Ivan Rodriguez vs. Mike Mussina

Ivan Rodriguez faced more than 300 pitchers during his HOF career. The only pitcher he faced more often than Mike Mussina, was Randy Johnson.

Mussina and Rodriguez were teammates for two months at the end of the 2008 season. Rodriguez was dealt to the Yankees on July 31st that summer. Rodriguez never caught Mussina though. Of Mussina’s 34 starts in 2008, Jose Molina caught all but two. Jorge Posada and Chad Moeller filled in the other two times.

When they were on opposing teams, Rodriguez faced off against Mussina 75 times across 15 seasons. They played against each other in the American League Division Series in 2006 and in the World Series in 2003.

Rodriguez hit .257/.267/.338 against Mussina. Mussina struck out Pudge 19 times in those 75 plate appearances and only walked him once. Rodriguez never took Mussina deep and only drove in two runners against Moose.

In Game 3 of the 2003 World Series, Rodriguez hit third against Mussina. He went one for three, with his one hit being a fourth inning double. The Yankees won the game 6-1, with Mussina allowing one run in seven innings, while striking out nine Marlins. It would be the last World Series game the Yankees would win until 2009.

Rodriguez’s team also got the best of Mussina and Yankees in 2006. This time, Rodriguez was in Detroit and the Yankees were looking to go up two games to none in the ALDS. Rodriguez went 0 for 3 against Mussina, and 0 for 4 for the game, but the Tigers pulled out the 4-3 win.  They won the series two days later and later advanced to the World Series, where they lost to the Cardinals.

Rodriguez’s .605 OPS against Mussina is the lowest Rodriguez posted against a pitcher he faced more than 60 times.

Congratulations to Ivan Rodriguez (and Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell) on their induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We hope Mussina joins them soon.

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