Saturday, June 14, 2008

Moose-ic to the Yankees' Ears (Postgame Notes 14 June 2008)

In the last fourteen innings he has pitched, Mike Mussina has given up runs in just two of them.

While the two home runs total five earned runs, it also means that in his last fourteen innings, over two games, Mussina has pitched twelve shut out innings.

After last season, you would have been hard pressed to find any Yankee fan that expected Mussina to win ten games this season. If you were on the lookout for a fan who thought Mussina would win ten games before Father's Day, you would have probably spent an eternity waiting for Godot.

Yet, here we are, two hours before Father's Day, and Mike Mussina has ten wins--most of them not flukes, either.

If one subtracts the starts against Boston, Mussina's record would sit at 10-2, not that 10-4 is anything to be ashamed of, either. In fact, by having ten wins already, Mussina could theoretically win 20 games this year--something he has never done in his long career.

That the Yankees are averaging over four runs a game when Mussina starts doesn't hurt, either--and tonight they scored double that.

After Carlos Lee hit a three run home run for Houston in the bottom of the first to give Houston a 3-0 lead, things did not look all that encouraging--Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez entered the game with an ERA of 1.99 and no earned runs allowed in his last thirteen innings.

However, Alex Rodriguez, who lead off the top of the second, hit a solo home run (with a little help from a fan knocking Hunter Pence's glove out of the way), which Jason Giambi followed with a double and Melky Cabrera an RBI single.

In the next inning, Alex Rodriguez was intentionally walked for Giambi, who worked a two out walk to load the bases. Cabrera followed Giambi with a four-pitch walk of his own, to bring in the game's tying run and the Yankees never looked back.

Catcher Jose Molina followed with a two run single, and, in the later innings, the Yankees padded their lead with pinch hits from Robinson Canò (who this season is 2-3 as a pinch hitter with 2 RBI) and Wilson Betemit, whose two run double in the top of the ninth missed being a three run home run by inches.

The Yankees made it interesting when Ross Ohlendorf turned the game into a one run affair with the tying run at third base before getting out of the seventh and when they had Kyle Farnsworth pitch the eighth on back to back nights, but for once, the stars seem to be aligned in the Yankees' favor as they are now a season high three games over .500 (alas, since both Boston and Tampa won today, the Yankees did not pick up any ground in the division, but it's a little too early to be worrying about the pennant quite yet--six games in June is hardly out of reach).

It might be worth noting, that last year, the Yankees had their first extended winning streak of the season when they started interleague play--sweeping Pittsburgh and Arizona while on their way to winning nine in a row.

Maybe a little National League is all the Yankees need to get rolling.

1 comment:

  1. Moose with 10 wins so far. A lot of people didn't think he'd get 10 wins all season! He has been just great. I really hope that this is the year he finally gets to 20 wins.