Mike Mussina Gets His First Chance to Say Goodbye to Yankee Stadium

Micheal Robinson@nyyrobinsonSenior Analyst IIApril 2, 2008

BRONX, NY - The Yankees are coming off a 3-2 victory on Tuesday night against the Blue Jays.  They would like to keep their winning ways on Wednesday night.

In a farewell season to the stadium, the Yankees will be playing with their hearts on their sleeves all season.

This time on national television, where the Yankees always seem to catch fire. 

A.J. Burnett will get the nod for the Jays, while the Yankees will go with Mike Mussina.  Normally, Andy Pettitte would be going right now, but he is nursing a back injury.  Pettitte should be available by this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Mussina, who was 11-10 last year, will look to get his season off to a great start.  The only problems he had last year were his ERA at a 5.15 and his unimpressive strikeout numbers.  He never even reached triple digits with 91. 

Oddly enough, he has only had under 100 strikeouts three times.  In his rookie season where he didn't play a full year, and in '94 he missed it by one K in a shortened season.

Some say Mussina is slipping due to his age, but others think differently.  If he pitches a decent game behind the Yankee offense he can win 15 games.

Entering his eighth season as a New York Yankee, Mussina is one of a few longtime Yankees who haven't won it all in October.  Joining the team in 2001, the Yankees have got close twice in 2001 and 2003, but haven't won since 2000.

But no need to remind him of this—he is very aware.

Mussina, along with the rest of the Yankees, have a fresh start now, putting it all behind them as they are now in a new season at 1-0.

Mussina will look to give Girardi a good impression in his first game under the new Girardi era.