If Mike Mussina wants to win 20 games this year, he has but one choice tonight. He must win. He will make three starts, counting this evening’s, before the season runs out. If he wins them all, 20 wins will be his.
Unfortunately for Mussina, he has done little winning lately. While the Yanks are 5-2 over his last seven starts, Moose has nailed down just two W’s in that period, and his ERA over that stretch of 43 innings is 4.81. Mussina will also attempt to keep his walk total lower than his number of games started. He has allowed 27 base-on-balls in 31 starts.
This could also be Moose’s last career start in Yankee Stadium for the Yankees. In his Yankee career, Moose is 69-38 with a 3.66 ERA in 125 starts.
Facing Mussina will be old friend Javier Vazquez. The former Yankee is 12-13 with a 4.13 ERA. In his only 2008 outing against the Yanks, Vazquez allowed 10 hits and six earned runs in 5.1 innings of work. Meanwhile, on the year, Javy’s allowed a hit per inning and has just a hair under a strike per inning. If you want to talk about the Yanks’ selling low, Vazquez should enter the conversation.
In other news, Juan Miranda makes his Major League debut tonight. He kills right-handed pitching.