Oh, Joba be good.
If there were any questions, at all, still left, about where Joba Chamberlain belongs on the Yankees, he answered them with oomph in the second inning of today's game.
In the second inning, Joba loaded the bases with no one out.
In most instances, pitchers will consider themselves lucky to get out of such a jam if they give up just one run. If they get a double play, they'll consider themselves to have caught a lucky break. Many pitchers will fold entirely, giving up two or three runs--more if they're facing a line up like Boston or the Yankees.
Joba, however, did not break.
He didn't even bend.
Instead, he struck out Scott Hairston, blocked the plate on a passed ball to Khalil Greene to nab Adrian Gonzalez (who tried to score from third), and struck out Khalil Greene.
In that one inning, Joba showed every inch of the grit necessary not just to make it as a starter, but to make it as a front of the line starter as well.
Though he threw too many pitches and the game was tied when he left (so he could not pick up the win), Joba surrendered only one run and struck out nine. The Yankees are 3-1 in his start, having lost only his first start (and even that score was close when he left).
The injury to Wang doesn't loom so large with Joba pitching the way he is.
The bullpen, again, was excellent. Kyle Farnsworth continues to defy expectations--after a shaky outing last night, he allowed only one base runner in the eighth, and Jose Veras continues to make his case for pitching in the eighth inning. Mariano Rivera was...well, there's a reason he's going to Cooperstown. Also, striking out the side doesn't hurt.
It was far from a great display of power for the Yankees, but they were able to run on Padres' catcher Michael Barrett, and manufacture themselves the two runs it took to win the game. Melky Cabrera stole second and third before scoring on a sacrifice fly off of the bat of Jose Molina. In the sixth inning, Derek Jeter stole second and went to third on a sacrifice fly, before scoring on an RBI single from Alex Rodriguez.
The two runs were not a lot, but they were enough for the Yankees to win their seventh in a row, and now they are seven games over .500. As Boston does not play today, the Yankees will pick up a half game in the standings as well.
The Yankees have now completed sweeps of the Astros and the Padres, and while the Reds (arguably) offer considerably more offensive talent (not to mention Edison Volquez), they have to be a little nervous.
The Yankees are, after all, red hot.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Oh, Joba be good.