About Me

My photo

Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Mike Mussina for the Hall of Fame? OK but just don't shout it.

I've been hearing that Mike Mussina should be elected to the Hall of Fame.  I guess he would go into the Bert Blyleven wing of players we had no idea were Hall of Famers while we were actually watching them.  We knew we were watching Hall of Famers when we saw Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds.  We knew what we saw when we saw it.  Now we need to re-evaluate Mussina to know what we saw.

Mike Mussina
 Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame ceremony
 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards
August 25, 2012. By Keith Allison (Flickr)
[CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
OK, so let's try a common sense approach.  As a Yankee fan I don't ever remember being concerned when the Yankees had to face Mussina during the first ten years of his career with division rival Baltimore, neither in the regular season nor in his one tournament series against the Yankees: 1996 second round.  In games one and two in Yankee Stadium Baltimore started Scott Erickson (Yanks won 5-4 11 innings) and David Wells (Wells won 5-1).  Mussina started game three, which was played in Baltimore and lost 5-2 allowing all the runs and a homer to Cecil Fielder.

Yanks won games 4 and 5 against starters Kenny Rogers and Scott Erickson.  Mussina appears to have been number three, at least in the opinion of his manager Davey Johnson, despite leading the American Conference with 36 starts and having a record of 19-11.  Mussina had pitched 8 innings September 28 in Toronto in his final regular season appearance.  The first round started Oct. 1 with Wells, then Erickson the next day, then Mussina on Oct. 4 in game three, which Baltimore lost 9-4; Mussina allowed four runs in the first four innings but was not charged with the loss leaving after six; homer to Manny Ramirez.

Against the Yankees in the regular season: 6-8, 3.38 ERA, 119 innings, 13 HR.  OK.

How about in his other tournament series?  Was Mussina the go to guy?

Baltimore:
1997 round one: 2-0, 1.93 ERA, 14 innings; started games one and four, both against Randy Johnson.  Mussina was the man.
1997 round two: 2 starts, 0.60 ERA, 15 innings; games 3 and 6; Baltimore lost 2-1 in 12, 1-0 in 11; lost series in 6 games.

Yankees:
2001 round one: Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte lost games 1 & 2 in Yankee Stadium; Mussina won game three 1-0 when Derek Jeter made the flip toss to home - no runs, 7 innings.
2001 round two: Pettite won game 1 in Seattle, Mussina won game two 3-2 - 2 runs, 6 innings HR Stan Javier
2001 round three: In Arizona Mussina lost game one 9-1; 3 innings, 5 runs (3 earned), HR: Luis Gonzalez, Craig Counsell.  Series tied 2-2 Mussina started game five in New York; Yanks won 3-2 in 12; 8 innings, 2 runs, 10 SO, HR: Steve Finley, Rod Barajas.

2002 round one: game three Yanks lost 9-6; 4 innings, 4 runs, HR: Adam Kennedy.

2003 round one: lost game one 3-1; 7 innings, 3 runs.
2003 round two: lost game one 5-2 in NY; 5.66 innings 4 runs HR: Todd Walker, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez. Lost game four in Boston 3-2; 6.66 innings, 3 runs, HR: Todd Walker, Trot Nixon.  FIVE home runs!
Game seven relieved Clemens in 4th inning, runners on first and third no outs, Yanks down 4-0: prevented Clemens' runners from scoring; 3 innings, 0 runs.  Yanks won in 11 on HR by Aaron Boone.
2003 round three: won game three 6-1; 7 innings, 1 run.  Yanks lost series in 6 games.

2004 round one: lost game one 2-0; 7 innings, 2 runs; HR Jacque Jones.
2004 round two: won game one 10-7; 6.66 innings, 4 runs, 8 SO.  Started game 5; 6 innings, 2 runs; Yanks lost 5-4 14 innings.  Yanks lost series in 7 games.

2005 round one: won game one 4-2; 5.66 innings, no runs.  Lost fifth and final game 5-3; 2.66 innings, 5 runs; HR Garret Anderson.

2006 round one: lost game two 4-3; 7 innings, 4 runs; HR Carlos Guillen.

2007 round one: fourth and final game relieved starter Chien-Ming Wang in 2nd inning, bases loaded no outs - allowed two of Wang's runners to score; Wang lost 6-4; 4.66 innings, 2 runs.

HR/9, ERA:
regular: .9, 3.68
tournament: 1.2, 3.42

Mussina pitched well in the tournament if not very memorably and with a worse HR rate.  He started game one more often than I would have thought, especially after Clemens had left.  Gave up too many homers in the tournament but often with no runners.  With the Yankees I don't ever recall thinking that the Yankees had an edge in the tournament because they had Mussina or in specific games when Mussina pitched.  I never thought: well the Yanks may lose this game but they have Mussina to bail them out in the next game.  What Yankee fan ever thought anything like that, or any Baltimore fan when Mussina played there?

