"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mussina perfect in Yankees loss

Mike Mussina threw five perfect innings in the Yankees' 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates Thursday afternoon.

The veteran right-hander threw 64 pitches for 41 strikes in his longest spring outing to date. He struck out two batters and walked none in what should be a confidence booster.

Mariano Rivera followed Mussina, and gave up his first two hits of the spring. He didn't give up a run due to a nicely executed play by Shelley Duncan with runners on second and third with one out. Duncan fielded the ball and checked the runner back to third. When he went to step on the bag, the runner took off and Duncan threw a strike to Jose Molina, who started the rundown.

Jeff Karstens, the leading candidate for the long reliever spot, was in next. In 1 1-3 innings, he gave up seven hits, five earned runs and two walks. Three of those runs scored when Billy Traber was in.

Cody Ransom and Robinson Cano hit home runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Karstens and Traber teamed up to give the Pirates the 5-3 lead, which was the eventual final score.

The hits off of Traber came off righty bats, so I'd say that he is still the leading candidate for lefty specialist.

Billy Crystal got much of the early attention. He was the leadoff batter for New York in the designated hitter spot. He struck out in his only at-bat and was replaced by Johnny Damon who went 0-3.

The Yankees will travel to Sarasota, Fla. tomorrow to face the Cincinnati Reds at 1:05 p.m. Phil Hughes will match up against Matt Belisle.

(Photos by J. Meric/Getty Images)


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