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Mussina making most of his opportunity

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jun 05, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Let’s be honest here. If the Yankees owed Mike Mussina $3 million for this season instead of $11 million, he might have been polishing one of his cars back in Pennsylvania tonight instead of pitching against the Blue Jays.

But his contract gave him a chance to make the team and he earned his way. Now he’s 9-4 with a 4.01 ERA. He has lost once since April 23.

“It’s a great game and it’s a frustrating game and it’s a strange game all at the same time,” said Mussina after win No. 259. “A lot of people assumed that my best stuff was behind me. Granted, I don’t throw the ball 90 miles an hour any more. I know that. But I still know how to pitch.”

The Yankees should sit Joba, Phil and Ian in a room and have them watch every pitch Mussina threw tonight. It was a clinic on hitting spots, changing speeds and working efficiently.

Credit also to Joe Girardi, who has used Mussina twice beyond the sixth inning. At 39, Mussina doesn’t have a bottomless tank. The Yankees are getting everything they can out of him and ensuring he’ll have more to give in the second half.

————

Derek Jeter doesn’t get much involved in contemplating where is stands in baseball history. But when your name is behind only Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth on the “Most hits by a Yankee” list, that’s not something you can easily dismiss.

“My name doesn’t fit up there,” he said. “It sounds funny, doesn’t it? Just playing on the same team as those guys is pretty special.”

Jeter is 102 hits away from catching the Bambino. A reporter told him he has a great shot to do it this season.

“All I want is a shot at McGowan tomorrow,” he said.

 
 

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39 Responses to “Mussina making most of his opportunity”

  1. Buddy Biancalana June 5th, 2008 at 12:25 am

    Pretty amazing that Moose has one less win than Webb at this point in the season.

  2. JoeT 28 in 09!! June 5th, 2008 at 12:27 am

    i feel so much better when we win lol

    go Moose…. Go Jeter…. Go Yanks!!

  3. Louie Bags June 5th, 2008 at 12:28 am

    trade hughes, trade kennedy…sign wells and put joba back in the bullpen, we can make the playoffs on old guys instead of our young bums.

  4. YanksAngel June 5th, 2008 at 12:28 am

    Ever the Captain. It will be amazing to see him get to #2 on that list in the last year at Yankee Stadium

  5. Steph June 5th, 2008 at 12:32 am

    I sure hope that the Yanks had the kids taking notes on Moose’s outing tonight. His pitches were extremely crisp. Would have been a shutout if the ump had kept with the K-zone. Ah well.

    Congrats to the Captain!

  6. Mike B. June 5th, 2008 at 12:34 am

    Good take on Mussina Pete. Last season as Moose said people thought his best was behind him. It was almost as if you were flipping a coing with him and were chancing you would get heads. This season he seems to be changing speeds and locations to get hitters out something he has done in the past but now to more success after losing speed on his fast ball. I’ve heard around that it was expected that Wang would have the type of record Mussina carries insead of he other way around. Tomorrow afternoon should be a good game with Posada back and Wang on the mound. While tomorrow is my first game back to Yankee Stadium in a few years, I would not like it to be my last there this year if at all possible.
    Thanks Pete for the report.

  7. Brandon (supporting "Alex being Alex") (J.Santana HR allowed count: 12 ) June 5th, 2008 at 12:35 am

    LOL The Mighty Ray’s Aki Iwamaura was hit hard by Coco, General Maddon not happy :lol:

  8. Ryan June 5th, 2008 at 12:46 am

    Not completely sold on Moose yet. Since the first of May, he has faced:

    Seattle-13th in the AL in runs scored
    Cleveland-11th
    Tampa-6th
    Baltimore-12th
    Seattle-13th
    Minnesota-4th
    Toronto-10th

    I’ve been as thrilled as everyone else with what Mussina has done as of late, but any talk of him on the All-Star roster is a little crazy.

  9. raymagnetic June 5th, 2008 at 12:49 am

    “trade hughes, trade kennedy…sign wells and put joba back in the bullpen, we can make the playoffs on old guys instead of our young bums.”

    Joba is also young or did you forget this is your hallucinagenic rant?

  10. raymagnetic June 5th, 2008 at 12:50 am

    “Not completely sold on Moose yet. Since the first of May, he has faced:

    Seattle-13th in the AL in runs scored
    Cleveland-11th
    Tampa-6th
    Baltimore-12th
    Seattle-13th
    Minnesota-4th
    Toronto-10th

    I’ve been as thrilled as everyone else with what Mussina has done as of late, but any talk of him on the All-Star roster is a little crazy.”

    You still have to get those guys out, no?

