Mike Mussina, Fifteen Wins And Counting To  Twenty

With only 47 games remaining this year, Mike Mussina continues on the road to his first 20-win season, as he improved his record to 15-7 last night when the Yankees defeated the Rangers, 3-0, to earn a split in their four-game series in Texas. 

Mussina said after the game, “I didn’t have my best stuff”, but “kept going with what I had”. It was enough stuff, though, to throw 99 pitches over 7 strong scoreless innings, allowing 8 hits, one walk, and striking out six. This win lowered Mussina’s ERA to 3.27.

Clearly, the Yankees would be out of the race for first place in the AL EAST, if Mussina was not pitching as well as he is. He was not chosen for the 2008 AL All-Star team, but at the end of this great season, Mike Mussina could be collecting both the Cy Young Award and MVP Award. Mariano Rivera will also be in contention for these two awards, as both Moose and Mo are the MVP’s of this Yankees team.

This game was another must-win situation for the Bombers, so they could split the series with Texas, and go into the weekend series with the L.A. Angels on a two-game winning streak. 

Mike Mussina, and the Yankees bullpen, including Mariano Rivera, who recorded his 28th save, led the way to victory by shutting-out the Rangers who are the best hitting team in the American League. 

Derek Jeter had a big game, going (3-for-4), including a first inning homerun that gave the Yankees a quick 1-0 lead. Johnny Damon (2-for-5) drove home the Yanks second run in the 5th inning. And, Jeter completed the scoring with a RBI single in the 9th, driving home Robinson Cano (3-for-4), who led off the inning with a double, for the third and final run of the game.

It’s important that all three, Jeter (.286 BA); Damon (.318); and Cano (.266) continue their hot hitting the rest of the season, and, also, driving home runs in clutch situations. The pitching staff has done their job keeping the Yankees in this pennant race up to this point. The hitters now have to “literally” step up to the plate, and start scoring some runs, to complement the great Yankee pitching so far this season.

The Yankees are now (63-52), six games behind the first place Tampa Bay Rays; and, three games behind the second place Boston Red Sox.

The L.A. Angels (71-43) are next up on the schedule, as the Yankees play three games this weekend against the AL’s leading winning team.

It will be Ian Kennedy in (game 1); Dan Giese (game 2); and, Andy Pettitte in (game 3), of yet another important series for the Bronx Bombers.

So, the 10-game road trip continues, as the Yankees are (2-2) going into L.A.   

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7 comments

  1. seanserritella

    Ian Kennedy bombed out tonight. I hope Mussina wins 20 games but it would helpful if he was to win 20 when the Yankees have a better team like next year. The Yankees just don’t have a championship in them this year.

  2. ricter

    Hey Jimmy, I originally posted this on the Bombersbeat. I though you’d appreciate it….

    hey-did you guys know that Lou Gehrig had 1995 RBI in 14 (+ 31 games) seasons? By comparision, the 4 guys ahead of him needed 21 or more seasons. Do you guys think that Gehrig would have had 3000 rbi if he didn’t get that horrible disease? And how about this: Doctors said that he must have had it begin several years before his last season, the 8 games he played in 1939. Jason Becker and Steven Hawking had symptoms of weakness and lethargy begin 2-3 years before it escalated to full blown ALS…
    can you imagine what sort of career Gehrig would have had if he played for 21 years like Babe Ruth or 20+ years like other greats?
    Lou was the true Iron man…had the best 14 consecutive years and the best 2130 consecutive games anyone has ever played. It took a crippling, horrifc disease to stop him from playing the game.
    Just figured I’d throw that one out there to try and send some positive vibes out to the Yankee fans who may be down from the way things ahve been turning out lately…
    Just remember: We had Lou, from the beginning right to the end. He was a native New Yorker, a TRUE home grown talent. We had the “luckiest man on the face of the earth”, and NO ONE can ever take that away from us. NO ONE.
    Take that with you, fans, and don’t ever forget that no matter what happens, we have a legacy that will never die. If there is hope, then maybe, just maybe, this team of overpaid millionaire ball players can get one more trophy for the old stadium that stood as the beacon for baseball and everything it means to this country for the past 80+ years. Maybe we can get one more for the ole’ gal?
    and hope in 2008 is the wild card….

  3. seanserritella

    Michael, I have something even more for you. Imagine Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in the same lineup? When does that happen? How is it possible that the two best players of all time play on the same team in the same lineup? It’s insane if you really think about it.

  4. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Michael …

    EXCELLENT COMMENTS !!! … That’s what’s so great about being a Yankees fan … All the great Yankees tradition, and all the great Yankee players from the past – right up to the present day … Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are the greatest players of all-time, and like Sean said above, “Imagine Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in the same lineup?” … Just amazing when you think about it !!! … Lou Gehrig’s stats would be off-the-charts if his career was not ended by his “crippling disease” … Gehrig had: 493 career Homeruns; 1888 Runs; 1995 RBI’s; and 2,721 Hits … All those numbers would have been “been even greater” – 600 + HR’s; 3,500 + hits; 2,500 + RBIs; 2,500 + Runs … An All-Time Great – The Iron Horse … “Pride of the Yankees” is my all-time favorite baseball [and, sports] movie … and, Lou Gehrig, other than Babe Ruth, is the greatest player in the history of the game !!! … Thanks, Michael, for such a great, an awesome post !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  5. jimmy27nyy

    Hey Sean …

    Ian Kennedy looks like a (AAAA) pitcher at best … The Yankees can’t depend on him, and I would much rather see Darrell Rasner in the starting rotation the rest of the way … The Yankees could sure use Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig – right now – in this lineup !!! … But, yes, Mike Mussina will win 20 + games this year… I hope he will get the chance to win a few more in the playoffs and World Series !!! … Take care, Sean … Thanks for the comments !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

  6. jimmy27nyy

    Dan Giese had another great pitching performance yesterday !!!

    Too bad it was wasted by the Yankees bullpen. Oh, how I hate those “pitch-counts” !!! If a starting pitcher is throwing a great game, there’s “no reason” why he can’t pitch at least 8 innings !!! … Have a good night, Sean

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