Mike Mussina knows the numbers. He won his 269 big-league game on Tuesday to go one up on Jim Palmer. The 2,810 strikeouts next to his name are seven more than Cy Young. He has 19 wins this year – the third time to that number in his career – and one more shot at 20.
Reporters have been asking about 20 wins for weeks and they finally got Mussina to admit that: “It’s a significant number.”
But then Mussina took over both sides of the interview:
“After playing this long and winning all these games,” Mussina began, “if I don’t win on Sunday, then has it been bad? Has it been lousy, unsuccessful?
“No,” Mussina answered.
“Am I going to be disappointed in what I’ve done for all these years?” Mussina asked.
“No,” Mussina answered again.
“There’s a lot of things you can’t control,” Mussina said. “Winning baseball games is not easy.”
But he admitted:
“It would be a lot of fun to win it.”