Results tagged ‘ Mike Mussina ’

The Moose is Loose

Jamie Moyer? Mike Mussina thinks not. The Moose was loose for seven sharp innings on Wednesday, limiting the White Sox to just two solo home runs in the Yankees’ 6-4 victory. Mussina showed the ability to make adjustments, abandoning his curveball and throwing more running two-seamers with sink. Hey, forget Moyer – he’s Chien-Ming Wang!

In all seriousness, Mussina should be savoring these as he goes along. He can still pitch when everything’s clicking, like it was in Chicago. He’s going to have days rougher than Wednesday, too, and fans need to be prepared for that. But the Yankees are looking to Mussina to be their third starter, not an ace, and by reshuffling their rotation they’ll be able to avoid mismatches like the Mussina vs. Josh Beckett debacle at Fenway.

In other news…

Phil Hughes says his velocity is just fine – note to fans, stop waiting for the 95 mph-plus heaters to pop in. He’s not Joba Chamberlain. Hughes himself said he only hit 95 mph three times in 2006 at Trenton, when he went over the radar gun readings after every start. … Anyone else see what Darrell Rasner is up to lately? He’s only leading the International League in ERA. Ian Kennedy, be warned. … The buried David Ortiz jersey went for $175,000. Wonder if the construction worker would like to have it back? … If you had Ella Alexander Rodriguez in the ‘Name A-Rod’s Baby’ pool, congratulations — you’ve won. 

We’ve got your offense right here

Yankee Stadium.jpgYou knew it was too good to last. The Yankees played their first four hour-plus game of the season on Wednesday at the Stadium, a 15-9 slugfest with the Red Sox that played – for the first five innings, especially – like the co-ed softball games I used to umpire in Rockland County. (That was a lot of fun. Hopefully someone remembers all the times I beat the runner down the first base line as a single-man umpiring crew. I’m a hustler.)

20 runs crossed the plate in the first five frames alone, but LaTroy Hawkins and Brian Bruney especially stopped the bleeding and deserve a lot of credit for this one. Chien-Ming Wang had little but neither did Clay Buchholz, and for as sharp as they both looked last Friday in Boston, this was a definite pounding for each guy.

This evening brings us Mike Mussina and Josh Beckett in what, on paper, reads like a mismatch. You never know when Moose is going to be able to spot his command, though, and you can’t write him off for this one. If he’s able to hit his spots and stay below 100 pitches in five innings, the Yankees have a chance.

Why not? The bats are warming up and this looks more like the offense that we’ve been saying can pound bad pitchers into submission. Beckett, however, is not one of those guys. He’s a bonafide ace and they’ll have their work cut out for them.

Already, a rubber game

Phil Hughes received some of the loudest cheers when the Yankees were introduced before Tuesday’s game, and it’s clear the fan base has high hopes for the youngest member of their pitching staff. It’s almost strange to say that just because Hughes’ demeanor really doesn’t lend itself to youth. He may be 21 but, to me, he carries himself like a veteran already.

Hughes gets the ball rolling on his 2008 campaign tonight in the rubber game of a three-game series with the Blue Jays. Will Jorge Posada appear in the lineup? Will Jason Giambi continue to resemble a dancing bear at first base? Stay tuned. I thought an excellent defensive first baseman — hi, Doug Mientkiewicz — would have caught the ball that Giambi fell into the photo box chasing, but when you throw Giambi out there, you’re basically hoping he’ll knock everything around him down and scoop throws, which he actually is quite adept at doing.

Lessons from yesterday — don’t steal from the Yankees and don’t talk on your cell phone while driving. Mike Mussina looked just OK to me but I was impressed with his ability to spot his curveball, the Frank Thomas hit-by-pitch notwithstanding. If Mussina gives you three earned runs in 5 2/3 innings every time out, I think you have to take that. They won’t face A.J. Burnett every day.

In the two hole

The Yankees have just taken the field here in the Bronx. I must admit, I’m curious to see how Mike Mussina fares tonight — and pretty much all season. You don’t win 250 games by accident but it’s clear he’s pitching in the tail end of his career. On the nights he hits his spots and spins it right, Moose can still win ballgames. When he doesn’t… well, I remember last August in Detroit and Anaheim. It wasn’t pretty.

There is some news this evening as Jorge Posada was scratched from the original lineup with right shoulder stiffness. Apparently Posada felt something on one of his throws to second base last night, but Joe Girardi thinks this could just be a one-day thing. It is quite cold here tonight so you can understand not wanting to exacerbate the injury. Mussina put up a note on his dry-erase board that said: “Yankees vs. Blue Jays at Lambeau Field.”

And now, as Moose warms up to the Scorpions, here’s my unsolicited, uncompensated travel tip. It turns out Blimpie is having a deal where you get a 6-inch sub sandwich, a liter of spring water and a chocolate bar for $3.99. I’m not one to plug things but anything I’d stop for on the way to the ballpark seems like something to pass on to y’all. Every penny counts.

It’s a whole new world

Mike Mussina was grumbling sarcastically as he walked through the Yankees’ clubhouse this afternoon, munching on a can of peanuts.

“There’s nothing to eat in this place,” Mussina said.

Joe Girardi’s new movement to banish sweets from the players lounge may hit Mussina, a self-professed sugar junkie, the hardest. You’re talking about a guy whose blood type is practically Mountain Dew. Mussina is making more than $11 million this year, so you’d think he could supply his own ice cream and M&Ms, but it’s the principle of the matter.

Meanwhile, here’s something Joe Torre wouldn’t have approved of. Johnny Damon lugs a portable white karaoke machine everywhere the Yankees go now, and it has a jack to put anybody’s iPod in and crank up some tunes.

Brian Bruney was the guest DJ this afternoon and, in a completely random succession, we were all treated to Young Jeezy’s ‘Go Getter,’ the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Under the Bridge,’ Kid Rock’s ‘Devil Without a Cause,’ and Seven Mary Three’s ‘Water’s Edge.’

Chien-Ming Wang is still the coolest kid in school. None of this bothered him as he sat at his locker, silently (what else?), flipping through an exotic car magazine.

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