their tickets if theyre not gonna show up????

  31. Manimal says:

    “Molina not blessed with speed”

    I LOL’d.

  32. Manimal says:

    46 pitches for Moose
    40 for Burnett

  33. Manimal says:

    Almost a repeat of the error.

  34. nmc says:

    Giambi’s new defensive technique: let the grounders hit him in the chest. lol, i love it because it actually works.

  35. E-ROC says:

    “Heartattack” Giambi.

  36. E-ROC says:

    Posada who?! J/K. Nice throw by Molina to catch the runner trying to steal second.

    • Manimal says:

      Better tag. I hate when Jeter lets the runner pass the base and he does a swipe tag. STICK WITH IT. Don’t swipe and stare at the ump.

  37. RichYF says:

    Apparently Canoe learned the phantom swipe from Jeets

  38. Mike A. says:

    Fuck the heck was that Jeter???

  39. ansky says:

    that was a bit strange. He never had a chance to make 2nd

  40. Ben K. says:

    Terrible, terrible baserunning.

  41. ansky says:

    oh god, let him be injured just so we can get back in this game

  42. E-ROC says:

    LOL, Burnett is a poptart and soft in the middle. He can never stay healthy!

  43. RichYF says:

    Burnett is probably intimidated by the heat that Moose has been throwing, so he’s overstriding to try to match his power. No shame in that.

  44. RichYF says:

    Should have given him a “ha!”

  45. E-ROC says:

    Orel Hersheiser is a cool dude.

  46. Manimal says:


  47. Mike says:

    Jeter was being aggressive, as he normally is; it is just that Rios made a great play backing the play up.

    This is going to be a long season watching Mussina take the ball every 5th day.

  48. RichYF says:

    Probably should have intangibled his way to first a little faster. I guess he didn’t want it badly enough.

  49. Mike A. says:

    I know they had a few weird moments earlier in the game, but the Yanks look like a much better fielding team this year. Guess showing up to camp in shape and doing all that running is paying off.

  50. Manimal says:

    Matsui looks terrible, I would put Duncan.

  51. Manimal says:

    AGAIN with the hotshots right to people.

  52. E-ROC says:

    The beginning of the end for Moose.

  53. ansky says:

    just get him out of there.

  54. Manimal says:

    Hes pushing 90 pitches.

  55. ansky says:

    a little too late for this move, joe.

  56. Manimal says:

    “Ya did good Kid”-Girardi
    “Joe, your 3 years older than me”- Moose

  57. Mike A. says:

    Sooooooooo close to a quality start.

  58. E-ROC says:

    Moose did better than expected, I guess. At least he went 6 innings. Let’s generate some offense after Hawkins gets this groundball out.

  59. Manimal says:

    Lets see how Latroy is accepted for wearing 21 by fans and O’Neil.

  60. RichYF says:

    Someone should tell Abreu to throw to home plate and not the visiting dugout. I believe that’s 2 runs.

    With the heat that Moose is throwing, he could probably gun these guys out from the warning track.

  61. Manimal says:

    From what I remember Moose had a gun(after allstar break last year)

    He was playing catch with Jorge in tampa from basically LF to RF and posada was one hopping it and Moose was on the money.

  62. Mike A. says:

    They’re gettin’ schooled.

  63. E-ROC says:

    I hate when batters swing at the first pitch. That annoys the crap out of me.

    • Manimal says:

      I agree, if its down the middle, hit it to the moon but everything else dont swing. Slow down the pitcher.

  64. ansky says:

    rally! rally! rall……oh

  65. cjc says:

    this is a pathetic offensive display not 1 runner to 2nd in 6 innings

  66. Ivan says:

    Hey Mussina did a decent job. He had alot of groundballs which was very good (11-3 ratio). Hey the guy is a 4 starter maybe 5, and and he’s going against the Toronto’s arguebaly best pitcher. That’s a big mismatch alright.

    Overall, Moose looked alright.

  67. Mike A. says:

    Nice, Buck (fifty) Coats is in the game.

