The nature of baseball can lead to some pretty random results. Sometimes, a team's pitching can get absolutely shelled, but the team still somehow wins. July 27, 1956 was one of those days for the Yankees.
The 1956 Yankees were in first place in the AL by 8.5 games heading into the July 27th game against the Kansas City Athletics. Their starting pitcher on that day was Johnny Kucks. The 1956 season was Kucks' best in terms of accolades. He made the All-Star Game that season and received MVP votes. However, his ERA+ of 101 suggests he was a fairly average pitcher that season. On July 27, 1956, he did not even meet that threshold.
After he received two runs of support in the top of the first, Kucks gave up a leadoff double to future Yankee Hector Lopez. After a ground out and a walk, Harry Simpson singled to score Lopez. In the second inning, Kucks allowed another leadoff hit, this one to Vic Power. He got out of that inning damage-free, but he had now allowed three hits through two innings.
Kucks then allowed another three hits in the third inning, including a two-run home run to Simpson. Kansas City now had a 3-2 lead, and Kucks had now allowed six hits through three innings. The Yankees re-took the lead in the top of the fourth. Bill Skowron and Andy Carey both hit home runs, putting the Yankees up 5-3.
Kucks allowed another leadoff hit in the bottom of the fourth. He got the next two hitters out, but things then went off the rails. He allowed a single to Lopez, and then made an error attempting to pick him off. He then allowed a single to Al Pilarcik, which scored two runs and tied the game. After he allowed one more hit, he was taken out. In his 3.2 innings of work, Kucks allowed five runs on ten hits and a walk.
Mickey McDermott replaced Kucks and got out of the fourth with the game still tied. The Yankees' offense then struck again in the fifth, scoring three runs to take the lead. McDermott came back out for the fifth and immediately allowed a home run to Power. He would get two more outs before being replaced. In his one inning of work, McDemott allowed one hit. He was replaced by Tom Morgan, who allowed a single to Lopez, the first batter he faced. Morgan got a fly ball to end the inning, and through five, it was 8-6 Yankees.
The Yankees tacked on an insurance run in the sixth. Morgan came back out of the bottom of the inning, and quickly retired the first two batters he faced. He then proceeded to allowed four straight singles, allowing two runs, and making it just 9-8 Yankees. In the seventh inning, Morgan allowed another two hits, on which the Athletics scored another run, tying the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, Morgan survived allowing two straight hits to start the inning. In the ninth, he allowed another two hits and was replaced by Tommy Byrne. In his four innings of work, Morgan allowed 11 hits.
In the bottom of the 10th, Byrne walked Power in an otherwise perfect inning. The 10th inning was the first in which the Athletics didn't record a hit. Byrne allowed just one hit in scoreless innings in the 11th, 12th, and 13th.
In the top of the 14th, Mickey Mantle drew a one-out walk. After Skowron struck out, Hank Bauer reached on an error, moving Mantle to third. Carey then walked to load the bases. Kansas City shortstop Mike Baxes then made an error on a Jerry Coleman grounder, allowing Mantle to score, giving the Yankees a 10-9 lead.
Byrne finished off the game in the bottom of the 14th inning, but not before allowing one last hit: a single to Power. The Yankees won the game 10-9, despite allowing 26 hits. Three times the Yankees have allowed 27 hits. All came in losses. The 26 hits they allowed on July 27, 1956 is by far the most they've allowed in a game they somehow still won.
And perhaps the funniest part of that game is that the Yankees scored their winning run in an inning where they recorded no hits.
All data courtesy of the Baseball-Reference Play Index