Mussina’s journey — that included a years with the Orioles and 8 seasons with the Yankees — was filled with unforgettable minutes, from dominant regular-season starts to outstanding postseason trips. With the right-hander turning 53 on Wednesday, here’s a take a look at a few of the highlights that moved him to Cooperstown.
1. What a relief
Through the very first 13 years of Mussina’s profession, all 400 of his looks in the routine season and postseason had actually come as a beginning pitcher. So when Joe Torre summoned the right-hander out of the bullpen in Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series versus the Red Sox — with runners on the corners, no one out and the Yankees tracking, 4-0, in the 4th — it was any person’s guess how he would react. Mussina left the jam without enabling another run, then tossed 2 more scoreless frames to offer the Yankees a possibility to come back versus Pedro Martinez. Four innings after Mussina left the video game, Aaron Boone’s walk-off crowning achievement versus Tim Wakefield won the pennant.
“That was my most exciting moment in New York,” Mussina stated after revealing his retirement.
2. Grand ending
Mussina understood that his start on Sept. 28, 2008, would be the last of his profession, and with 19 triumphes currently under his belt that season, he had one swan song at protecting the very first 20-win project of his profession. Mussina fired 6 nothing innings versus the playoff-bound Red Sox at Fenway Park, then enjoyed 5 reducers integrate for the last 9 outs to end up out the win. Mussina ended up being the earliest newbie 20-game winner, then signed up with Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers in history to retire following a 20-win season.
3. Postseason Moose gets here
Mussina had not been excellent in his very first postseason in 1996, however the right-hander was dominant in 1997, publishing a 1.24 period in 4 starts versus Seattle and Cleveland. After outpitching Randy Johnson in a set of AL Division Series matches, Mussina stepped it as much as another level versus Cleveland in the ALCS. He fanned 15 batters over 7 innings in Game 3, then returned on 3 days’ rest to toss 8 nothing innings in Game 6. Unfortunately for Mussina, the Orioles’ offense tallied simply one run in the 2 video games, slapping him with a set of no-decisions as Baltimore lost the series in 6 video games.
4. Fishing exploration
Mussina’s only World Series success was available in Game 3 of the 2003 Fall Classic, when he restricted the Marlins to one run over 7 innings in a battle with Josh Beckett. Mussina was lined up to pitch Game 7 at Yankee Stadium versus future colleague Carl Pavano, however Beckett returned on brief rest to end the Series in 6 video games, leaving Mussina without a champion.
5. Nearly ideal
On May 30, 1997, Mussina retired the very first 25 Cleveland players prior to quiting a one-out single to Sandy Alomar Jr., ending his ideal video game quote. Mussina rounded off his gem enabling one hit with 10 strikeouts in a 3-0 Orioles success, among 4 one-hit nothings of his profession.
6. Nearly ideal … once again
Four years and 3 months after Mussina came within 2 outs of excellence, the right-hander took it one action even more. Pitching in his very first season with the Yankees, Mussina took a seat the very first 26 Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sept. 2, 2001, moving within one out of history. Mussina got ahead 1-2 versus pinch-hitter Carl Everett prior to the outfielder separated his quote with a two-strike single. Mussina rounded off his one-hitter, setting out 13 in a 1-0 win over Boston.
7. Staying alive
The Yankees were three-time protecting World Series champs when Mussina signed up with the group, however after the very first 2 video games of the 2001 ALDS, New York discovered itself one loss from removal. Mussina kept the Yankees alive with 7 nothing innings, beating Oakland’s Barry Zito in a 1-0 battle. Oh yeah, Derek Jeter likewise made some sort of flip play because video game, too.
8. Fall Classic
Although Game 5 of the 2001 World Series will permanently be kept in mind for Scott Brosius’ game-tying, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth (and Alfonso Soriano’s walk-off single in the 12th), Mussina did his part with an eight-inning, two-run, 10-strikeout efficiency. This was most likely Mussina’s finest opportunity at a champion, however Mariano Rivera’s blown save in Game 7 left the starter looking for that evasive ring.
9. Dazzling launching
Having been prepared out of Stanford with the 20th general choice in 1990, Mussina made simply 28 Minor League begins prior to being promoted to Baltimore for his major league launching at Comiskey Park on Aug. 4, 1991. Facing a lineup that consisted of Hall of Famers Tim Raines and Frank Thomas, Mussina restricted the White Sox to one work on 4 hits over 7 2/3 innings, however the 22-year-old lost a 1-0 choice as 43-year-old knuckleballer Charlie Hough tossed a five-hit nothing.
10. Bronx cheer
For some gamers, the pressure that accompanies a huge free-agent agreement can be frustrating — specifically in New York. Mussina didn’t have those problems after inking a six-year, $88.5 million handle the Yankees, making a strong impression with the Bronx crowd. Mussina tossed 7 2/3 nothing innings versus the Royals at Yankee Stadium in his pinstriped launching, enabling 5 hits and no strolls prior to handing a 1-0 cause Rivera with 2 out in the 8th.
11. Going spotting
Only one male mattered on Sept. 6, 1995, as Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive-games-played streak and caught the creativity of baseball fans all over. Mussina won his 16th video game of the season with 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball versus the Angels, ending up being the response to the trivia concern: Who was the winning pitcher in Ripken’s 2,131st successive video game?