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Livan Hernandez (5–3, 3.66 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina (2–3, 5.63 ERA)

It sure is nice to be at .500 (31–31), but just getting to the hurdle isn’t quite enough. Tonight, the Yankees will face Livan Hernandez and look to get above .500. Mike Mussina takes the hill for the Spanks.

In a nutshell: Mussina is coming off his best outing of the year against the hapless ChiSox. Tonight, he faces a young lineup without much pop. The wily veteran should be able to work his magic and give the Yanks another quality start.

Keys to the game: There are a couple of colloquialisms which could be used to describe Livan Hernandez. One would be that he is an “innings-eater,” another would be to say that he “pitches to contact.” To translate the baseball jargon, Hernandez gives you a lot of bad innings, he doesn’t walk a lot of guys, and he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys. He’s the type of pitcher that you hit-and-run against, he’s the type of pitcher you steal off. He’s the type of pitcher you have to beat, especially if you’re the N.Y. Yankees. The good news is that the Yanks seem destined to get off to a quick start tonight, the bad is that Mike Mussina seems incapable of holding an early lead. Lucky number 8 may be a tough nut to crack for the streaking Bombers, but I think they’ll get it done.

D-Backs blog-of-the-day: Baby Backs

by Brian on Jun 13 2007