for this game

Mussina pitches well as Yankees snap skid

Jul 6, 2008 - 1:13 AM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- In the sixth inning, Mike Mussina was feeling lightheaded on the mounded. Three innings later, he was feeling nervous in the players lounge.

Mussina pitched sixth sharp innings and closer Mariano Rivera worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the ninth as the Yankees squeezed out a 2-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon.

Melky Cabrera had an RBI single in the second and rookie Brett Gardner lifted a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the Yankees, who were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, stranded 10 and did not record an extra-base hit for the sixth time this season.

Gardner and Cabrera also helped out with nice plays in the field, further helping the Yankees win for just the sixth time in their last 15 games and avoid a fourth straight loss to the Red Sox.

Mussina began feeling sick during the sixth and, after alerting manager Joe Girardi, he was lifted after 89 pitches.

"He just was lightheaded, similar to what (catcher Jorge Posada, who was left out of the lineup due illness) was experiencing today," Girardi said. "It's kind of a virus going around. We had some guys sick. We had some coaches sick and it hit him a little bit today. Physically he was fine, except for maybe a cold."

The lack of clutch hitting by the Yankees forced the pitching to step up and perform better than Andy Pettitte and Darrell Rasner had in the first two games of the weekend series.

Mussina (11-6) did his part, allowing four hits, striking out five and issuing one walk. He won for the 10th time in his last 14 starts and beat the Red Sox for the first time since June 5, 2006 - a span of six starts.

The righthander also became the third 11-game winner in the American League, joining Joe Saunders and Cleveland's Cliff Lee. It marked the first time since 2002 that he had 11 wins before the All-Star break and bolstered his credentials to be selected by Boston manager Terry Francona for the All-Star team.

Mussina put runners on in every inning but the second and plunked slugger Manny Ramirez twice. He also fanned Ramirez with an 86 mile-per-hour fastball in the sixth and retired Mike Lowell to end his afternoon.

"I didn't feel very good," Mussina said of his abbreviated outing. "It was too important a game to go out there and be a hero. I think I didn't drink enough, didn't eat enough."

Jose Veras and Kyle Farnsworth made Mussina feel a little better by pitching a scoreless frame apiece before yielding to Rivera in the ninth.

Unlike many of his other saves, it was quickly apparent that Rivera was not going to have an easy time. He allowed a leadoff single to J.D. Drew, plunked Ramirez and surrendered Lowell's RBI single, which was the first time anyone scored off him in a save opportunity this season.

"Usually you don't see many innings like that from Mo," Girardi said. "I don't know if I've ever seen him hit two guys in one inning. I don't think that's ever happened. It's unusual, but then you see why Mo's so great, bases loaded, 2-1, nobody out and he's struggling a little bit and he gets out of it."

"He's been so smooth, so good and some ninth innings are 10, 11 pitches and it's not even an effort and then there's today, which was the complete opposite," Mussina said. "I could tell the first two hitters that he really didn't know where the ball was going. The ball wasn't cutting like it usually does, and then of course he drilled two guys to make sure we tied the record."

While this was happening on the field, Mussina was pacing around the players lounge in the New York clubhouse. He had to feel a little more nervous when Rivera plunked Kevin Youkilis to load the bases with nobody out.

"From about six different places," Mussina said when describing his vantage point in the players lounge. "I was standing up when he got the last two outs. When things are happening bad, you try anything you can. When things are going good, you don't move and when they're going bad you do. So I just kept moving around."

Rivera finally settled down and struck out Coco Crisp and retired Jason Varitek on a popout to first. He finally nailed down his 23rd save in 23 opportunities by fanning Julio Lugo.

"I wasn't getting my pitches where I wanted them to be," said Rivera, who hit two batters in a game for the first time in his career. "Maybe that was the reason I hit two guys. I thought after that everything was fine."

"We had an unbelievable opportunity to tie the game and bases loaded, none outs, you like your odds of getting one of them," Lowell said. "But Hall of Fame closers, I guess have a knack of getting out of those."

While Mussina was pitching well, Red Sox rookie Justin Masterson (4-3) was nearly as effective, allowing two runs on six hits over six innings. Masterson, who got his first taste of the rivalry, also hit three batters but worked out of several jams.

"It was a really good game," Masterson said. "Watching it, it seemed like it was a lot of energy, a lot of fun, great defense, decent pitching. We almost made a nice little comeback, which would have been really cool if we would have done that."






  • 57
    roots
    paulrharvey3 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 1, Yankees 2  FinalJul 5 9:19 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    BOSTON 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 0
    NY YANKEES 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 x 2 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: BOS - JUSTIN MASTERSON, JAVIER LOPEZ (7TH), MIKE TIMLIN (8TH) AND
    JASON VARITEK
    NYY - MIKE MUSSINA, JOSE VERAS (7TH), KYLE FARNSWORTH
    (8TH), MARIANO RIVERA (9TH) A

    Jul 5 6:54 PM
  • 52
    roots
    BAFan13 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox 1, Yankees 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 5 6:51 PM
  • mark HUGE strikeout. come on mo...

    Red Sox 1, Yankees 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 5 6:50 PM
  • mark what the crap?

    Red Sox 1, Yankees 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 5 6:48 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE LOWELL SCORED J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LOWELL ON FIRST, B MOSS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 1
    NY YANKEES 2 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: K YOUKILIS (.308, 0-FOR-3)

    Red Sox 1, Yankees 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 5 6:45 PM
  • 47
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Red Sox 1, Yankees 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 5 6:45 PM
  • mark umm...ow. foul tip to the face.

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 2  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 5 6:28 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY BRETT GARDNER SCORED WILSON BETEMIT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MOLINA ON FIRST, M CABRERA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    NY YANKEES 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: D JETER (.283, 1-FOR-3)

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 5 5:53 PM
  • dukerulez911 The Sox are also flashing the leather...
    A nice play by Lowell robbing Gardner of an extra-base hit earlier in the game.
    Also Youkilis with the dive to his left to deprive the Yanks of a 2nd run in this pitcher's duel.

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 1  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 5 5:34 PM
  • dukerulez911 The Yankees fielding has been great today...
    Stellar plays by Gardner, Cano, and Cabrera.
    Molina able to throw out Ellsbury to end the Sox 5th.

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 5 5:23 PM
  • dukerulez911 Rain begins to fall in the Bronx, we could see a delay soon

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 5 5:21 PM
  • dukerulez911 All 235 lbs of Giambi moves in deceptive ways

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 1  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 5 5:21 PM
  • mark who knew the porn 'stache was so nimble?

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 5 4:31 PM
  • dukerulez911 What a slide by Giambi!
    Varitek didn't block the plate and Giambi slipped around the back with his hand.

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 5 4:28 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MELKY CABRERA SCORED JASON GIAMBI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CABRERA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: BOSTON 0
    NY YANKEES 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: J MOLINA (.230, 0 HR, 10 RBI)

    Red Sox 0, Yankees 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsJul 5 4:27 PM
  • dukerulez911 That's nice to hear

    Red Sox vs. YankeesJul 5 4:00 PM
  • RUWTbot I am always here, human. Waiting. Plotting.

    Red Sox vs. YankeesJul 5 3:59 PM
  • dukerulez911 Anyone here?

    Red Sox vs. YankeesJul 5 3:58 PM
  • 10
    roots
    dukerulez911 Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. YankeesJul 4 11:40 PM
  • 5
    roots
    mark Added 5 roots

    Red Sox vs. YankeesJul 3 12:32 AM