Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Joba Dominates, Bruney, Not so Much (Postgame Notes 29 July 2009)

That All Star Break must have done Joba Chamberlain some good.

Not only has he been great in every start since the break, but he's gotten better--and tonight, he flat-out dominated.

Chamberlain threw 101 pitches over eight innings, allowing just two hits, a couple walks, and no runs. Had Chamberlain been an older and un-innings-capped pitcher, it's entirely possible he would have gone out to pitch the ninth.

Such as it was, the Yankees thought they'd get Bruney some work--with a 6-0 lead, it didn't seem like much of a gamble, but Bruney was awful. The only strikes he threw were hit for a home run and a double; other than that the command was simply not there. Bruney wasn't just missing; he was missing and it wasn't even close.

Bruney's ineffectiveness is an issue because an effective Bruney allows the Yankees to be that much more flexible--an effective Bruney means that the Yankees could consider transitioning Aceves back to the rotation (they won't, I don't think--or at least, they shouldn't lose their one long reliever), or at the very least allow the Yankees to just worry about trading for a starter.

Alas, Bruney has not looked well since coming off of the DL for the second time, and at this point in time one has to ask if he's really entirely healthy. His attitude in postgame interviews doesn't tend to rub fans (who knows about the coaches--whose opinion matters much more) the right way.

At any rate, Brueny's performance was the only blemish of the evening. Joba had perhaps the best start of his young career; the offense had three home runs and a couple of other timely hits to take an early lead and never look back, and while Mariano Rivera inexplicably walked a batter (!!), he did, after all, get the job done.

One thing of note that I might expand on a little later: the Yankees have scored 198 runs in the last three innings of the game (as of this morning); no other team has more than 170 in the later innings. Given that the Yankees have scored 562 runs total, that's more than a third of all the Yankees runs being scored in that time span.

Talk about a team that fights.