  11. Buddy Biancalana June 5th, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Moose also has won those games backed by a mostly anemic Yankee offense.

  12. stuart June 5th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    ryan relax on the Moose. He is not a elite pitcher we all know that he can pitch a good 6 innings on occasion maybe 7.. the guy has a 4 ERA, but for a 4th or 5th starter he can be affective.
    for the boston yoyo posting about joba and papelbum

    papelbum never had near the success Joba did in the minors as a starter. papelbon physically could not start and he has only 2 pitches. papelbon is perfect for the pen.. joba has minimum 3 pitches and is just a whole different pitcher then papelbon with even better stuff the papelbum..

    joba throws harder and can sustain it for lomger.

    apples vs oranges…..

  13. henner June 5th, 2008 at 12:54 am

    there are less four for fours, less home runs, less jump-assists after moving to his right in the hole but another reminder that yankees fans should feel honored to have this guy on their team each and every day

  14. myrtlebeachfan June 5th, 2008 at 12:57 am

    I think this raises the question of, if Mussina gets 15+ wins this season, how do you not resign him with the chance that Pettitte may retire?

    The guy is giving us quality starts day in and day out and leads the AL in wins.

    I’ve always been a Mussina supporter, but he exceeded even my own expectations of him. He’s pulled a Greg Maddux and what says he can’t do it for a few more years

  15. GreenBeret7 June 5th, 2008 at 12:58 am

    Mussina could win 21-22 games this year with an ERA of 3.20 and there’s still going to say he wasn’t good enough….just lucky against the weak teams. How have the Yanks “better” pitchers done against the same competition?

    Go figure.

  16. raymagnetic June 5th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    “How have the Yanks “better” pitchers done against the same competition? ”

    GB,

    Excellent point. Moose always seems to get judged differently for some reason.

  17. GreenBeret7 June 5th, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Whether Mussina keeps up the pace he’s setting or not, isn’t the question. It’s the fact that so far, when the Yanks have needed it, it’s been Mussina that’s answered the bell. NYY would have been buried without him. I know he’s 8-1 over the last 9 games, but, that 3.35-3.40 ERA is the impressive part. His control is immpeccable and they are swinging and missing quite a few times….something the hitters haven’t done for a couple of years. No one on the staff has been as consistant over the last 5 weeks..except the two oldest pitchers on the team…Rivera and Mussina. His pitch counts and innings have increased…and surprisingly, so have the strikeouts. They have both been quite amazing.

  18. Skippy June 5th, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Yes–I like Andy Pettitte and appreciate all he’s done for the team as much as anyone else, but if Mussina had turned in a performance like Andy did the other night, people would be screaming for him to be DFA’d.

  19. Stephie June 5th, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Oh, come on, Moose is doing THIS well and some people still find fault with him? Not to mention he has contributed in so many years since he came from Baltimore…

    As for captain Jeter, congrats to him and hope we see more of those hits as he makes history.
    “All I want is a shot at McGowan tomorrow.”? Hm, ALWAYS saying the right things!

  20. S.A.-Can we please win a game? June 5th, 2008 at 1:21 am

    Moose is getting the job done.
    Let’s be happy with that and hope he continues doing well for the rest of the season.

  21. sw June 5th, 2008 at 1:22 am

    lol, imagine if Pete’s scenario were true and Kei Igawa got all of those starts instead of Moose.

    Way to early to consider him for the All-Star game though, if he gets two or more wins and gets the ERA under 4 by the time they pick it’ll be worth talking about. I would love to see Moose there if he makes the grade, since he’s never made it as a Yankee, not having been one of Torre’s boys. Plus there was the debacle when he was with Baltimore in ’93 and Cito Gaston wouldn’t pitch him in the All-Star game in his home stadium and Mussina warmed up in the bullpen so the fans would see him and caused a keruffle with the Jays. It would be nice for him to get a chance to do pitch at home at the ASG as a Yankee.

  22. Yankees Ben June 5th, 2008 at 1:34 am

    When my freind told me Moose is his sleeper for the season I laughed at him, Well not anymore.
    People can say what they want, moose really changed his pitching style for the better.
    And that silly argument about weak teams?????
    Did you saw that same weak line score 6 runs in an inning????
    My point , as long he cruises thru Line Ups he’solid.
    Good night ya’ll. Back to 500 tommorow.

  23. mussinahater June 5th, 2008 at 1:50 am

    yeah, i would love to see him give up 5 HRs in a row to the NL’s best.

    -Met fan!
    ps. thanks for santana

  24. jw June 5th, 2008 at 1:54 am

    troll.

