The way this game started, it looked like the K.C. Royals were going to knock Mike Mussina out early, and they would be the team that would score 15 runs. The Royals hit Mussina hard in the top of the first inning, banging out four hits that resulted in an early 3-0 lead for the Kansas City team.
But, the Bronx Bombers exploded with a display of power that brought back images of the Bombers of old, as they teed-off on Royals starter, Brian Bannister, scoring six runs in the first, and four in the second, to charge ahead 10-3 in the game.
Bannister faced a total of ten batters in the first, as the Yankees took an extended batting practice. Johnny Damon led off the game with a walk; Derek Jeter singled; and Bobby Abreu lined out to left to start off the inning. Then, on a 0-2 curve ball, Alex Rodriguez tied the game 3-3, by blasting a long three-run homerun into Monument Park.
Jason Giambi grounded to second base, for out number two in the inning, and Bannister had a chance to close out the first with the scored tied.
But, the Yankees were not finished yet. Xavier Nady hit a two-out solo homer, that hit the right field foul pole, to move the Bombers into the 4-3 lead. Then Cano singled, and scored on Jose Molina’s double. Brett Gardner, again starting in centerfield for the demoted to AAA-SWB, Melky Cabrera, followed that hit with a RBI triple, that gave the Yanks the 6-3 lead. Damon batting for the second time in the first, flied out to right to end the inning.
The Royals continued to hit Mussina hard in the second inning, as the first two batters got on base by a double and single; but, a fly-out to center, and a double play, ended any threat of a rally by K.C. This was a key moment in the game for Mike Mussina, as he held the Royals from scoring any runs, and settled down very nicely the rest of his time on the mound in this game.
The Yankees finished off Brian Bannister (7-12) in the second inning, on a lead off single by Derek Jeter (4-4); back-to-back walks to Abreu and A-Rod, to load the bases; and, then, a Grand Slam Homerun by Jason Giambi, that put the game out of reach for the Royals, as the Yankees now had a 10-3 lead.
Bannister gave up two more singles before being removed for reliever, Josh Newman, who retired the Yanks on a double play, and fly ball to center. The damage was already done, though.
The Yanks scored another run in the 3rd inning, upping their lead to, 11-3.
After the first two shaky ininngs, Mike Mussina (16-7) was perfect throughout the next four frames, retiring the final 14 batters he faced. Moose threw 97 pitches over his 6 innings of work, allowing only the three first inning runs, on six hits, without walking anyone, and striking-out five. A very solid performance by Mussina, once again.
In the 7th inning, after two outs, the Bombers tacked on another four runs. Jeter was hit by a pitch, and scored on a double by Abreu. Alex Rodriguez (3-3), with two walks, three runs scored; and five RBI’s, then singled home Abreu, for the 13-3 lead.
The next batter was, Cody Ransom, who was recently called up from SWB, and entered this game as a replacement for Giambi at first. Boom. Ransom unloaded his first homerun as a Yankee, a two-run shot into the leftfield seats, that capped off the Yankees scoring at 15 runs. His teammates encouraged him to take a curtain call to the delight of the Stadium crowd.
The Royals scored one run off Billy Traber in the 8th; and two runs off Chris Britton, on a walk to Alex Gordon, and a two-run homer by Gload, in the 9th, that completed the 15-6 score in this very important victory by the New York Yankees.
Mike Mussina is now 16-7, and continues on his path to his first 20-win season.
The Bronx Bombers were back in this game. An interesting side note about the four Yankee Homeruns, was the fact, the Yankees had sort off a “Homerun Cycle”, a feat I have never seen, and I’m sure hasn’t been accomplished many times in the history of baseball.
Jason Giambi blasted a “grand slam” homerun !!!!
Alex Rodriguez hit a long three-run homer !!!
Cody Ransom hit his first homerun as a Yankee, a two-run shot !!
Xavier Nady stroked a solo homer off the rightfield foul pole !
A “baseball rarity” for sure. But, isn’t it so, that we always see something we have never seen before, in each new baseball game we watch.
It was also rare [at least in 2008] to see so many runs scored by the Yankees in a game. Hopefully, the sight of many runs by the Yankees in each remaining game of this season, will not become as rare a sight as the first three-quarters of this season.