for this game

Mussina earns 19th win as Yankees top Blue Jays

Sep 24, 2008 - 4:14 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- While Mike Mussina still has something to strive for, the New York Yankees officially will begin playing out the string.

Mussina earned his 19th win for the Yankees, who were eliminated from playoff contention despite their 3-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Jason Giambi homered and Robinson Cano also drove in a run for New York (86-71), which won its sixth straight but was knocked out of the postseason picture when the Boston Red Sox (92-65) posted a 5-4 triumph over the Cleveland Indians.

The Yankees, who played their final game at 85-year-old Yankee Stadium on Sunday, are six games behind the Red Sox with five to play.

"It should be a disappointment for everyone regardless of whether you have been (to the playoffs) or not because, when you go into spring training, you have one goal and that's to get to postseason," said New York shortstop Derek Jeter, who did not start Tuesday's game thanks to a left hand injury but came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth.

"It didn't happen so I really shouldn't feel any different than anyone else."

En route to tying his career high for wins in a season, Mussina (19-9) hurled five scoreless innings while striking out six without a walk. Five relievers worked the final four innings, including Mariano Rivera, who recorded his 38th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

The 39-year-old Mussina, who won 19 games twice as a member of the Baltimore Orioles, will be a free agent after the season. He will have a chance to hit the 20-game plateau in what could be his final start for the Yankees, which is scheduled for Sunday's season finale against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The season-ending, three-game set in Boston will not mean much else to New York, which has played much of September with nothing more than a mathematical chance for the playoffs. The Yankees will miss the postseason for the first time since the strike-shortened 1994 campaign.

"It's hard. Obviously, it's not the way we wanted the season to end up," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "It's unfortunate those games in Boston aren't going to mean something. But I think Derek Jeter said it perfectly Sunday - this uniform stands for pride and tradition, and that's how you play the next five days."

For Mussina, it looked as if his outing would end prematurely when Travis Snider hit a line drive off his pitching elbow and reached with an infield single with one out in third inning. Girardi and trainer Gene Monahan checked out the injury before deciding to let the righthander stay in the game.

It paid off as Mussina induced Joe Inglett to hit into an inning-ending double play. He then pitched two clean frames before giving way in the sixth to rookie Phil Coke, who combined with righthander Brian Bruney to work around a leadoff single by Snider.

Bruney allowed two runners to reach with one out in the seventh before being replaced by Joba Chamberlain, who yielded an RBI single by Scott Rolen before striking out Gregg Zaun and Snider to end the inning. The hard-throwing righthander stranded two runners to get through the eighth, setting the stage for Rivera.

"I gave those guys (the bullpen) a lot of outs to get," Mussina said. "You don't want walk out of the game after five innings and throw it all on them for the last four. They have been throwing the ball really well when I come out of games, and we had a couple of tough innings and the guys battled through it.

"I can't win 19 games without those guys pitching behind me."

After stroking a one-out single in the second, Giambi came around to score on a groundout by Cano, who also scored on a wild pitch in the seventh to make it 3-0. Giambi's homer off Toronto starter Jesse Litsch in the fourth gave New York a two-run advantage.

Litsch (12-9) allowed three runs - two earned - and five hits in seven innings. The righthander struck out eight and walked one for the Blue Jays, who also reflected on being left out of postseason play.

"You finished strong and come into next year with the same attitude with (his) past six or seven starts," Litsch said. "It's what I'm going for right now. It's something to build on."

"We're not going out to lose or get personal stuff," Toronto first baseman Lyle Overbay said. "We're going to go out and try to win ballgames. It's frustrating because, when you win the games, you are still out of the playoffs."








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

    BATTERIES: NYY - MIKE MUSSINA, PHIL COKE (6TH), BRIAN BRUNEY (6TH), DAMASO
    MARTE (7TH), JOBA CHAMBERLAIN (7TH), MARIANO RIVERA (9TH) AND
    JOSE MOLINA
    TOR - JESSE LITSCH, BRIAN

    Sep 23 9:58 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SCOTT ROLEN SCORED ADAM LIND.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S ROLEN ON FIRST, L OVERBAY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 3
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.226, 0-FOR-2)

    Yankees 3, Blue Jays 1  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 23 9:17 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY JESSE LITSCH ALLOWED ROBINSON CANO TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 3
    TORONTO 0 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: C RANSOM (.286, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Yankees 3, Blue Jays 0  Top 7, 0 OutsSep 23 8:59 PM
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    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Yankees 2, Blue Jays 0  Top 5, 0 OutsSep 23 8:24 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JASON GIAMBI (32) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF JESSE LITSCH.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 2, TORONTO 0
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: X NADY (.271, 1-FOR-1)

    Yankees 2, Blue Jays 0  Top 4, 0 OutsSep 23 8:02 PM
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    Yankees 1, Blue Jays 0  Bot 3, 0 OutsSep 23 7:52 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ROBINSON CANO SCORED JASON GIAMBI.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, X NADY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 1
    TORONTO 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: C RANSOM (.296, 2 HR, 6 RBI)

    Yankees 1, Blue Jays 0  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 23 7:28 PM
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