We’ll wrap up both games of the double header later tonight. Needless to say, the Yanks didn’t look too impressive this afternoon as they lost meekly to the Rays 7-1. With that win, Tampa extends their AL East lead to three games over the Red Sox, and the Rays are going to exceed expectations I set for them when I compiled their BP Depth Chart in late March. The Yanks, on the other hand, are utterly underperforming this year.
As we await the start of the second game in less than three hours, let’s ponder Mike Mussina for a minute. Despite his gaudy numbers this year — 17-9, 3.63 ERA — Mussina has been far from impressive lately. In five innings today, Mussina gave up five earned runs on eight hits, two walks and seven strike outs. He couldn’t really get anything past the Rays’ hitters, and this start continues a recent trend.
Since August 12, Moose has now made seven starts, and in those seven starts, he’s 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA. In 43 innings, he’s allowed 53 hits and seven walks while striking out 41. The K totals are great; nothing else is blowing me away.
As the Yankees head into the off-season, the status of Mike Mussina will be one of the team’s biggest internal question marks. He’s been something of a baseball godsend this year, but he’s showing some signs of wearing out down the stretch. Moose will be 40 come Opening Day 2009, and while six weeks ago, I would have advocated bringing him back with no hesitation, now, I’m not so sure about that anymore.
If the Yanks can find reasonable replacements for him, might they be better off cutting ties? I’m glad I’m not the one making that decision.