There is perhaps no pitcher in the majors who gets as worked up over the strike zone as Mike Mussina. If he throws a pitch near a corner and it’s called a ball, he seriously turns into the Hulk. What usually follows is not pretty. Thank God we weren’t subject to that last night, what we term the Mussina Meltdown. Then again, allowing a home run to a fringe major leager is meltdown-esque.
All in all, Mussina didn’t pitch badly. Three runs over six innings is acceptable when you have a lineup like the Yankees. Really, it was the offense that didn’t deliver. Of the 21 outs recorded by Josh Fogg 13 of them were in the air. That’s usually a bad sign for someone pitching against the Yankees. However, for the most part they weren’t strong flyouts; they were shallow pop ups. And it seemed like everyone was catching the fever.
Via Peter Abraham comes this gem from my favorite Yankee starter:
â€œWith my National League inexperience I didnâ€™t think about who was on deck. I probably would have pitched a little differently had I thought about it.â€Not that the extra run mattered in the end, but everyone makes such a big deal about Moose being a smart baseball player and a cerebral pitcher. I think we can put that notion to rest right here. Situational pitching; it’s more than a good idea. · (3) ·
As is DotF tradition, full Opening Day lineups for Staten Island and the GCL Yanks (man, I forgot how much those kids down in Rookie ball strikeout) after the jump…
Triple-A Scranton (8-4 loss toÂ Durham)
Kevin Reese: 2 for 4,Â 1 3B, 1 RBI
Eric Duncan: 0 for 5, 3 K, 1 E (fielding)Â - 1 for his last 17 with 8 K…
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 4, 1 K
Bronson Sardinha & Angel Chavez: bothÂ 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI – Sardinha swiped a base, Chavez K’ed
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 3, 1 K, 1 E (missed catch)Â - 0 for his last 17
Juan Francia: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 KÂ
Colter Bean: 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Steven Jackson: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP – he’s taking to the bullpen…i guess…
Charlie Manning: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Ben Kozlowski: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – breaks a streak of 5 consectuve outings in which he gave up an ER
Pete Abraham has the scoop: Andy Phillips is returning. He speculates that Josh Phelps will be the odd man out. Methinks it’s Basak. I’ll update this post when we hear more. Update: Tyler Kepner says it’s Phelps. While there is no official confirmation (i.e., from Brian Cashman), it would appear this is accurate. And dumb. · (5) ·
We understand that FoxSports’s Ken Rosenthal has a job to do. He’s the senior baseball writer, and has to come up with interesting and/or controversial reports almost daily. At this time of year, things pick up, and he’s got a lot more to talk about.
Unfortunately, he’s talking jibberish. At least to me.
In his latest column, he pleads with the Yankees and Rangers to get a deal for Teixeira done. He does note a problem: Texas wants Hughes, and the Yanks won’t deal him. He even goes so far as to suggest that the Yanks get a reliever and possibly a low prospect in a deal for Hughes.
Back in my Off the Facade days, I would routinely answer Mark Feinsand’s mail. Well, Feinsand has moved on to the Daily News, and I’ve moved on to River Ave. Blues, but I still love answering the Yankees.com beat writer’s mail.
The series against the Mets showed the Yankees’ vulnerability to speed and aggression. It seemed like guys like Jose Reyes and Carlos Gomez had no chance of being thrown out against Jorge Posada. Do you think the Mets have exposed the Yankees’ weaknesses in the series?
– Mitch G., Middletown, N.Y.
There’s much ado made about the environment at Coors Field. It enhances scoring and batting stats, they say, because the air is thin; therefore, the balls travels further. By that logic, it would also make for some terrible pitchers, since the environment works both ways. Even with the climate-controlled baseballs, the Park Factor is still 107 (where 100 is neutral and anything above favors hitters; Yankee Stadium is a 96).
So let’s look at some home/road splits for the Rockies. My hypothesis: we’ll see a depression of slugging percentage on the road, mainly due to the home run factor. However, we won’t see any correlating trend in batting average and on base percentage. The thin air should only have an effect on balls that leave the park. The results should all even out for those balls that stay in play. That is, if the ball does in fact carry in the thin air, a bloop may become an out, and a fly to center field may carry over the outfielder’s head.
Short Season Staten Island and the Rookie level GCL Yanks kick off their seasons tomorrow. I’ll be very surprisedÂ if 13th round pick Nick Chigges (22-3, 2.42 ERA in his final 2 years at College of Charleston)Â doesn’t start Opening Day for Staten Island; he’s clearly the most accomplished pitcher on the staff (but what the hell do I know?). No clue who starts for the GCL squad.
Triple-A Scranton (7-5 win over Durham)
Kevin Reese: 0 for 2, 2 R, 3 BB
Andy Phillips: 0 for 3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K – batting average dwindling down to .300…
Eric Duncan: 1 for 5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Shelley Duncan: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K – 8 RBI in his last 3 games
Bronson Sardinha: 1 for 4, 1 K
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for , 1 BB – 0 for his last 14
Juan Francia: 3 for 3, 2 R, 1 BB
Run-Elvis: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1 E (throwing), 7-3 GB/FBÂ - 94 pitches in 4 innings? at least he’s more economical than Julio Lugo’s contract (za-zing!)
Chris Britton: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K – 10 H & 6 ER in his last 6.2 IP…
Edwar: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 BalkÂ - when you’re this dominant, you’ve earnedÂ first-name-only status
Jim Brower: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – didn’t allowed a baserunner in 6 of his last 10 outings