Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Game 113: No Mistakes

The Yankees and Joba Chamberlain find themselves in similar positions tonight. While the Yanks lost their first game last night after winning seven straight, Joba put up his first bad performance since the All-Star Break in his last start Thursday against the Red Sox. Joba was lucky enough to walk away from his poor showing with a win, but he reverted to his old form in a bad way.

Even though the Yanks spotted him 8 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning against John Smoltz and Billy Traber, Joba allowed his 5th, 6th and 7th walks of the outing in the top of the 5th. He ended up throwing 27 pitches in the frame to bring his total for the start up to 108, which tied his season high, and sent him the showers immediately thereafter.

It was the last thing any supporter of the Yankees wanted to see. More than anything, the team needs Joba to be more efficient with his pitches and go deeper into games. He had all the incentive in the world to throw strikes and challenge hitters with that kind of a lead, but he simply couldn't. In addition to those 7 walks, he allowed six hits and was lucky that his two home runs came early in the 3rd and 4th innings, before more runners had a chance to get on base.

As far as the offense goes, Nick Swisher gets the day off with Eric Hinske filling in for him in RF. Damon is back in left, Jorge back behind the dish and the usual suspects from there on out.

Opposing the Jobanator for the Blue Jays will be Scott Richmond. The 29 year old right hander was rolling along with an ERA under 4 when he hit the disabled list at the end of June with a "sore right arm". He's only made one start since then, more than a week and a half ago, wherein he took the loss to Oakland and threw 86 pitches in three innings. He allowed 6 runs (4 earned) and got tagged with the loss, but more importantly the 31 pitches he threw in his first inning of work couldn't have helped the injury he was trying to come back from. The stressful outing probably explains the extended rest he was given between the two starts.

Joba's last start against the Blue Jays was no great shakes either. It was his shortest and arguably his worst of the season. It took place at Yankee Stadium on July 5th and he gave up 8 runs, although only 3 were earned. After 86 pitches and 3 2/3 innings Joba was in the clubhouse, but the Yanks rallied to win the game 10-8. Following the game, Joba had some dismissive comments about his weak effort.

That seems like a long time ago, doesn't it? Since then we haven't heard anything like that from the young gun and it's not because he's been perfect. Like my favorite Canadian rapper, he's getting better at realizing his missteps and has got to try to correct them if he wants to go forward. Tonight would be a good place to start.

This year, no mistakes,
Got here, no fate,
Paid dues, won't wait,
Made some mistakes and I'll probably make more,
Just how it happens when you're try to go forward.

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