It was closer today than one would like to have seen…but, with this win, the Yankees are now over .500 for the first time since June 22nd and they are now nine games back in the East – the first time New York has been within single digits of first since June 19th. Yeah, it’s been a month since things looked this “good” in Yankeeland. (Hey, good is a relative term.)
It was great to see Andy Phillips have a huge game today – at the bat and in the field. Why? Well, first, he’s a nice guy and you like to see nice guys do well. But, more importantly, as long as Phillips does well, that should keep Shea Hillenbrand away.
I know that Mussina had a long layoff between starts – and that’s never been good for him. But, the fact of the matter is that he faced 27 batters in this game and 13 of them reached base. That’s terrible. He’s lucky that he didn’t get pounded in this game. If you look at Moose’s last 5 starts – including this one – he’s averaging just 6 IP per start. And, he’s allowing around 3 runs per game in those starts.
Six innings and three runs should be fine – from Mussina – each time out. But, if Moose starts to move off that line, in the wrong direction, and someone like Kartsens or Clippard is tearing it up in Triple-A, at some point Torre is going to have to make a hard call…on whether or not Mussina stays in the rotation. (Of course, this assumes that Kei Igawa is long gone and replaced in the rotation. If not, then Mussina maybe becomes the fifth man in the rotation – if someone from Triple-A is ready to come up and be a force in the starting five. Heck, maybe Mussina becomes the fifth guy if Hughes replaces Igawa and Phil is lights-out?)
Lastly, Farnsworth. What can you say? What’s interesting is that, coming into this game, his WHIP/BAA at home is 1.38/.242 whereas it’s 1.78/.301 on the road. Why is Kyle effective at Yankee Stadium and so terrible away from home? There’s got to be something there – small sample size be damned.