Nov. 2, 2001
NEW YORK -- How can you start a World Series game and be an afterthought? Just ask Mike Mussina. The Yankees starter gave a good effort on Thursday night, but he ended up being forgotten. That's perfectly understandable, though, when you consider the incredible comeback that his team composed.
After the game, in his session with the media, Mussina was never asked about his pitching performance. Instead, he only answered questions about Scott Brosius and his ninth-inning game-tying home run.
"You go from being very dejected," Mussina said, "And all of a sudden you're right back in the game."
Well, figuratively speaking, at least. Mussina exited the game in the eighth inning, and he was sitting in the dugout when Brosius went deep. That homer took Mussina out of the line score, taking him off the hook as the potential losing pitcher.
How did he get in that position? Mussina allowed only five hits, but two of them were solo homers. Those crucial shots by Steve Finley and Rod Barajas represented the game's only runs -- until Brosius took care of business.
Over the course of his evening, the Moose struck out 10 batters, and then he handed the ball to Ramiro Mendoza in the ninth inning. After that, he watched the rest of the story unfold, getting as wrapped up in the game as everyone else.
"I got dressed and went back out in the dugout for the last three innings of the game," Mussina said. "You just have to be there. It's the World Series."
Of course, this is Mussina's first trip to the Fall Classic, but he's been watching New York's incredible composure for more than a decade. What is his perspective on it, and how does he feel to be a part of it now?
"I know I'm a lot grayer than I was two days ago," he joked.
"These guys, for some reason, believe that they can come back no matter what the situation," Mussina said. "They have done it so many times, and the more it happens the more they feed off that."
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