Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mike Mussina...He Was There for The Ripken Years

Mike Mussina has retired. As long as he stays retired, Dempsey's Army forgives all. The Warehouse mismanaged the whole situation with Moose and although I wish he wouldn't have signed with the Yankees...it's all water under the bridge.

He was the best Oriole pitcher since Jim Palmer retired and he was homegrown. He was one of ours and his best seasons came with Baltimore, not the Yankees.

So, a couple of items to look at from Mussina's long career. Is he a Hall of Famer? Hmmmm....

Clemens 145
R. Johnson 137
Maddux 132
Schilling 127
Smoltz 127
K. Brown 127
Mussina 122
Glavine 118
Finley 115

Compared to his peers, Mussina's ERA+ pales a bit against the elite. Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux are head and shoulders above the rest. (So is Pedro Martinez but he fell just short of my 3000 IP criteria.)

The next level give Schilling, Smoltz and Kevin Brown. Schilling and Smoltz will get a lot of consideration from their stellar postseason accomplishments and if there was question about their credentials form the regular season. Kevin Brown is not a Hall of Famer.

Then there's Mussina, Tom Glavine and Chuck Finley. Glavine has 300 wins and like it or not, he's in with nothing else considered. Chuck Finley is not a Hall of Famer. Is Mussina? In that company?

Strikeouts among his peers:

R. Johnson 4789
Clemens 4472
Maddux 3371
Martinez 3117
Schilling 3116
Smoltz 3011
Mussina 2813
Cone 2668
Finley 2610
Glavine 2607

Again, there's the first tier of Johnson and Clemens, the second tier of Maddux, Martinez, Schilling and Smoltz, then there's Mussina. He's on top of the third tier but stil third tier.


Maddux 355
Clemens 338
Glavine 305
Johnson 295
Mussina 270
Moyer 246

The wins will help Mussina's case more than anything.

Other points in Mussina's favor that will not be considered by the BBWA: 1.98 BB/9, 1.192 WHIP, 3.58 K/BB ratio, 7.11 K/9.

My gut feeling is that now that he has added a 20 win season and he played for many years in the top media market he will get in eventually.

Now, in my estimation, the top five pitching performances by Michael Cole Mussina for the Baltimore Orioles:

#5 - July 17th, 1992 - Texas Rangers

In his first full season, Mussina mowed down a lineup of fearsome sluggers, striking out 10 and allowing but one hit during a complete game shutout. Kevin Brown took the loss. There is no story here, just pure, methodical domination

Mussina 9.0 1 0 0 1 10 0

#4 - September 13th, 1997 - New York Yankees

The second place Yanks were making a charge at AL East leading Baltimore and had won the first two games of a four game set. Enter Mike Mussina. He struck out 9 and only gave up 1 unearned run over 9 strong innings. He beat Kenny Rogers and gave the Orioles a bit more of a cushion over a team would only finish two games behind them as they went wire-to-wire and won the AL East.

Mussina 9.0 3 1 0 1 9 0

#3 - August 1st, 2000 - Minnesota Twins

Two bad teams faced off this day but Mussina was hardly mailing it in. He struck out a career high 15, including punching out David Ortiz three times. The starter for the Twins was not Kenny Rogers.

Mussina 9.0 1 0 0 2 15 0

#2 - May 30th, 1997 - Cleveland Indians

In a sign of things to come...sort of, Mussina would outduel Charles Nagy as the O's won a faceoff of division leaders, 3-0. Moose one-hit a team whose lineup featured at least two future Hall of Famers (Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez) and multiple All-Star caliber hitters (Matt Williams, David Justice, Omar Vizquel, Julio Franco).

Mussina 9.0 1 0 0 0 10 0

#1 - October 15th, 1997 - Cleveland Indians

In Game 6 of the ALCS, Moose gave his all on the mound and he and Charles Nagy both left zeros on the scoreboard when they exited the game. Mussina struck out 10 again and surrendered a lone hit but the bullpen gave up the go ahead run in the 11th and the dreams of an Oriole World Series were dashed. But it sure wasn't Mike's fault.

Mussina 8.0 1 0 0 2 10 0

Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

1 comment:

Roar from 34 said...

I was at that playoff game on Oct. 15, 1997. Mussina was amazing. He deserves credit from O's fans for his contributions to the Birds. I only wish we could've made him a Birds lifer in the mold of Cal.