Afternoon Baseball

Common-sense ruminations on baseball and culture.

As we all know, the oft-injured Mike Mussina pitched but 64 pitches last time out. He hasn't pitched 200 innings since 2003. In those three seasons, he's also failed to throw 100 pitches per start, something he attained every year of his career before that. His pitches per inning since 2003 has been 15.8, 16.6 and 15.4.
His career mark is 15.4, so his falling short of 200 innings (he had 197+) last year is more of Joe Torre pulling him early (94.9 pitches per start) and not falling off late, as he was exceptional from pitches 76-105.

So all signs point to Mussina not being more than a six-inning pitcher, and sometimes slightly less. Understandable. However, given that in his three appearances this year, he's averaged 17.5 pitches per inning, look for five-to-six frames. Is that enough for a #3 starter? We'll have to wait and see. What I do think, however, and I don't think this is earth-shattering knowledge, is that he's much more likely to post his 2004 and 2005 numbers (25-17 with ERAs of 4.59 and 4.41) than his 15-7, 3.51 marks in 2006.

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