|Joba's fist pumping days are a distant memory.|
The Yankees have a worn out bullpen, no one is questioning that. What is being questioned is why Joe Girardi continues to call on Joba Chamberlain in crucial situations. Thursday night the one time phenom quickly turned a 3-1 deficit into a 6-1 blowout that was punctuated by an Adam Lind 3-run home run. Final score, Toronto Blue Jays 6 Yankees 2.
It was another devastating loss in a devastating season. With Texas and Tampa Bay on the verge of a four game split, the Yankees have found themselves running in place while the Orioles and Indians inch closer to reeling in one of the wild card teams. The Yankees now sit three back of Texas (four in the loss column) and four behind the Rays (five in the loss column). Cue Frank Sinatra singing, "the end is near". Except, Girardi should not have done it "his way".
Obviously it wasn't all Chamberlain's doing; Hiroki Kuroda once again looked 68 instead of 38. He "held" Toronto to three runs in six innings, but it could have been a lot worse considering he gave up eight hits and walked four. The Yankees offense sputtered again with journeyman Todd Redman looking like a Cy Young candidate. The 28-year old has beaten the Yankees twice in the last three weeks.
But with the game on the line, with a lead still in reach, Girardi pushed the wrong button...again. A quick look at Joba just since August 1, shows that the Yankees were better off bringing in anyone from the bullpen other than Chamberlain.
8/2 - Entered with Yankees down 5-2 to San Diego; turns it into a 6-2 game. Final score, Padres 7-2
8/10 - Entered with Yankees down 6-2 to Detroit; two on and one out. Gave up 3-run home run to Torii Hunter to put game out of reach. Final score, Tigers 9-3
8/15 - Entered with Yankees down 7-1 to Angels; gave up back to back hits to make it 8-1. Final score, Angels 8-4
8/16 - Entered with Yankees up 10-3 on Boston; loaded the bases in the 9th. Girardi has to go to David Huff for the final out. Final score, Yankees 10-3
9/1 - Entered with Yankees down 4-3 to Baltimore; two men on with one out. Allowed 3-run home run to Adam Jones. Final score, Orioles 7 Yankees 3
9/5 - Entered with Yankees and Red Sox tied 8-8 in the 10th inning. Gave up a pair of hits including Shane Victorino game winning single. Final score, Red Sox 9 Yankees 8
9/6 - Entered with Yankees trailing Red Sox 10-8 in the 8th inning. Intentionally walked David Ortiz, threw a wild pitch, unintentionally walked Mike Napoli, walked Daniel Nava to force in a run, and allowed RBI single to Stephen Drew. Final score, Red Sox 12 Yankees 8
Chamberlain has spent much of the year extending the other team's lead or diminishing the Yankees lead. Brian Cashman made a huge mistake in not giving Chamberlain away for whatever he could get. The Yankees will make no qualifying offer to Chamberlain, which means they will not receive a draft pick when the one-time three digit thrower leaves via free agency after this season.