Mike Mussina pitched a gem at the Stadium last night, as the Yankees blanked the Jays, 5-0. The Bombers are 11-2, which is the best start in team history. Mussina allowed 3 hits over 8 innings, and was nothing short of dominating, as he out-pitched Tornto ace, Roy Halladay in front of 33,833 in the Bronx. The game was just the tonic the Yanks needed after Monday's turgid affair (the game last two and a half hours intsead over four plus hours). According to the Daily News:
"When we left the park (Monday) night, I think we both knew, (Toronto starter Roy) Halladay and myself, getting deep in the game was a big thing," Mussina said. "This was a fun one to play in after that one."
Mussina had an extra day of rest because of the Yanks' rainout on Friday and he said it was "probably the entire reason I was able to pitch like that. I've been relatively successful with an extra day."
"In a lot of ways," Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi said, "he's among the most underrated guys in the sport."
"Bernie bores you with his consistency," manager Joe Torre said. "He can carry you for a week or 10 days because he can light it up. Otherwise, he goes out there and plays every day and he can stay under the radar.
"Just because he's a constant more so than the guys who spike a lot, he doesn't attract a lot of attention."
"We know how he can light it up when he does get hot," Torre said. "Right now he isn't hitting the long ball, but he's getting a lot of big base hits. That's where the .400 average comes in. He uses the whole field.
"He gets that blood rushing. We still haven't discovered what causes that, but he can carry you."
As usual, Williams is balanced and even-keeled about his sucess:
"I look at what happened to Derek after he prepared so well for the season, and I recognize you can't predict health," Williams said. "But, yes, I am very encouraged by this start. It is something I dream about, putting it all together one season."
..."I always take it in perspective," he said. "I've been playing this game a long time, knowing we can go down as quick as we can go up. I am just trying to stay consistent and enjoy this good time."
..."My goals are simple, to have fun and play here every day," he said. "I've been so blessed to play center field for this great team at this great time. I don't know a lot of jobs that top that. As I get older, I feel even more fortunate."