Game 32: Age, youth square off

Yanks set to shatter all sorts of attendance records
A clinic in pitching

Mike Mussina made his Major League debut on August 4, 1991, losing 1-0 to 43-year-old Charlie Hough. Felix Hernandez, the Mariners’ young stud, was all of five years old at the time.

Today, Mussina and the 253 games he has won since that debut loss will face off against Felix Hernandez, 22, and his 32 career wins. This could be quite the match-up. On one side, we’ve got Hernandez — anointed the King — a power pitcher with 41 strike outs in 44.1 innings this year. His ERA is a measly 2.22. On the other side is Mike Mussina who no longer generates too many swing-and-misses. His 12 strike outs has Moose sitting pretty at 3.34 K/9 IP, a career low. Mussina today relies on guile as he attempts to get hitters to swing weakly at breaking pitches and slow change ups.

For Mussina, this style of pitching has worked lately. Remove the Red Sox from his 2008 equation, and Moose has given up 8 earned runs in 23.2 innings, good for a 3.04 ERA. That’s downright great for a Yankee rotation struggling to prevent runs. Mussina won’t give the Yanks much in the way of distance; he tires around the five-inning mark. But he sure can hold his own against Hernandez.

Meanwhile, the struggling Yankee offense continues to run into brick walls. After facing Eric Bedard, they draw another Seattle ace in King Felix. Opponents are hitting .238/.306/.335, and the Yankees will go with their typical lineup these days.

Johnny Damon LF
Derek Jeter SS
Bob Abreu RF
Hideki Matsui DH
Jason Giambi 1B
Melky Cabrera CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Morgan Ensberg 3B
Jose Molina C

Mike Mussina P

Yanks set to shatter all sorts of attendance records
A clinic in pitching
  • RollingWave

    Moose is taking that slow and slower approach pretty litterally so far….

    is Nomaas down?

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

      He did throw fastballs to our old buddy Miguel Cairo. That’s the 13th strike out victim of the year for Moose.

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

      Looks like the NoMaas guys forgot to pay the bills.

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

    Jason Giambi’s socks are not going to lift him out of his slump.

    • RollingWave

      a slump to the tune of 98 OPS+ isn’t exactly that horrible.

      he’s having some really shitty luck. but he’s not actually struggling as badly as people seem to assume (Cano on the other hand… should start worshiping Jobu)

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

        Dude’s 1 for his last 15. That’s a slump.

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

    Giambi going with the high socks. That’s not what Girardi meant when he told him he needed to change his approach.

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      Hey, it won’t make him jack 54 homers and knock in 156 runs but people are very superstitious.

      And NoMass isn’t down, everything is running fine.

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

    Ichiro is a ridiculous hitter. With Miguel Cairo up behind him, I’m not quite sure I agree with throwing anything close to a strike there.

  • CB

    Felix Hernadez is evolving into a very different kind of pitcher. He’s now sitting closer to 92-94 and throwing a lot more two seam fastballs. That’s been his pattern all year. Not throwing nearly as many 95+ fastballs.

    Interesting to see how a supremely talented young pitcher is changing his game, trading velocity for movement and quicker at bats.

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

      Historically, it seems that it starts to click with young pitchers in their third year. That’s why the struggles of Hughes & IPK are not the end of the world.

      • RollingWave

        what? logic? reasoning? nooooo!!! PANIC BUTTONS ALL THE WAY!!! TRADE THEM FOR JEFF SUPPAN!!!!

        • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

          Fatso on M&MD is advocating a deal for Bronson Arroyo, saying “”whatever it costs, the Yankees have to make a deal for a veteran starter”.

          What an asshole.

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

            I admire your persistency, Jamal, but why on Earth do you keep listening to those fools?

            • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

              1. I find the ignorance entertaining.
              2. To be honest, I’m an idiot.
              3. They have Cashman and Girardi on regularly so I try to keep up so I can catch a listen.

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

            I googled “bronson arroyo baseball reference” and in 0.29 seconds I found out that Arroyo has allowed 43 hits and 24 ER in 31 IP this year, good for a 62 ERA+. In the National League. Central.

