Mike Mussina knows there are no excuses in a pennant race.
He knows that his last two starts were not acceptable. He knows his team needs him to go deep into tonight’s game. He’s had five days to think about everything and he knows he can put it all in the past with one good start.
He’s been there before.
Mussina pitched seven shutout innings in a must-win, game three of the 2001 American League Division Series against the Athletics. The game will always be know for Derek Jeter’s “flip play,” but Mussina came through with one of the all-time greatest postseason pitching performances.
He knows he needs to dig out another great one against the Tigers.
He knows that better than anyone.
The great ones always do.