LADY AT THE BAT: Mussina & Nieves: Whatever Works

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mussina & Nieves: Whatever Works

Joe Torre doesn't believe in personal catchers. He claims a "gut feeling" led him to pair catcher Wil Nieves with Mike Mussina for three straight games. Last night the two were together for the fourth straight time, as Mussina pitched his best game of the season, going 7.2 innings, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits, striking out 7 and walking none, en route to the Yankees 8th straight win.

According to MLB.com Nieves likes what he and Mussina have accomplished. "I try to make him feel comfortable, be where he wants me to be, give him a low target," Nieves said. "I just try to be in his mind, because he's got a mind of how he's going to pitch guys. He's going to do what he wants to do. Now, we're almost on the same page all the time. It's like a relationship, where we build that trust." In games where Nieves catches him, Mussina has a respectable 3.49 ERA.

Whether Torre believes in personal catchers or not, he knows he can't argue with what works. I'm sure he remembers what he did a decade ago when Dwight Gooden was in the Yankees' starting rotation. He put a young Jorge Posada in as catcher every time Gooden was on the hill. If Nieves can come close to what Posada has done over the past ten years, the boxing commissioner of Puerto Rico will be very happy, indeed. Why? Because she's his mother. No lie!

The Lady

1 comment:

Baseball_Lipgloss said...

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