As we write, Mike Mussina is going for his 14th win against the Orioles, in Baltimore, where Mike started his career. We've had a lot of glowing praise for the Moose this season--warming up to him more than we have in his first five seasons in pinstripes. Mussina's a pitcher of ticks and repetitions--the way he holds the glove close to his body, or the bow that he does when he pitches from the stretch (which seems to really annoy some people for no good reason).
One that I'd never given much thought to is the hop that he does at the end of each delivery--after each pitch he teeters on his left (landing) leg for a moment, then does a little hop into a squat which puts him in position to field grounders. Now I'm all tripped out by The Hop, since it seems to be the one thing in Mussina's delivery that's totally irregular--sometimes Mussina bounces into a close-legged crouch on the first base side, other times spread-legged or with one leg flopping toward third base. Is it the pitch that determines the hop? Does he change it for lefty batters or righty batters. Is it just random? I gotta know!
The team as a whole has been on quite a roll, winning it's last five, going back to last Sunday, and including a mid-week sweep of Toronto and capturing last night's series opener against the O's. Randy Johnson wasn't terribly impressive last night, four runs and nine hits in six innings, with no strikeouts or walks. Still, the Yankees were able to take the game in the late innings, thanks to Jorge Posada's dinger off Oriole closer Chris Ray.
Earlier in the day, the Yanks bid fare-well to Bubba Crosby, as they added reliever Jose Veras to the roster. Much as we like Bubba, with the acquisitions of Abreu and Wilson, this move was coming. Bubba's been designated for assignment, which means that the Yankees have 10 days to trade him, then he passes through waivers, and if he passes through, the Yanks can assign him to the minors--an assignment Crosby could accept or reject. So there is still a pretty decent chance that Bubba remains in the organization, since I don't see where there is a lot of demand for him elsewhere.
In other news, Carl Pavano is throwing BP. Oh, goody, I guess. It's August, Pavano's been gone for more than a year, and the big thing is that he's throwing batting practice?