  68. ansky says:

    there we go. a little life

  69. Ben K. says:

    Is it too early to start the MVP chants?

  70. Manimal says:

    without those 2 runs that shouldnt have happened. Its 3-2. But now its 5-2.


  71. Mike A. says:

    Oh come on. What’s the point of having Shelley and Ensberg on the bench if you’re not to pinch hit them for Giambi when the other team brings in a LOOGY in the late innings?

    I want the other Joe back.

    • Manimal says:

      Thats extreme.

      But yeah he should have brought in Shelley for Giambi since Matsui has good numbers against him.

  72. Ah, Kyle. Ol’ reliable.

  73. Mike A. says:

    4-6 weeks for Pedro. Can Johan pitch on 2-day’s rest for the next month and half?

  74. Mike A. says:

    There’s the Melky we all know and love.

  75. Manimal says:

    RALLY! Couple runs this inning leads up to a walk off for someone in the 9th

  76. E-ROC says:

    Is Tallet really that good???!!!! What the hell!??!

  77. Mike A. says:

    Oi. Not for nothing, but the Yanks should be able to hammer a pitcher like Tallet.

  78. Manimal says:

    If I was in a coma from Last october to today I would still think Joe torre was manager based on some of Girardi’s decision.

  79. Manimal says:

    Well, he has definately improved since last october.

  80. Mike A. says:

    Beautiful. Take notes, Farnsworth.

  81. E-ROC says:


  82. ansky says:

    earn your 275+ Arod!!

  83. Mike A. says:

    M-V-P! M-V-P! M-V-P!

  84. Manimal says:


  85. Mike A. says:

    Good pitch. Ugh.

  86. Manimal says:

    AHHHHHH that was such a HR pitch!

  87. E-ROC says:


  88. ansky says:

    i guess Ben was right about the chants

  89. Manimal says:

    NOOOOOO, God damn it Giambi why did you lose all that weight!

  90. E-ROC says:

    BLEEPING wind!!!

  91. Manimal says:

    Game. Fuck. Shit.

  92. ansky says:

    Arod knocking over the one stack of cups was amusing at least

  93. Pete says:

    Can Girardi make anyone who swings at the first pitch do 100 push-ups in the dugout..

    CRIPES, this game was like watching your child trying to walk for the first time. Just keeps falling down and crying…

  94. E-ROC says:

    Cano swinging at the first pitch he sees and it was a ball. Typical!!

  95. Mike A. says:

    Oh well. Go get’em tomorrow.

    • Manimal says:

      LOL Im still in the foot ball mood where Losing a game is bad. Atleast I have concluded a couple things from this loss.

      -Girardi isn’t that much different than Torre
      -3-0 is still a close game with an offense like that, don’t blow it.
      -Moose will have quality innings.
      -Giambi is lost on the field.
      -Shelley doesn’t like the bench because benches don’t give armsmashes
      -Matsui doesn’t look good at ALL, Send him down to recuperate.

      • Pete says:

        I’m thinking we should have traded Matsui when we had the chance.

      • Mike A. says:

        I think Giambi’s looked pretty nimble around the bag the first two games. Yeah he goofed that one play with Moose today, but the number of good plays he’s made in the past two days far exceeds the number of bad plays he’s made.

  96. Sam says:

    Cano swings at pickoff attempts to first. Dang.

  97. Brasilian Yankee says:

    Why does Cano need 2 months to warm up??

  98. Travis G. says:

    yep, Cano had a poor game, but this was mostly about Burnett just being better than Moose. no one can argue that.

    if the BJs are pissed that Melky got a cheap HR last night, they should be very thankful for another Stadium attribute (Death Valley), bc it killed a game-tying HR.

    here’s to Hughes going 7 strong!

    • Travis G. says:

      forgot -
      the BJs had FIVE GDPs and still won. it just wasnt the Yanks night.

