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10/05/05 12:53 AM ET

Mussina postgame interview

Game 1 winner discusses his performance

How would you sum up your effort, and by the way, how are you feeling now, have you had any chance to test your elbow since this thing was all over with?

MIKE MUSSINA: First part of the question, I would sum it up as not too bad. I had pretty good command, good breaking ball, and I did, I guess, mostly what I was trying to do.

As far as how it feels, it feels about the same as it has the last couple of times I've been out there. It's not bad enough where I can't do what I want to do.

Do you see the key at bat for you being the Kennedy at bat in the second inning, two on and two out?

MUSSINA: I suppose. I think the key event was the ball bouncing into the seats, the one Finley hit, because Rivera was going to score if the ball stays in play, and Finley might have ended up on third.

So instead of it being, I guess at the time it was 4 0, it would have been 4 1 with a man on. So the key at bat might have been getting Kennedy out, but the ball bouncing in the seats two minutes before that was a really big event in the game.

You only had one lead off man on, obviously you want to get everybody you face out, but was there any particular strategy or concentration on making sure they didn't get the lead off man on?

MUSSINA: Well, I think every time we go out there to pitch, we are all trying to keep the lead off man off base. Figgins in the series we played him earlier this year, he was on all over the place, he was on all the time, stealing bases; and keeping him off, whether he was leading off innings or not, was a big factor today.

Once in awhile, I know somebody got on leading off an inning, but I think I got next three guys in a row if I remember correctly. This is a tough series. They are a very good team. We are fortunate to get two out rallies there early and get some runs, because Colon has had a tremendous season. We got up 4 0 early and that took the crowd out of it, and that's a factor, too.

What sort of boost do you get when you get the three run double by Cano in the first inning as a starting pitcher?

MUSSINA: Obviously when you're pitching on the road and you get to go to the mound in the very first inning with runs, that's a big deal. When you know that they have got a possible Cy Young pitcher pitching and the quality of bullpen that they have, getting runs early in the game is obviously a big factor in giving yourself a chance to win.

We jump out there with four runs in the first two innings, all with two outs, and every time they had a guy on base with two outs, we were able to get out of the inning with runners in scoring position, both in the first and second inning.

After the start against the Orioles last week, between that and coming in tonight, was there any doubt, were there any doubts in your mind going into tonight about how the elbow would react, what kind of stuff you would be able to have tonight?

MUSSINA: Absolutely. This is only the third time I've been to the mound since I had three weeks off. So one was good and one was bad. So I didn't have any idea what to expect. I knew the two extra days certainly helped me because I didn't have to pitch on Sunday, and the two extra days off certainly helped. But I had sure, I had doubts. I didn't know what I was going to get.

Given that you had those doubts, what did it mean to you that Joe Torre would give you the ball in Game 1, rather than go with one of his younger guys that was maybe a little more consistent in the last month?

MUSSINA: I think Joe has enough confidence in me that even if I don't have my best stuff, to send me out this in the first game on the road, instead of, Randy obviously can't pitch, he just pitched on Saturday. So it was going to be somebody that didn't have any post season experience, or me.

So I think it was obvious that if I felt like I could go out there and pitch, that Joe was going to send me out there. And I pitched pretty well against these guys out here a couple of months ago; and I think he felt that we had a decent game plan and I had a decent idea of what I wanted to try to, and we were able it do it today.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.