Friday, July 25, 2008

Joba On the Spot (Postgame Notes 25 July 2008)

While you were busy dissecting one of the biggest trades the Yankees have made in the past three years, you may have missed one of the most dramatic and well-pitched Yankee wins this season.

Oh, and it happened to bring the Yankees to within one game of the Red Sox, as well.

Joba Chamberlain pitched an absolute gem.

Seven innings, three hits, one walk, no runs and nine strike outs.

Any question as to whether or not he belongs in the rotation was moot before tonight's game; now the question of whether or not he can pitch against the game's best starters has been answered with a resounding yes.

Joba didn't just keep pace with Beckett; he out pitched him. He got some great defense in the second inning from Melky Cabrera and Robinson Canò, but for most of the game he simply shut the Boston line up down.

Josh Beckett wasn't bad either--he beared down when the Yankees got runners on base, and the only run scored in the game was scored because the Sox had been playing the shift on Jason Giambi.

Joba Chamberlain was just better.

Kyle Farnsworth didn't have a bad inning so much as he got unlucky. Bobby Abreu played too deep on Lowrie and Lowrie singled, and then made the mistake off trying to field a nubber that would have gone foul off of Cocoa Crisp.

Mariano was, simply, Mariano.

There isn't much to comment about offensively--the Yankees didn't hit with runners in scoring position (1 for 9), but that was more a reflection of Josh Beckett pitching than the Yankee offense.

If the Yankees do a similar thing tomorrow against Wakefield, then there should be some concern.

There will likely be something made of the high pitch Joba threw to Kevin Youkilis in the seventh, which hit his bat (as opposed to his head), but one has to remember that at the time the game was 1-0. The last thing Joba probably wanted to do was give Youkilis a free pass on the bases.

While winning one game doesn't mean that the Yankees will win the series, it is the best way to start.

More to come on the Nady/Marte trade, stay tuned.

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