Saturday, September 5, 2009

Streak Snapped At Seven

Entering last night's game, both starting pitchers had been struggling. One of them righted his ship last night, and unfortunately for the Yankees, it wasn't Joba Chamberlain.

Chamberlain had problems right out of the gate and his defense didn't do much to help him. With one out in the first, Eric Hinske, in right field for Nick Swisher, played an Aaron Hill liner into a double. Later in the inning, Ramiro Pena, at shortstop for Derek Jeter, booted a grounder, allowing a second Toronto run to score.

Joba worked around two singles in the second, then gave up another run in the third. He exited after 59 pitches through three innings of work, giving up 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts. At the very least, after the game he didn't insist that he pitched well.

Roy Halladay on the other hand was dominant: perfect through four and two thirds and a no-hitter through five and a third. The Yankees threatened only once, in the sixth, using a Pena double and walks by Hinske and Mark Teixeira to load the bases with two outs. Alex Rodriguez came to the plate as the tying run, but it wasn't to be last night. Doc fanned him for one of his nine strikeouts on the night. Halladay didn't allow another baserunner for the rest of the game, finishing with a one hit, three walk shutout.

After Chamberlain exited, the four September call ups in the pen finished the game. Mark Melancon went two innings and allowed two hits, a walk, and a hitbatsman in giving up one run. Jonathan Albaladejo followed with a scoreless inning, then Mike Dunn made his Major League debut.

As we mentioned Tuesday, Dunn has a propensity for both walks and strikeouts. That, coupled with the nerves of making his first Big League appearance, led to a forgettable debut for Dunn. After retiring Rod Barajas on a screaming liner to left, Dunn threw ten consecutive pitches out of the strikezone. He recorded the second out on a fielder's choice, then walked his third batter of the inning, ending his debut. He would be charged with the final two Toronto runs on the night. Edwar Ramirez closed it out with a scoreless inning and a third.

Once again, the Yankees ended a long winning streak heading into a holiday weekend. Given the pitching situation, this one figured to be an uphill battle from the first pitch. At the very least, they managed not to burn through the top bullpen arms and to get some work in for the guys who are on the roster strictly for depth purposes. With an afternoon game today, the Yanks will have a quick opportunity to redeem themselves.


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