            Those idiots are … fucking idiots. How can they be allowed to speak this crap freely on the airwaves where young and innocent children might here them? Think of the children!

            • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

              And I quote, “He has the guts to pitch in the AL East, I know he had a bad year last year but he has the guts to pitch in the AL East. I like that he’s a different guy, the musician and all, but he has the guts to pitch in the AL East”.

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

                Ah, well being a musician makes all the difference in the world. It doesn’t matter if he’s throwing 88 with a flat slider as long as he can sit down for the occasional jam session.

      • CB

        That’s exactly why I brought up Hernandez. He was as talented as any young pitcher to enter the game over the past several years. All the tools you’d want. Even with that enormous talent it’s a learning process that takes time.

  • RollingWave

    who are these guys hitting in RISP and what have they done with the 08 Yankees?

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Lmao at Joe Girardi fooling Johnny Damon. Girardi has the real ball in his pocket and he just called for some random ball that was in the dirt making Damon think that ball was the real one.

  • RollingWave

    Ibanez would fit right in with our team concept no?

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Baserunning prowess, FTW!

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    BTW, did anyone check that Atlanta Hawks win over the Boston Celtics last night?

    Another Boston playoff choke, FTW! Come on Hawks, one more victory.

  • RollingWave

    hey at least Cano won’t make an out every time he’s up this game…

  • RollingWave

    seriously though, wow the M’s are horrific with the gloves. i mean it’s one thing to have bad range and /or wall phobia. but it’s another to throw the ball in the the ground.

  • Manimal

    Yankees are catching some breaks.

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

    I do believe that the answer to the trivia question is “Alex Rodriguez and Tino Martinez.” They both played 200 games in the Kingdom and Yankee Stadium.

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

      My dark horse was Jeff Nelson.

  • Manimal

    ohlerud(sp?)?

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

      Olerud was on the Yankees for 49 games. My answer will be the right one.

      • Manimal

        that was my third answer, your two came to mind first that was just a back up answer.

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

          I was also thinking Jeff Nelson but I don’t think he would have made that many home appearances for either team.

          • Manimal

            forgot about him, turns out it was arod and tino.

  • eli

    under 50 pitches into the 4th…can moose make it into the 6th??

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

      Might even make it to the 7th, if we’re lucky.

      • eli

        was getting worried there…dp right after the “mussina is really starting to slow down between pitches…not looking as comfortable out there.” Hopefully he can handle the bottom half of the order. Maybe we can avoid Farnsworth.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Was Michael Kay an abandoned child? He is so God Damn cynical about everything.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    “Big Sexy” fails yet again.

  • RollingWave

    Kay + O’Neil is probably the worest combination YES has to offer. Paulie is babbing like a cranky old man there.. and Kay’s simply nuts

  • Newman

    Nice to see the battle of the two most overpaid, unproductive first basemen in the AL

  • eli

    whats the word on veras? was pretty useless in the bigs last year but has some pretty shiny stats from AAA this year. Could Veras/Albadejo be here to stay for a bit? Wasnt too impressed with Edwar the other night at the stadium…change didnt look to have quite the same bite and his fastball gets hit if he cant set it up.

    • RollingWave

      pretty inconsistent control and breaking ball. he throws hard and setup a little like Mo though.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Felix Hernandez might be my second or third favorite player behind Hanley Ramirez (fave) and Ken Griffey Jr., but damn I do love seeing him struggle. You would think that’s normal when those guys face the Yankees but I always rooted for Griffey Jr. when he was in Seattle playing us. If Hanley ever does get the chance to play us before he’s inevitably dealt, I will be rooting just as hard. For some reason though I’m actually not rooting at all for King Felix today.

    • Newman

      How the hell can you root for a player playing against us to do well? What kind of a fan are you?

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

        I’m willing to be Jamal wants the player to well, but for the Yankees to win. I do that all the time. It’s okay to like players not on the Yankees.

        • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

          Correct, probably should have detailed that.

