Thursday, October 1, 2009

Joba's False Start

Chamberlain of Horrors

Written for Baseball Digest

Chamberlain of Horrors | read this item

Last night’s game between the Yankees and Kansas City Royals was completely meaningless as far as the standings were concerned. But for starter Joba Chamberlain it may have been the final blow to his post-season starting chances. Unable to build off his very effective outing against the Red Sox last Thursday, Chamberlain threw 91 pitches (just 52 for strikes) in just 3 2-3 innings. He allowed 3 runs, 7 hits, and walked 4 and stood to take the loss had the Yankees not come back to temporarily tie the game. The same fans who had previously showered him with approval booed him last night. The final result was a 4-3 Royals victory, but afterwards Joe Girardi wasn’t so much concerned with the game itself as with Joba’s performance.

While he didn’t come right out and say it, it appears Girardi’s words indicate Chamberlain will be in the bullpen during the post-season.

“He’s had a lot of success out of the bullpen,” Girardi said. “I can’t guarantee that when you put a guy in situation that he’s going to revert back to his old form if we do put him in the bullpen, but he does have a lot of confidence coming out of those gates.”

For his part, Chamberlain said the unseasonably cool weather bothered him (better get used to October baseball) and would be willing to “fold towels” if it helped the team win.

As for the game itself, the Yankees nearly another come from behind win. Trailing 4-3 in the 9th, Francisco Cervelli reached on a 2-out single against closer Joakim Soria. Yuniesky Betancourt had to hurry his throw to get the speedy Freddy Guzman, who had grounded to short. The throw was wild, putting runners on the corners with one out. But Soria got Ramiro “Catwoman” Pena to fly out to shallow left for his 30th save of the season.

The Yankees came back twice in the game. Derek Jeter’s 18th home run off of Robinson Tejada tied the game at 1-1 in the 1st and Nick Swisher’s 29th home run, a 2-run shot, tied the game at three apiece in the bottom of the 5th.

Game Notes

The Yankees finished their home schedule with a 57-24 mark, best in the majors. They have Thursday off before starting the final three game series on the road in Tampa Bay. Their 45-33 road record is currently second best, along with the Los Angeles Angels, in the majors. Philly has the top road record at 48-33.

Johnny Damon
played his 140th game last night making him only the 5th player in major league history to play 140 or more games for 14 straight seasons. Hank Aaron, Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays, and Pete Rose were the others.

Damaso Marte took the loss after Nick Swisher fell down on John Buck’s routine fly ball. The miscue, scored a hit, resulted in an RBI triple to put KC up 4-3 in the 7th.

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