Posted by: Rorschach on 9/2
The New York Yankees are 19-9 when Mike Mussina starts for them this year. They are 54-55 when another pitcher takes the mound. The diehards, still dreaming of a playoff run, would have no hope if Mussina was not Yankee.
Today Moose starts against the AL East leading Tampa Rays. The Yankees are going to finish behind the likely division winning Rays; the Rays are coasting to October; this is truly bizzarro world. Even this September game, between the Rays and the Yankees, that doesn’t really mean much, does so for all the backward reasons.
Everybody already knows how great a year Tampa is having. The Rays, who have won 5 straight and only need to finish the year 16-11 (.592) to win 100 games. Yes, you read that correctly the Tampa Bay Devil Rays are probably going to win 100 games. They’ve played .622 thus far, inculding a 52-19 record at home (That’s .732! btw). And of course tonight’s game is in Tampa Bay.
Luckily, Mussina has pitched exceptional against Tampa Bay. He’s 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA in two starts. That includes a 6 and 1/3 innings of one run ball in the Yanks 2-1 victory in Tampa on May 14th. The key for Mussina is to get out of the first two innings without allowing more then a run and with a relatively low pitch count. In the first two innings this year Mussina has allowed OPS’s of .835 and .825 respectively. For innings 2-8 he’s only allowing opposing hitters a OPS of .680. If he’s on early, things look good.
Matt Garza will oppose Mussina tonight. Mussina might be in line to catch the bad Matt Garza tonight. These are Garza’s earned runs allowed in this last eleven starts:
0, 3, 7, 0, 4, 0, 4, 5, 0, 4, 0
That’s an amazing every-other-start consistency. If the pattern holds Garza should allow 4 or 5 runs tonight. Then again he’s 7-2 with a 2.47 at Tropicana field (4-5, 4.72 on the road).
Let’s pray for the bad Matt Garza tonight.