Coming into Kansas City on Monday, the Yankees should have had only one goal: win three games and get back to New York with a nice cushion over the Red Sox. On Monday that plan blew up when they lost 17-8. So when Mike Mussina took the hill last night, he had a little extra pressure. It was almost a must win for the Yankees. Mussina responded and passed with flying colors.
Mussina tossed eight shutout innings while scattering three hits and one walk and striking out eleven. Mussina had it all going and looked unhittable. The Yankees will need Mussina in the postseason if they are to have any chance of advancing and last nights game was a huge lift in a positive direction.
The Yankees also welcomed back Jason Giambi who looked good after a long period away. In his first at bat he tagged a ball to the deep right center wall. He finished 0-3 with one strikeout and one walk. It was a great sight to see Giambi back on the field looking healthy and strong.
The top of the order produced the four runs off the Yankees with Derek Jeter going 1-4 with two RBI, Alex Rodriguez went 2-4 with one RBI and Gary Sheffield went 1-4 driving in the last run. Zach Greinke, who looks like he should be pitching in the little league world series, pitched well; striking out six and holding the Yankees to two runs and three hits. the Yankees managed to hold on for the 4-0 win.
The Yankees have a 4 game lead over the Red Sox with Boston heading in to town this weekend. Here are the pitching match-ups: Friday - Bronson Arroyo ( 9-9, 4.04) Vs. Orlando Hernandez (8-0, 2.49), Saturday - Derek Lowe (14-11, 4.91) Vs. Jon Lieber (11-8, 4.46), Sunday - Pedro Martinez (16-6, 3.43) Vs. Mike Mussina (11-9, 4.76).