Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mussina Throws Five Perfect. Building on his last exhibition start, Mike Mussina lasted five perfect innings today, striking out two along the way. Mussina pitched inside with purpose, and showed the usual good curveball, but his fastball was still 86-88mph. His slow changeup - 70-73mph - was also working well. The Pirates lineup is no murderer's row, but we all realize if Moose had allowed 8 runs on 7 hits to the Bucs his critics would be in an uproar. Therefore, it's only fair to recognize his effectiveness through five economical innings - needing 52 pitches and throwing 32 strikes.
  • Damaso Marte pitched a scoreless inning, striking out Derek Jeter and allowing a hard-hit single to Melky Cabrera. Marte used his plus fastball at 94-95mph and flashed a devastating 85mph slider which had Jeter looking foolish. If the Yankees could ever pull off a trade for the dominant lefthander it would be a huge boost to a questionable bullpen.
  • Jose Veras had a solid ninth inning, striking out one and shattering a bat with his mid-90s fastball.
  • Shelley Duncan made a smart play at first base which saved a run for Mariano Rivera. He then tackled the baserunner, insisting he was only trying to "hug it out."

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