Mike "The Noose" Mussina is at it again tonight. In a game the Yankees desperately need, he’s given up six runs over the first three innings and has the offense playing catch up right off the bat again. Mussina has just not given the team any chance to win of late, and questions have arisen as to replacing him in the rotation.
There’s only one problem. The Yankees don’t have anyone that can replace him. With Kei Igawa being a complete bust, and Joba Chamberlain shining in the bullpen, where the Yankees very much need him, "The Noose" has to go out there every fifth day for the rest of the season.
That puts the Yankees at a distinct disadvantage at least one out of every five days, and given their place in the standings, that is just too frequent an occurrence. The Red Sox have caught fire again and are quickly distancing themselves, making this week’s series a do or die in regards to the division. But the Yankees can’t worry about Boston at this point. They need to win every game to keep pace with Seattle, Cleveland, Detroit, and Los Angeles. They have to beat out at least two of those four teams to get in.
As good as the Yankees have played since the all-star break, it may be all for naught if the rest of the pitchers in the rotation are unable to reestablish some consistency and pick up the slack for Mussina, who is quickly making a case for himself to be left out of a potential playoff rotation.
The offense has been in a bit of a funk, compared to where it was, but should be able to be relied upon. But if no one can go out there and put zeros on the board with some consistency, it won’t matter. There are not many games left on the schedule, and the pressure is mounting. If the Red Sox come in to New York this week and put a hurting on the Yankees, it could be enough to put the Yankees in panic mode.
Some one needs to step up, and it doesn’t look like Mussina is capable of being that guy.