The Yankees have plans for Joba Chamberlain, I’m just not sure what they are. I’ve been critical of how Chamberlain has been handled in the second half and my thoughts haven’t changed any. No confidence can be gained from the outings Chamberlain has had since the Yankees started limiting his innings and pitches. And yesterday’s showing against the Seattle Mariners was a complete disaster. Chamberlain got hammered for five runs in the 2nd inning and gave up seven runs total in a three inning stint. The result was a lackluster 7-1 Yankees loss and a lost road series.
The Yankees threatened against Ian Snell (5-2 since joining Seattle) in the 1st inning, putting two runners aboard with no one out. But Snell retired Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, and Hideki Matsui to escape the jam and the Yankees offense flopped like a fish after that. The Yankees would manage just five hits on the day, three of them byTeixeira.
Chamberlain retired the first two hitters of the game, but then gave up back to back doubles to Jose Lopez and Ken Griffey Jr., and an RBI single to Adrian Beltre for a 2-0 M’s lead. Things went from bad to worse an inning later with Griffey punctuating the 5-run outburst with a 3-run home run. It was Griffey’s 16th home run of the season, the same output as his 1989 rookie season, and 627th of his career.
On the bright side, Sergio Mitre tossed five innings of 1-hit ball in relief.
The Yankees begin a three game series tonight with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The AL East lead has been reduced to 5 1/2 games (ahead of Boston), but the magic number is just one to clinch a playoff spot.