Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Kids Are All Right (Postgame Notes 19 July 2009)

Perhaps because it was Old Timer's Day, the ghosts of Yankee Stadium(s) decided that something special would have to happen today.

It wasn't anything that will enter record books or baseball lore, but Joba Chamberlain's six-and-two-thirds innings pitched, while surrendering only one run on a solo home run is notable in its own right given Chamberlain's recent struggles.

It seems as though the nine days' rest did him good--whereas AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia were too strong, Chamberlain finally appeared strong enough, throwing 107 pitches, and certainly efficiently enough to earn the designation of a quality start.

It's a good thing Chamberlain was on his game, because like Justin Verlander before him, the Tigers' Edwin Jackson was throwing gas, too.

The difference was simply that while Chamberlain made only one mistake pitch, Jackson made two, and he made them to guys named Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.

The three-game sweep of the Tigers is not just the best possible way to come out of the All Star Break, but winning each game by a close and low-scoring margin shows that the Yankees do not need offensive shootouts to win games.

Everything, as always, comes back to pitching.