        • Tripp

          “I’m willing to be Jamal wants the player to well, but for the Yankees to win.”

          Did you type that with your face?

  • eli

    4/9 with risp. thats a sight for sore eyes…

    • Manimal

      5/10

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

    Bobby Abreu has been unbelievable this (his contract) year. Team MVP on the hitting side.

    • Manimal

      I agree, Matsui a smidge under him.

    • CB

      For the season so far Abreu only has a .789 OPS (career .906 OPS). Matsui has a .887 OPS (career .857).

      Abreu’s OBP this season is uncharacteristically low so far – only .336 OBP. Given that Abreu’s average is .280-290 this season a .336 OBP is very surprising for him. He’s hitting for decent power (.440 slugging) but isn’t getting on base that much.

  • Newman

    Thanks Juicebino

  • RollingWave

    damn shift

  • Manimal

    Yankees need to take a look at David Ortiz and see how he beats the shift.

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

      Are we talking about the David Ortiz hitting .198/.305/.351? That’s the guy who hits into the shift every time at bat. Bad example.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    BTW, who are your Top 5 favorite players overall in the game of baseball? Doesn’t even have to be a Major Leaguer (has to be an active player), just simply the game of baseball, who are your Top 5 favorites. Also who are your Top 5 Yankees favorites (again, active and doesn’t have to be in the Bronx)?

    Top 5 Baseball Players
    1. Hanley Ramirez
    2. Ken Griffey Jr.
    3. Felix Hernandez
    4. Tim Lincecum
    5. Alfonso Soriano
    *Mark Prior

    Top 5 Yankees Players
    1. Robinson Cano
    2. Jose Tabata
    3. Alex Rodriguez
    4. Dellin Betances
    5. Jesus Montero

    *-You can barely consider the guy active, but if he were he would probably be #3 on the list.

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

      Cain, Lincecum, BJ Upton, Josh Hamilton (loved him way before his career turned into a movie script), David Wright (how can you not like him?)

    • Manimal

      Top 5 Baseball Players
      1. Jose Reyes
      2. Alfonso Soriano
      3. Derek Lee
      4. Ryan Braun
      5. Ichiro

      Top 5 Yankees Players
      1. Jeter
      2. Arod
      3. Melky
      4. Wang
      5. Cano

  • RollingWave

    This is the most useful Cairo’s been to this team in awhile..

  • RollingWave

    top 5 Yankee

    Cano
    Wang
    Cabrera
    A-rod
    Posada

    top 5 non-Yankee

    Griffey
    Ichiro
    Jose Reyes
    Smoltz
    Maddux

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.
    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      LoL, for some I reason I was expecting an article detailing how Jose Tabata went 4-for-4 with 2 HRs and Dellin Betances walked zero batters in an outing.

      As for Julio Franco, is he a HOFer? Would be pretty sad that he played for 23 seasons and can’t make the HOF.

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

        He’s not a Hall of Famer. He doesn’t have the career totals or the individual accomplishments to warrant Hall inclusion. He just had good genes and played for a long time.

  • RollingWave

    love how nothing can drop in for a hit for Cano these days…

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

      But, hey, according to certain Yankee bloggers, a low BABIP is a low BABIP, and it has nothing to do for luck. Riight.

  • Tripp

    I’m really enjoying watching Mussina pitch today. I think he needs a knuckle ball though. How great would that be?

  • RollingWave

    wow, it’s sad when you get blown away on 2 strait mid 80s FB like Sexson there

  • pettitte’s stare

    I know he is only at 84 pitches and is looking good but lets get him out of there and let him have confidence going into his next start.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Moose does not have confidence issues. I do not want to see Hawkins blow the lead.

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      Forget that, the Seatlle 7-8-9 hitters are due up in the 7th. Let him get those three outs.

      Johnny Damon is making me eat my words on his inevitable downfall. He’s been hot for two weeks now.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Age is winning.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Wow, so Mike Mussina in one more inning thus far has less hits, walks, runs allowed and MORE STRIKEOUTS than Felix Hernandez. Whadafuxup?

