The Mysterious Degeneration of Mike Mussina

He was going so well. Through four, looking utterly dominant. Then the wheels just came off. But in slow motion. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. The hits just kept coming, and a 4-0 lead slowly shifted to 4-1, 4-3, 4-5, 4-6. All in one seemingly endless 5th inning, and most of the runs with two outs. We haven’t checked the stats, but our guess was that Moose tossed around 50 pitches in that single frame. It took about 2 hours. Perhaps he tired. Perhaps he was out too long in his previous outing. Perhaps he got robbed on a few calls at the plate (he wasn’t getting the high strike on his curve at all). It’s an ephemeral game. Let’s hope the boys come back….

18 comments… add one
  • *breaks out the world’s tiniest violin…*

    beth August 3, 2005, 10:10 pm
  • Ah, the two faces of the Moose. He’s either really good or very mediocre. Or he starts out great and implodes later on. It must suck to rely on such a Jekyll/Hyde pitcher to be your team’s anchor. Have fun with that.

    A. Nonny. Mouse August 3, 2005, 11:19 pm
  • As opposed to the Sox team anchor, who is it by the way?

    Battingly August 4, 2005, 8:50 am
  • Wakefield, Clement, Wells, Arroyo. No ace in the conventional sense, but depth.

    SF August 4, 2005, 10:06 am
  • Get real. Have you seen Clement’s record in his first 10 games against his last 10 games? Wakefield admits that half the time he doesn’t know where his ball his going, and Wells…could you find a guy who’s more Jekyll and Hyde?
    Sorry, Sox fans, but to claim that your rotation is in order is just a joke. Yes, you’re in better shape than the Yanks right now, but Moose, Unit, Pavano, Wright and Wang compare rather well with your ragtag collection of mercenaries (oh, I forgot, players only go to the Sox for love of the franchise).
    Furthermore, both rotations are blown out of the water by the White Sox and the A’s. That should be the main concern here.

    sam August 4, 2005, 10:50 am
  • Moose, Unit, Pavano, Wright and Wang compare rather well with your ragtag collection of mercenaries
    At last check these guys were: inconsistent, inconsistent, DL’d, DL’d, and DL’d. The question wasn’t “is the Sox rotation a bunch of world beaters”, as that would bear a different answer. The question was “who is the Sox’ anchor”. The answer, repeated again: they don’t have an anchor, but they do have some decent depth. I am not sure why you take such offense to that non-earth-shattering statement, Sam.

    SF August 4, 2005, 10:55 am
  • The point is that not only do you not have an anchor, claiming consistency and quality in depth is disengenious- particularly compared to the Yanks at full strength. And though you’re slowly taking over this site, SF, I thought the whole point was Yanks v Sox…

    Sam August 4, 2005, 11:04 am
  • Go here, Sam:


    David Wells Game by Game


    I don’t want to get into a long debate about David Wells, his personality, his post-season reliability, or any other such nonsense, but one thing about the last 10 weeks is that he has not been a “Jekyll and Hyde” kind of guy.

    SF August 4, 2005, 11:07 am
  • Sam: I think you are the one who is being disingenious here, and maybe disingenuous too. The Sox top 4 starters #s look as follows:
    10-9 with a 4.23 ERA (Wake)
    9-6 with a 4.22 ERA (Rock Star)
    10-3 with a 4.43 ERA (Bruised Head)
    9-5 with a 4.45 ERA. (Fatso)
    If that isn’t depth and consistency than I don’t know what it is. It’s not Maddux/Glavine/Smoltz depth and consistency, and nobody is arguing that. But it would hold that the Red Sox have some ability, at the moment, to throw out the same guys every week and have a decent idea of what they will be getting, innings and runs-wise.

    SF August 4, 2005, 11:14 am
  • Damn those stats!
    You’ve helpfully proved my point: look more closely at the figures for your friend with the bruised head, who seemingly has a great record. In his four starts prior to the game where got hit on the noggin, he went 6.2IP, 8ER; 9.2IP, 4ER; 3.2IP 6ER; 6IP, 4ER (including 3HR). And Wake? Last three starts: 7IP, 5ER; 5IP, 6ER; 5IP, 4ER. An you also conveniently ignored Wade Miller, who’s been up and down all year.
    That’s not the sort of strength in depth, or consistency, that you can rely on – that’s all I’m saying.

    Anonymous August 4, 2005, 11:26 am
  • I ignored Miller because he’s a 5th starter, and no 5th starter is ever really counted on for either depth or consistency, and he’s obviously been completely erratic. Which team in the entire Majors can cite their 5th starter as a model of those qualities, ever, in any season? Not even a team with as nice pitching to date as the White Sox can do that (theirs is Contreras), so using Miller as proof of your flawed hypothesis is a red herring.

    SF August 4, 2005, 11:34 am
  • Please do not call Arroyo a rock star. A good pitcher, yes. But “rock star” suggests he’s actually good at the music.
    FWIW, I think both rotations lack an anchor, and have been pretty inconsistent all year. The major difference between the 2 rotations is the amount of money and years committed in them. The Sox rotation doesn’t have the massive contracts of Mussina, RJ, Brown and Pavano. And it doesn’t have the inexplicable Wright contract. To clarify: I’m a Yanks fan, but I’d rather have the Sox rotation (if only because it is not as burdensome).
    This year the rotations are close to a wash, but the future seems brighter for the Sox. Damn cycles of history!

    Nick August 4, 2005, 11:36 am
  • Stick a fork in the Bronx blowhards.
    I love this Game!

    joey sessions August 4, 2005, 11:49 am
  • joeysessions, the bombers appeared dead before…

    Nick August 4, 2005, 11:58 am
  • from the NYT today. SF called this (though I think he was joking). John YF, if you’re still there, this guy was also from the Red Sox farm system…

    Cashman Has Eye on Sele
    Brian Cashman said he called the agent Adam Katz to express some interest in the veteran right-hander Aaron Sele, who was released by the Seattle Mariners this week.
    “I just told him to throw my name in the hat as a possible-interest guy,” Cashman said.
    Sele, 35, was 6-12 with a 5.66 earned run average in 21 starts this season. He is 137-104 in a 13-year major league career.

    Earl August 4, 2005, 12:18 pm
  • ESPN’s Peter Gammons is also reporting that the Yanks asked the Reds about Griffey just before the trade deadline.
    So much for a change in policy…

    Sam August 4, 2005, 12:28 pm
  • With the Sox scoring 6 runs per game those consistent guys should have consistently better records, other than Clement, no?

    Battingly August 4, 2005, 3:07 pm
  • Not really. Wins, and I know YF agrees with me on this one, are strange things, and the number of wins isn’t entirely representative of a pitcher’s accomplishment. As it is, the Sox staff has four guys on a pace to win 14+ games, which would indicate some level of consistency and ability to stay in games long enough to be useful. It’s hard to say with a straight face that since the Sox score so much they should have 4 guys on a pace to win, say, 18-20 games. Especially when those four don’t include Pedro and Curt Schilling.

    SF August 4, 2005, 3:30 pm

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