Afternoon Baseball

Common-sense ruminations on baseball and culture.

Earlier today, I asked if Mike Mussina could provide the innings, with some doubt cast because of a decline in innings pitches and pitches per start combined with injuries and a slight uptick in pitches per inning.

Tonight, the Moose was very effective, giving up two runs in six innings. Most importantly, though, he offset a lack of strikeouts (two) by only allowing three hits and a walk. He threw only 85 pitches, although this was up from 64 last time out, for a per-inning average of 14.2. Obviously, if he can keep those numbers up, he'll turn into a seven-inning pitcher and propel the Yankees pretty far. Keep in mind he's but the #3 starter (and possibly #4 when Roger Clemens returns).

As for the rest, what more can you say about Derek Jeter? Four multi-hit games since his 0-for-6 outing, and he was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a walk in the #3 spot tonight. Last year, with the myriad injuries, he got some time at third in the order and hit .402/.495/.524 in 81 at-bats. He doesn't have the power for that spot, but he's sure not a bad substitute.

Bobby Abreu in the two spot worked well tonight, and finding a home for him should be a focus for the Yanks. The rest of the guys seem to be able to hit anywhere (within reason).

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