Posted by The Moose and Rorschach
Well, it’s over. As you know if you’ve read Ryan’s PHENOMINAL blog, Moose picked up his 20th win today. I’ll be back with my thoughts tomorrow after a night of rest, but I wanted to pass along a few points about Mussina’s season, excluding the wins.
1) Mussina’s ERA of 3.37 was his lowest since 2001 and good for 5th in the league.
2) Mussina finished tied for 14th in the league with 200.3 innings, and frankly, could have been a few spots higher had it not been for the elbow acting up.
3) His 150 strikeouts were good for 18th, and again, could have been higher had he not had the elbow issues.
4) Mussina was one of only four pitchers in the AL with 34 starts this season; the league lead (hello black ink).
5) Moose’s 31 walks were the fewest of his career and he did not walk more than two hitters in any one start this season. His 1.39 bases on balls per nine innings placed him second in the AL. Mussina’s K to BB ratio was 4.84, good for 4th best in his league.
6) Mussina was unscored upon in his last 16 innings. In his last three starts he posted a 3-0 0.53 17IP 12H 1R 1ER 4BB 13SO.
All in all, there’s not a single complaint to be found if you’re a Yankees fan. And something to remember: This was a guy who, from the end of 2006 to the start of this season, was 14-17 and lost his job once. Think about how close he was this season to not staying in the starting rotation. Only the Joba Rules and the failed Kennedy/Hughes experiment saved him. (Dear Ian and Phil: Thanks. Good luck next season though.)
The Yankees began the 2008 season with a starting rotation of Chien-Ming Wang, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Mike Mussina won 20 games this year. The other four? They won 22. In fact Mussina had more then one-third of the 59 victories Yankee starters delivered this season. The Yankees also finished 16 games over .500. They were 23-11 when Mussina started for them.
At the end of the day, Mussina couldn’t do it alone. Consider:
1) The Yankees moved “The Phenom” back a day and cost him a final start to give Moose this game
2) Mariano Rivera, ever the professional, came back from NY, with a bum shoulder, and shut down the Red Sox in a game that was, in the larger picture, meaningless
3) Derek Jeter, who you usually have to taze to keep from the field, asked for the day off becasue he felt playing could harm Mussina’s chances.
4) The wonderfully inept Pittsburgh Pirates, who once again were awful, leading to the sale of Xavier Nady, who hit a huge three-run homerun to give Mussina the support he needed.
5) Damaso Marte, simply for making our life that much more interesting. He’s forgiven for today, but I still hate him.
That’s all for tonight kids. I’ll be back midday with my thoughts on Mussina’s new legacy and where he goes from here.
And to all out loyal readers: Our 1500 page views easily set a new record for site and we’ve topped 25,000 hits since inception (suddenly round numbers are just so beautiful!). Thanks for all your support and keep spreading the word to Moose fans everywhere. But, please do not abandon us in the offseason. 🙂