LADY AT THE BAT: Mike Mussina: League Leader

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mike Mussina: League Leader

When this season began, Mike Mussina was expected to do next to nothing as far as contributing to any success the Yankees had this year. While talking about the pitching rotation, Hank Steinbrenner rattled off the names of Wang, Pettitte, Hughes and Kennedy and never even mention Moose's name. Well, now Wang, Hughes and Kennedy are on the DL and rotation includes names like Darrell Rasner and and Sidney Ponson. Mike Mussina is still in the rotation as well, but his name is no longer being left out.

Mussina is now tied for the AL lead in wins with 13. He has a 0.64 ERA over his last two starts with 13 strikeouts. Speaking of strikeouts, with the 81 he has for the year, he'll be sure to surpass his '07 total of 91. Many of his strikeouts are of the "called strike three" variety. But, of course, the biggest key to his succes is the fact that he's pitching inside more this year, something he'd refused to do in recent years. Ever the one to avoid a brawl, he's thrown that to the curb this year in order to help his team win, saving his career in the process.

If Moose can continue to pitch like this, I don't see why he wouldn't get an opportunity to pitch again next season, if he wants to, and why wouldn't he want to? Also, he does have an outside shot at 300 wins and, even if he doesn't get to 300, I can't believe he won't be in many Hall Of Fame discussions for years to come.

The Lady

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