  25. Brandon (supporting "Alex being Alex") (J.Santana HR allowed count: 12 ) June 5th, 2008 at 2:19 am

    “ps. thanks for santana”

    no problem tell Philly we said your welcome :D

  26. DYNASTY IS DESTINY! June 5th, 2008 at 2:47 am

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again:

    Moose will win 20 games this year!

  27. kasey June 5th, 2008 at 5:32 am

    in what has been an incredibly underwhelming season for the yanks thus far, mussina is one of the few bright spots.

    why wouldn’t he get all-star consideration? the guy’s got nine wins on june 4. that’s not too shabby.

  28. Jeepers Creepers June 5th, 2008 at 7:44 am

    “Brandon (supporting “Alex being Alex”) (J.Santana HR allowed count: 12 )
    June 5th, 2008 at 12:35 am
    LOL The Mighty Ray’s Aki Iwamaura was hit hard by Coco, General Maddon not happy”

    Karma! It can kill ya!

    :lol: Seems Maddon doesn’t like it when things are turned the other way. Though I don’t like Cereal Boy, it was nice to see he has the Yankee’s back. :lol:

  29. 108 stitches June 5th, 2008 at 7:55 am

    In late March, far more than the majority of Yankee fans figured Mussina at (maybe) 4 wins and Hughes and Kennedy with at least 5 wins each at this point of the season.
    Experience is still the best teacher.

  30. Annie Savoy June 5th, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Just like to add my Congratulations to two of the classiest guys in the game – Derek Jeter and Mike Mussina – for their recent successes. I just wish that more professionals would act like them…………but that may be asking too much.

    Anyway – keep on keeping on Derek and Mike – you’re the best.

  31. Frank June 5th, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Pete

    I don’t agree with you very often but I agree with you here. He is finding ways to invent himself on the mound. You are right about sticking the Big Three in a room watching his videos. Bring the rest of the farm as well. David Cone added a few years to his career by abandoning the stubborness and inventing himself on the mound. Moose is doing the same. Good for him.

  32. jennifer June 5th, 2008 at 8:27 am

    Isn’t it nice that Anti-Mussina is gone.

    I was one of the people on the Mussina bandwagon. I insisted that he would do well this year and you couldn’t point to last year cause he was injuried all year.

    Glad to see I was right!

  33. rover June 5th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Don’t the other teams pitchers in the A.L.East face the same lousy teams Moose faces?

  34. Jack Daniels June 5th, 2008 at 9:07 am

    “All I want is a Shot aginst McKowen tommorow”

    A lesson about life, focus on what you can do now and you will be sucessful.

    Heads up on the Rays – Sox – Crisp slid into Igawa very hard (slid through the bag on a attempted steal in the 8th)
    also he had his elbow up on the play. It was like he was trying to break up a double play instead of steal.

    Suprisingly no Rays outfielders bum rushed him. I guess they only do that in Spring Training.

    Maddon later in the inning came in to change pitchers and had a heated exchange of words with Crisp.

    The final game of the 3 game series may have some fireworks today.

  35. Yanksgal07 June 5th, 2008 at 10:14 am

    “As for captain Jeter, congrats to him and hope we see more of those hits as he makes history.
    “All I want is a shot at McGowan tomorrow.”? Hm, ALWAYS saying the right things!”

    He always says the right things because he MEANS it…that’s the difference between him saying it and some other players. As long as he’s been a Yankee there has never been an “I” in team for Jeter. Nothing matters more to him then the team and winning with the team. Congrats to the Captain (I was there last night too…very cool).

    Moose ..totally amazing this season no matter who he’s pitching against. You have to beat EVERYONE to win it all. I’ll take every win he gives us and be happy for it….Thank you Mooooooooooose !! God Bless the “older” generation of pitchers …Moose and Mo. I hope the kiddie corps is taking notes when these two are pitching…

    Go Yankees 2008 !!!!

  36. bigjf June 5th, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Last night was just a masterful game pitching-wise. Bob Lorenze brought up a good point about the ASG. Francona would be doing a pretty special thing if he lets Mariano start the game and pitch the first inning.

  37. yankee2123 June 5th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Moose is pitching like he wants to be back next year.

  38. Julio Lugo is the worst SS in the AL June 5th, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Mussina has NEVER won twenty games, even when he was pitching for good teams.

  39. Jeremy June 5th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Mussina never won 20 games. So what? He never won fewer than 10 games since his rookie season. He had 18-19 win seasons on Oriole teams that had terrible offenses. A little more run support and he has multiple 20-win seasons.

    If you really care about wins so much, don’t you think it’s important that he’s won 111 more games than he’s lost?


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