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Moose: Four more starts or five?

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The Yankees have days off scheduled for Sept. 11 and Sept. 22.

If Mike Mussina pitches every five days he would get starts on Sept. 7 (Seattle), Sept. 12 (Tampa Bay), Sept. 17 (Chicago), Sept. 23 (Toronto) and Sept. 28 (Boston).

If the Yankees stick with a five-man rotation, he would get only four starts. At 17-7, this could have a direct impact on whether he wins 20 games for the first time.

The first decision will come soon. Sidney Ponson is scheduled to start on Saturday in Seattle. If he stays in the rotation, he would pitch again Sept. 12. But if they skip him, Moose could go that day and that would line him up to pitch the final game of the season in Boston.

Two things: The Yankees should adjust the rotation to give Mike every chance to win 20. He has earned that. Plus, just in case, wouldn’t you want him pitching that final game at Fenway Park?

Joe Girardi had shown great loyalty to Sidney Ponson. But there does come a point where common sense has to win out.