Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You Knew It Was Coming...

Right on cue this morning, the the legendary typing 'stache at the New York Daily News is rushing to draw lines through one poor performance by Joba Chamberlain which extend in all directions into infinity:
Nine runs should be enough to win any major league game. But Chamberlain was Ollie Perez-like last night, which is to say he was awful. On those eight days' rest, he reverted to early-season form and lost command of his pitches. There was little consistency to his failure, nothing but sheer randomness to his location. At times, he was too fine and walked three batters. Other times he threw the ball over the plate and wished for the best.


Like most pitchers, he would do better with a more consistent routine. The Yankees may have to make that admission sooner than later, if Chamberlain is going to rediscover his mojo in time for the playoffs. That might mean stretching or ignoring a few Joba Rules.
There are so many things so fantastically wrongheaded about these two paragraphs, it's almost impressive in it's scope.

First and perhaps most egregiously, Filip Bondy appears to be unaware that since two teams play in a baseball game, if one of them gives up 9 runs, then by definition 9 of their own runs won't be enough to win the game. He has also evidently forgotten the other 16 times this season that the Yanks have allowed 9 or more runs.

"Oliver Perez-like"? How about "Joba Chamberlain-like", because this is exactly the type of start that he's been plagued by all year (short and inefficient) and it has nothing to do with the number of off days in between his starts.

Filip, he didn't pitch well. I'll give you that. But how would it have been any better if there was "consistency to his failure"? He walked guys AND gave up hits? This should never happen!

And I don't want to hear about the 8 days of rest. The last time Joba pitched with that much time off was after the All-Star break and he put together an excellent start against the Tigers. How does Bondy know that Joba would "do better with a more consistent routine"? He has had 6 starts lasting fewer than 5 innings this season (not including the one against Baltimore when he was removed for an injury) and all but one of them have come on the regular 4 days of rest.

Due to one bad start, the Yankees should ditch their plan to conserve Joba's innings? Are you flipping serious, Filip? I know you get paid to overreact to all things NY sports via the written word, but can you look at the big picture for just a moment?

Here are some things relevant to this situation that the Yankees should be concerned about, listed in descending importance.
  1. Joba Chamberlain's short and long term health as it relates to him being a productive starting pitcher
  2. His performance this postseason
  3. His performance during the rest of the regular season
The Yankees are going to make the postseason with or without a solid contribution from Joba Chamberlain the rest of the way. It would be great if he were to ace every one of his starts from here on out, but it's really not that important. They need him to be ready to pitch in the postseason and most importantly they need him to be healthy over the long haul.

No one knows for sure what course of action will be best for #2 on that list, but nearly all rational thought devoted to keeping young pitchers healthy has concluded that taking a conservative approach to the number of innings pitched has the best chance of addressing #1. If you're going to be frustrated with someone, choose Joba. He's got to pitch better, regardless of how many days he's given off.

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