      Hawkins pitched poorly, as did Farnsy (who was lucky to escape unscathed). Ohlie did fine after that first pitch – hopefully Farnsy gets traded so Patterson or someone worthwhile can be given a spot.

  99. RollignWave says:

    Well, to be fair, I would take a 4.78 ERA season from Moose. when he doesn’t run itno the Burnetts of the world he should win quiet a few contest like this one.

    not a good game. but when you get beat by a good pitcher that had a good game, you tip your hat.

  100. mg says:

    So cold. It was soooo cold out there tonight. The first couple hours were ok but it starts to get to you. Hopefully tomorrow’s better.

  101. Joseph DelGrippo says:

    Hey guys. Whatever happened tonight with Mussina via bad umpiring (he did not get any close pitches tonight) or defensive lapses (Giambi needs to field the balls cleanly and Moose has to get over to 1B quicker) or that dink and dunk hits fell all over the field (that’s what happens to guys that do not throw hard), Mussina still has to get past these happenings and get through the innings unscathed.

    True, those 2-2 and 3-2 pitches to Alex Rios in the third inning were close, but Mussina still can not hang that cheap curve ball to the next batter, Vernon Wells and give up that HR.

    It is similar to a pitcher who retires the first two guys and then the SS makes an error, then the pitcher gives up three straight hits, including a long double and you see three runs on the board. If the game ends 3-0, the pitchers ERA is 0.00 but he (and the team) still gets the loss.

    The good pitchers work through these “issues” of shoddy defense and cheap hits. Without his velocity of two years ago, and now his reduced command, Mussina needs to concentrate on EVERY SINGLE PITCH he throws.

    It is the only way he will avoid being removed from the rotation and an early call up for Jeff Marquez or Alan Horne.

    • Jon says:

      It’s not like he pitched terribly or anything. We were in the game pretty much the whole time. We just got beat by a better pitcher.

  102. mo mike says:

    for the record, I was in the bleachers and made it a point to heckle LATROY about using the number 21…I then proceeded to start the “PAUL ONEIL” chant once he left the pen to enter the game.

  103. AndrewYF says:

    For those somehow angry at Girardi for not replacing Giambi when the LOOGY was in – then who bats in the 9th inning? Giambi still gets walks against lefties, he just can’t hammer them the way he does right-handed pitching. It was a very defensive at-bat, and he brought it to three balls, but didn’t get the walk. You replace him in that situation if there is a man on base able to score on a base hit, not just because a lefty is now in the game. Hand-wavy *managing* is not the way to do it.

  104. mustang says:

    Today is a big day for Mr. Hughes. After all the rumors, all the deals that were on and off the table, all of Hank’s talking and all of the T-Shirt support making today is the day. I know it’s just game 3 of the season and if he gets bomb today he might well go on to be the pitcher we all hope he will be. But eventually the hype has to be tested and today will be the first test. The last two game have gone about the way one would think now lets see if part 2 of the “Big Three” lives up to the hype.

  105. mustang says:

    Lets see how much of “a long-term process” Yankees fans can take. This is still New York and these are still the Yankees who measure by wins not by potential.
    And if you read carefully I did say “I know it’s just game 3 of the season …”.
    I more than anyone else want to see the “Big Three” succeeded. I hope it starts tonight.

    • Ben K. says:

      It ain’t the fans who are the issue. They’ll be patient. It’s the Daily News, the Post and the morons on Mike and the Mad Dog who judge teams and players based on one game.

  106. mustang says:

    Ben I couldn’t agree with you more. Especially about Mike and the Mad Dog the more I learn about baseball the more I realize how little they know. But those guys are not on the air for there looks. Most fans are as impulsive as they are or seem to be. And believe me the SS BIG THREE will sink real fast if these guys don’t win. With Mike and Mad Dog leading the way.

  107. mustang says:

    All I’m saying about tonight, win or lose, is that it will be measuring stick. A small one, but still measuring stick. Follow by another one tomorrow night ( Mr. Kennedy). LOL

  108. AndrewYF says:

    Misterrrrrr Kennedy!

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