"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monday’s Game

As good as Mike Mussina was in his last start, he was that bad yesterday, resulting in a 15-2 Yankee loss to the Tigers on the road.


Johnny Damon DH
Derek Jeter SS
Bernie Williams RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jorge Posada C
Andy Phillips 1B
Kevin Reese CF
Kevin Thompson LF
Miguel Cairo 2B

Subs: Felix Escalona SS, Russ Johnson 3B, Wil Nieves C, L. A. Garcia (?) RF, Andy Cannizaro DH

Pitchers: Mike Mussina, Dusty Bergman, Mark Corey, Scott Proctor, Ron Villone

Big Hits: A solo homer by Cairo (1 for 3), Damon and Jeter were both 2 for 3, Phillips was 2 for 4. On the flip side, Bernie went 0 for 4, grounded into two double plays and left seven men on base.

Who Pitched Well: Scott Proctor walked one and struck out two in two hitless innings, Mark Corey retired the only batter he faced.

Who Didn’t: Villone gave up two runs on four hits in one inning. Bergman gave up three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Mussina, however, takes the cake, giving up ten runs on a walk and twelve hits, including a pair of doubles and four home runs (by Dmitri Young, Brandon Inge, Magglio Ordonez and Alexis Gomez) in just four innings.

Ouchies: Jaret Wright’s back spasms will cause him to miss his scheduled start on Thursday (curiously it appears the Yanks has planned to skip Wang’s turn which falls on today’s off day, though I’ve not read any explaination as to why, I assume he’ll now take Wright’s turn on Thursday), but the Yankees are cautiously optimistic beyond that and have yet to determine if he’ll even miss a full turn or just have his start pushed back. Scott Erickson also suffered back spasms over the weekend, yet another in a series of fortuitous Yankee injuries dating back to last April. Carl Pavano, meanwhile, is now not expected to be ready by April 15, the day that the Yankees will need a fifth starter. Pavano is scheduled to throw batting practice Wednesday, then again on Saturday and should make his first game start a week from Wednesday or Thursday. That would give him time to make three starts before the 15th, but the Yankees think he’ll need 30 to 35 innings to be ready. Same old story. Don’t hold your breath for Meat’s return. Anyone still curious as to why the Yankees were unable to trade this guy this past winter?

So who will be making that April 15 start? Well, if his back holds up it will be Jaret Wright, who is still supposedly fighting for a rotation spot (a battle Pavano may make moot). If not, there’s a chance that Aaron Small could be back from his hamstring injury by then. Failing that, Matt DeSalvo just might get his shot earlier than expected. Indeed, to the delight of many, Joe Torre has said he has no intention of using Scott Erickson as a starter, back spasms or not. From MLB.com:

Torre nixed the idea of using Erickson as a starter, however, even if the rotation has a hole to fill because of injury.

“We’re looking for Erickson in the middle of a game, because he could probably give you two, three or four innings,” Torre said. “If he’s in the mix, that’s probably what his role would be.”

If he’s in the mix,” music to my ears.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver