I know, I know. There’s no crying in baseball. But when Mussina walked off the mound tonight after giving the Yankees six-plus superior innings – when the crowd cheered “Moooose!” and the usually circumspect Mike not only tipped his cap but actually grinned – I teared up. I did. Because in beating the White Sox and winning his 18th game of the season, Mussina showed me what the concept of not throwing in the towel really means. This is a pitcher who was awful last year. Done. Cooked. Stick a fork in him and banish him to the bullpen. Do you remember how bad he was? Against the Angels? Against the Tigers? How he couldn’t get anybody out? If not….
That was from August of last year. Did you hear him say, “I don’t feel like I can do much of anything right?” He was lost and we all figured he’d retire or just go away. Instead, he came back this season and made adjustments, and now look at him. He’s our ace. He’s been our most consistent pitcher by far. He has a shot at winning 20 games for the first time in his career.
So with all due respect to Abreu’s 6 RBIs, Cano’s resurrection and the major league debuts of Baby Bombers Miranda, Sanchez and Cervelli, this was Mussina’s night. After facing extinction, he came back and made us proud.