A week ago, I almost wrote a convincing argument that Mike Mussina had an excellent chance at winning the 53 more games required to win 300 games. Now I'm wondering if he'll ever win another game. I'm not typically prone to overreacting to a few bad starts, but the way Mussina has pitched recently he would have struggled against a halfway decent college team. His fastball is topping out at 88. His knuckle-curve has lost a lot of bite and his change just sits there as if on a tee. He is falling behind in the count and throwing this sub-par stuff right down the middle of the plate. In short, Mussina has become a poor man's Igawa.
I don't know if any of Mussina's current shortcomings are correctable. I do know that the Yankees don't have the luxury of letting him work through it. As of now, the Yanks trail the Mariners by 2.5 in the Wild Card. Every game is crucial at this point. Fortunately, the Yankees have a viable alternative to Moose. Ian Kennedy has sailed through the minors in his first season as a professional. He has a 1.91 ERA at three stops in the minors and currently sports a 2.08 ERA at Triple-A Scranton. He has struck out more than a batter an inning and has pretty good control.
I hope that Brian Cashman is emboldened by the success of his recent string of ballsy moves and gives Kennedy a shot. I have always hated nobley pissing away games in the name of loyalty. For too long, sentimentality has gotten the better of reason in the Yankees organization. I just want the team to win. If the side effect is the hurt feelings of a 38 year old dude worth $100 million, so be it.