Yanks Win First '08 Series with Pitching

Jonnie ForbesCorrespondent IApril 4, 2008

Pitching wins championships. We've heard it before and seen it enough times know how true it is.

We've also seen the Yankees try to defy that notion, trying to overcome good consistent pitching with a scouted and paid-for modern day Murderer's Row—to no avail.

But this first series of an infant 2008 season saw the Yankees step out of their normal moniker...they won with pitching.

Over the three-game set, starters Chien Ming Wang, Mike Mussina and Phil Hughes gave up a collective seven earned runs over 18 2/3 innings on 13 hits.

The overall pitching line is even more impressive when you consider that the Yankees won two of three while being outscored by the Jays nine to eight. Those numbers boil down to effective starters, no-nonsense middle relief/setup topped off with a business as usual closer.

Only Mussina's outing generates a frown, which as a matter of fact is no surprise. Every starting five is going to have one guy who doesn't quite measure up to the other four. In the Bronx his name is Mike Mussina. Here's where the bats are being asked to make a difference.

Moose wasn't entirely horrible in game two, but the Yankee offense couldn't make up for what Mussina used to have 10 years ago but doesn't quite have now. Moose will win his games to be sure, they just probably won't be of the 3-2 or 1-0 variety.

Next on the rotation marquee is Ian Kennedy, who gets tonights opener against the Rays, followed by Andy Pettite this coming Saturday. Five games surely isn't enough to make projections, but before swimming a triathlon everyone has to get wet.

Looks like Hughes, Wang and even Mussina think the water's great.