    • mustang

      It’s called pitching.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    So Carlos Silva tomorrow and an off-day Monday, should be a couple fun days in Yankeeland.

  • RollingWave

    junk throwing righty RP in again Giambi, I call a HR here.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    If Hawkins blows this lead, I am going to kick my television.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Or Jason Giambi. I think Giambi f’d it up.

  • C-note

    Jeter’s glare to Giambi says it all…

  • Ivan

    Yea but the terrible throw by jeter is nothing. please. Yea Giambi is not a great 1B but Jeter made a awful throw.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Giambi should hae had it

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      It was a low throw, but not a terrible throw. It was catchable, error should be on giambi.

    • C-note

      most first baseman woulda had that, & Giambi isn’t hitting so right now he is a waste of space- that’s the point ivan… please, actually think before you write

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

        I’m all set for the Yanks to “Frank Thomas” Giambi. He’s not bringing much to the team right now.

        • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

          It took him until June in 2005 for him to break out, give him some extra time. If by the third week of May he hasn’t show a bit of improvement I probably will begin to step down from my soapbox and stop preaching patience for the Big G.

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

            I’m mostly concerned about his lack of offense and terrible defense. It’s not a very good combination.

            • LiveFromNewYork

              and those intangibles aren’t working either

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Hawkins for a second inning and hopefully we get to see Mr. Bugs Bunny Changeup.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Joe’s going to to with the garbage time relievers. Edwar in the 8th, Veras in the 9th.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Edwar is getting some damn good break on that two-seamer.

  • RichYF

    Has anyone else soured on Paul O’Neill since that whole #21 fiasco? I used to enjoy listening to him announce games, now I have such a short fuse with him.

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      He really pissed me of with his comments and reaction but I find him funny and I think he and Kay have a much better chemistry this year.

      • LiveFromNewYork

        almost too good they sometimes are yakking away and not calling plays

    • LiveFromNewYork

      He wasn’t going to piss off the NY fans for Hawkins. I don’t blame him.

  • C-note

    Edwar better throw strikes or he’s going to be enjoying the Scranton nite life very soon

    • LiveFromNewYork

      He can go out with Dwight. Or have a night at the beet farm.

  • pettitte’s stare

    I don’t think MLB gameday has any clue what edwar is throwing, according to them he has only thrown one change up all day.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      that’s not right.

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      Gameday classifies a pitch based on its speed and break, and for the most part they do it very accurately. However when presented with just nasty stuff, Edwar’s Changeup for example, the readings tell you a different story. Changeups are not supposed to break as much as Edwar’s done, they just don’t break that much. So therefore Gameday characterizes it as a Splitter because that’s the only pitch they can garner has that much break at that velocity.

      They also classified his Slider as a Changeup because his Slider has little break and at that velocity it resembles a Changeup more than it does a Slider.

  • Nefarious jackson

    atta boy

  • LiveFromNewYork

    does he only have 2 pitches?

    • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

      He throws a Two-Seam Fastball, Changeup and Slider. The Slider is just a show-me pitch and obviously he contains that plus-plus Changeup. With better Fastball command he can really become a big part of this bullpen.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    That freaking cowbell is back.

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    Hearing Michael Kay say “Clubbing” gives me a headache.

  • Nefarious jackson

    Marquez getting hammered again— shouldn’t McCutcheon be in AAA by now

  • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

    You forget Chriss Britton Mr. Kay. Ross Ohlendorf, Chris Britton and Jonathan Albaladejo have not pitched these last two days.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Britton hasn’t pitched? Can’t believe it.

      • http://www.myspace.com/j_panama Jamal G.

        Well, he did throw 40+ pitches in the Tigers finale so it’s understandable…this time.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Veras…nice.

  • mustang

    How is that for toast? 6 innings of one run ball!
    You can have your “great mental make-up and stuff”. I will take the old man who thinks he has something to prove.
    4 down 4 more to go to “eek out” 8 wins.
    Nice ” back of the rotations” starter. Don’t you think?
    MOOOOOOSE !!!!!!!!!!