Apr
02

Game 2: Counting on Mussina

By

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.

Yankees
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
  • pete c.

    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?

  • GoYankees

    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.

  • Brian

    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….

  • chris

    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

  • Manimal

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

  • Manimal

    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”

  • Manimal

    Game started, where is everyone? lol.

  • Manimal

    WOW, Giambi. =|

  • RichYF

    GJ Mike, get to that bag.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

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

  • RichYF

    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.

  • Manimal

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

  • Manimal

    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.

    • RichYF

      Error was on Giambi, but Mussina is throwing BP fastballs out there, so it doesn’t matter.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

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

  • Manimal

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

    and gidp.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      racists don’t really need to try.

      it was racist dude

  • Manimal

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

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Oh well, go get’em tomorrow.

  • RichYF

    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.

  • Manimal

    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

      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…

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

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

    • RichYF

      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.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    “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

      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.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

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

  • ansky

    moose playing with fire, yet to get burned.

  • E-ROC

    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.

  • E-ROC

    Erin Andrews….’nuff said.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Word.

  • Manimal

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

  • Manimal

    SHIT, 3-1. Vernon wells HR.

    • Manimal

      Wouldnt have happened if that strike 3 was actually Strike 3.

  • ansky

    …and now he has gotten burned.

  • RichYF

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

  • E-ROC

    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.

  • Mike

    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????

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      They need them to shoo way homeless people I hear.

  • Manimal

    “Molina not blessed with speed”

    I LOL’d.

  • Manimal

    46 pitches for Moose
    40 for Burnett

  • Manimal

    Almost a repeat of the error.

    • ansky

      and yet it seems like Moose has been out there the entire time.

  • nmc

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

    • Manimal

      Considering it has a surface area the size of the empire state building it works.

      Nice throw/tag for the putout.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      It’s more than Ortiz does.

  • E-ROC

    “Heartattack” Giambi.

  • E-ROC

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

    • Manimal

      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.

  • RichYF

    Apparently Canoe learned the phantom swipe from Jeets

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Fuck the heck was that Jeter???

  • ansky

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

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Terrible, terrible baserunning.

    • E-ROC

      I agree.

  • ansky

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

  • E-ROC

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

  • RichYF

    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.

  • RichYF

    Should have given him a “ha!”

    • Manimal

      I screamed one outloud

  • E-ROC

    Orel Hersheiser is a cool dude.

  • Manimal

    HAHAHHA GIAMBI

  • Mike

    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.

  • RichYF

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

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    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.

    • Manimal

      Too bad the offense is anorexic.

  • Manimal

    Matsui looks terrible, I would put Duncan.

  • Manimal

    AGAIN with the hotshots right to people.

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    :(

  • E-ROC

    The beginning of the end for Moose.

  • ansky

    just get him out of there.

  • Manimal

    Hes pushing 90 pitches.

  • ansky

    a little too late for this move, joe.

  • Manimal

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

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Sooooooooo close to a quality start.

  • E-ROC

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

  • Manimal

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

  • RichYF

    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.

  • Manimal

    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.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    They’re gettin’ schooled.

  • E-ROC

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

    • Manimal

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

  • ansky

    rally! rally! rall……oh

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Here ya go.

      • ansky

        ah, that made me feel better.

  • cjc

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

  • Ivan

    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.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

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

  • ansky

    there we go. a little life

  • http://riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Is it too early to start the MVP chants?

    • ansky

      never

  • Manimal

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

    BRING IN DUNCAN! PLEASE!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    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

      Thats extreme.

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

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Farnsworth!

  • http://sw-balcony.blogspot.com Back Bay Yankee

    Ah, Kyle. Ol’ reliable.

    • http://sw-balcony.blogspot.com Back Bay Yankee

      And the Professor is in fine form tonight.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

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

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    There’s the Melky we all know and love.

    • ansky

      There’s the RAB love ;)

  • Manimal

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

  • E-ROC

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

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

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

  • Manimal

    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.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Ohlie!!!!

    • Manimal

      I would prefer Patterson over him.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Nasty.

  • Manimal

    Well, he has definately improved since last october.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Beautiful. Take notes, Farnsworth.

    • Manimal

      Farnsworth did ok. Tell Latroy to observe all his pitches were straight.

  • E-ROC

    OHLIE!!!

  • ansky

    earn your 275+ Arod!!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

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

  • Manimal

    THE SUSPENSE AHHHH!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Good pitch. Ugh.

  • Manimal

    AHHHHHH that was such a HR pitch!

  • E-ROC

    DAMMIT!

  • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

    ACK.

  • ansky

    i guess Ben was right about the chants

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Bah.

  • Manimal

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

  • E-ROC

    BLEEPING wind!!!

  • Manimal

    Game. Fuck. Shit.

  • ansky

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

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      One of these days he’ll work his way up to the watercooler. You watch.

  • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

    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…

  • E-ROC

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

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Oh well. Go get’em tomorrow.

    • Manimal

      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.

      • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

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

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        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.

  • Sam

    Cano swings at pickoff attempts to first. Dang.

  • Brasilian Yankee

    Why does Cano need 2 months to warm up??

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    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!

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      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.

  • RollignWave

    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.

  • mg

    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.

  • Joseph DelGrippo

    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

      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.

  • mo mike

    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.

  • AndrewYF

    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.

  • mustang

    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.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Living up to the hype is a bit more of a long-term process than one start on April 3.

  • mustang

    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.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      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.

  • mustang

    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.

  • mustang

    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

  • AndrewYF

    Misterrrrrr Kennedy!