If you look at his regular season numbers Mussina has very little black ink, which shows that he led.  He seems like Don Sutton minus five years.  I can understand why some people think that Mussina should be elected but I'm not enthusiastic.

1946 to 2013, IP>=3000 and ERA+ >=120:


Rk Player ERA+ IP From To Age G GS CG SHO GF W L W-L% SV H R ER BB SO ERA HR BF IBB HBP BK WP Tm BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ SH SF 2B 3B GDP SB CS PO
1 Roger Clemens 143 4916.2 1984 2007 21-44 709 707 118 46 0 354 184 .658 0 4185 1885 1707 1580 4672 3.12 363 20240 63 159 20 143 BOS-TOR-HOU-NYY .229 .294 .341 .636 68 119 103 796 84 330 446 214 36
2 Randy Johnson 135 4135.1 1988 2009 24-45 618 603 100 37 7 303 166 .646 2 3346 1703 1513 1497 4875 3.29 411 17067 37 190 33 109 MON-TOT-SEA-NYY-ARI-SFG .221 .297 .353 .650 71 131 89 660 58 252 456 224 58
3 Whitey Ford 133 3170.1 1950 1967 21-38 498 438 156 45 35 236 106 .690 10 2766 1107 967 1086 1956 2.75 228 13036 44 28 5 75 NYY .235 .300 .340 .640 82 117 49 376 84 354 29 55 52
4 Greg Maddux 132 5008.1 1986 2008 20-42 744 740 109 35 3 355 227 .610 0 4726 1981 1756 999 3371 3.16 353 20421 177 137 28 70 CHC-ATL-TOT-SDP .250 .291 .358 .649 75 274 119 817 84 422 547 170 28
5 Curt Schilling 127 3261.0 1988 2007 21-40 569 436 83 20 81 216 146 .597 22 2998 1318 1253 711 3116 3.46 347 13284 43 52 8 72 BAL-HOU-PHI-TOT-ARI-BOS .243 .286 .387 .673 77 123 76 612 60 193 105 79 14
6 Tom Seaver 127 4783.0 1967 1986 22-41 656 647 231 61 6 311 205 .603 1 3971 1674 1521 1390 3640 2.86 380 19369 116 76 8 126 CIN-NYM-CHW-TOT .226 .283 .342 .626 79 187 111 675 120 315 409 164 14
7 Bob Gibson 127 3884.1 1959 1975 23-39 528 482 255 56 21 251 174 .591 6 3279 1420 1258 1336 3117 2.91 257 16068 118 102 13 108 STL .228 .297 .325 .622 77 171 94 457 83 292 196 88 0
8 Kevin Brown 127 3256.1 1986 2005 21-40 486 476 72 17 1 211 144 .594 0 3079 1357 1185 901 2397 3.28 208 13542 42 139 15 108 TEX-BAL-FLA-SDP-LAD-NYY .249 .306 .349 .655 79 95 64 493 53 330 180 112 34
9 Jim Palmer 125 3948.0 1965 1984 19-38 558 521 211 53 15 268 152 .638 4 3349 1395 1253 1311 2212 2.86 303 16114 37 38 11 85 BAL .230 .294 .340 .634 82 133 84 512 88 273 265 164 15
10 John Smoltz 125 3473.0 1988 2009 21-42 723 481 53 16 204 213 155 .579 154 3074 1391 1284 1010 3084 3.33 288 14271 84 57 16 145 ATL-TOT .237 .293 .360 .653 76 139 87 605 67 244 182 102 15
11 Juan Marichal 123 3507.0 1960 1975 22-37 471 457 244 52 11 243 142 .631 2 3153 1329 1126 709 2303 2.89 320 14236 82 40 20 51 SFG-BOS-LAD .237 .277 .350 .626 80 125 65 396 70 207 176 82 43
12 Mike Mussina 123 3562.2 1991 2008 22-39 537 536 57 23 0 270 153 .638 0 3460 1559 1458 785 2813 3.68 376 14593 29 60 1 71 BAL-NYY .255 .297 .399 .696 81 90 82 719 53 293 182 117 5
13 Don Drysdale 121 3432.0 1956 1969 19-32 518 465 167 49 34 209 166 .557 6 3084 1292 1124 855 2486 2.95 280 14097 123 154 10 82 BRO-LAD .239 .293 .352 .645 85 116 66 471 74 270 95 84 51
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/3/2014.

Mussina is in elite company at number 12.  The others are all Hall of Fame or equivalent.  I guess it's OK to like Mike Mussina for the Hall of Fame.  Just don't shout it.

Oh, Bert Blyleven: ERA+ 118 .

1 comment:

Cliff Blau said...

Mike Mussina vs. Yankees: 3.38 ERA. Overall with Baltimore: 3.53 ERA, 130 ERA+. So roughly a 136 ERA+ vs. Yankees. The equivalent of Grover Alexander or Johan Santana.

Pedro Martinez overall with Boston: 2.52 ERA. Career vs. Yankees: 3.20 ERA. Not much better than Mussina.