The Yankees got just what the doctor ordered last night: a fine performance from both Mike Mussina and the offense. It was a well-balanced effort as the Yanks defeated the Royals, 6-0. Mussina pitched eight innings, allowed four hits and walked four; Mariano pitched a scoreless ninth. The Yankees' dubious bullpen was essentially given the night off.
Jorge Posada went 4-5, and Soriano and Bernie Williams both looked impressive too. Jason Giambi, who has a bum knee which may require surgery, walked twice, added two hits, and is looking mighty locked-in right now. Hey even Aaron Boone picked up a hit, after a 0-17 streak (he is 5-41 as a Yankee).
I was talking with Christian Ruzich, The Cub Reporter, yesterday, and he had the opportunity to land a press pass in Oakland a few weeks ago when the Yankees were in town. There was a fan appreciation ceremony that day, so the players took bp in an under-ground facility. Ruz said that Giambi wasn't as huge as he was several years back, but he did note several sizable tatoos on the sluggers' arms. In fact, he pointed out that Giambi wears a 3/4 sleeve on his right arm to cover one of his pieces. I noticed it last night. Thanks for the fashion tip, Ruz.
David Wells, who is back in New York and will have an MRI on his ailing back today, will miss at least one start, and there is some concern that he could miss more than that. Sterling Hitchcok will likely start in his place on Saturday against the Orioles.
The Yankees gained a game on the Red Sox, who lost in Oakland last night, 5-3. The A's scored five runs early and held off a late surge by Boston. Oakland is now one game up in the wild card race; the Yankees lead the Sox by four, five in the loss column. The Red Sox are 13-13 since the All-Star break.
Speaking of the Sox, the morbid saga of Ted Williams continues:
Hall of Famer Ted Williams' head and body are being stored in separate containers at an Arizona cryonics lab that is still trying to collect a $111,000 bill from Williams' son, according to a story by Tom Verducci in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.
You can't make this kind of creepy stuff up. Sheesh.