Mike Mussina had his worst outing of the year on Monday night and yet he still came away with a "w." A nice turn of fortune for "the unlucky one," as Mussina improves to 8-1. Josh Beckett, however, didn't make it out of the second inning. The Yankees collected at least 10 hits for the 12th straight game, a team record. The Baby Bombers pulled a Gashouse Gorillas Conga-Line on Beckett, capped by two three-run home runs--one by Andy Phillips, the other by Jason Giambi.
But the most exciting play for the Yankees occured in the first inning. With one out, Melky Cabrera was on first and Giambi was at the plate. Beckett, who could not locate his curve ball, threw a breaking pitch in the dirt. It skipped away from Jason Varitek and Cabrera took off for second. Varitek's throw was wild and went into the outfield. Melky ducked as he reached second and then took off for third. But since Boston had the shift on for Giambi, there was nobody covering third. Instead, Varitek had travelled half-way up the third base line. At Larry Bowa's prompting, and without skipping a beat, Melky suddenly broke for home. So did Varitek. Cabrera won the race, beating the catcher and the throw to the plate for the Yankees' first run. Boston's sloppy fielding and Cabrera's alert base-running made for perhaps the most joyous Yankee run of the season:
"The way we got that first run today, that may never happen again," Mussina said. "That was just pure youth and speed and recklessness. That's why we play these games: to see something new every day."
(Kepner, N.Y. Times)
It is the kind of play that Jose Reyes has been making across town for a couple of seasons now, but one we haven't seen from a Yankee player in some time. The game was a laugher through and through for the Yanks last night and a snoozer for Sox fans. Boston throws a rookie tonight against Chien-Ming Wang, who was far from stellar last week in Detroit. There is a long way to go in this series but the Bombers sure managed to get off on the good foot.