"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Seven Letter Word for “Finished”?

Gary Sheffield aggrivated a shoulder injury on Tuesday and is out indefinitely. I don’t think any of the Yankee pitchers will bark about not having to face Sheff.

Meanwhile, is Mike Mussina done? Is he finished, kaput? Anthony McCarron examines this question in the Daily News:

A major league scout familiar with Mussina’s work said yesterday that velocity “is his problem.” Mussina has never been a power pitcher, nor has he needed to throw that hard to win. But his hard stuff was clocked mostly around 86 mph Tuesday night in Anaheim, which the scout says hinders Mussina’s arsenal of off-speed and breaking pitches.

“You have to have separation,” the scout said. “There has to be some change of speeds with the fastball. If the changeup or the breaking balls are too close, they lose their effectiveness.”

The scout also noted the difference in Mussina’s starts against good teams and bad ones. Mussina is 2-4 with a 6.65 ERA in eight starts against teams that had winning records entering yesterday’s play. Against teams that were below .500 entering yesterday, he was 6-5 with a 4.34 ERA.

“Which is typical when you start to lose your stuff,” the scout said. “You’re still smart enough to get the inferior hitters out, but you have problems when you pitch against the better-hitting teams because there are fewer inferior hitters.”

Mussina is a number five pitcher now. The Yanks still have some weak teams to play in October. He still has a chance to contribute. The question is, does he have enough stuff left? Color me skeptical.

* I bit the headline from one of the comments the other night.

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