Friday, April 25, 2008

Joba Loses

Joba Chamberlain is not invincible in the bullpen as some have come to believe, and proved it in the Yankees 7-6 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The young star gave up the winning run in the ninth inning and was credited for the loss.  Maybe now some people will stop perseverating about how dominant he is as a late reliever and how he needs to stay in the bullpen.

That's not going to happen, but I can dare to dream right?

For the record, I'm a huge Joba fan and think he'll be an all star pitcher for many years with the Yankees. Giving up 1 run on 2 hits in 1.1 innings of work. Stuff happens and even the best pitchers get hit once in a while, so lets just hope this doesn't get into Joba's head too much. "I give up hits and that's the way it's going to be. I let my team down," said Chamberlain after the game.

The story of the night was the Yankee pitchers and the tragedy that surrounded each of them.

Phil Huges looked much better in his first 2 innings, giving up only 1 hit and no runs. In the first inning he threw quite a few pitches and worked into a few deep counts but in the second inning he ripped through the opposing batters. In the middle of the third inning the rain came again and after the significant delay, Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland decided to pull Hughes in favor of Ross Ohlendorf, who apparently they think is a long reliever.

Ross Ohlendorf has a lot of talent and could turn into a very  successful reliever in the major leagues, but the longer he pitches, the less effective he is. Ross' velocity and stuff as a starter was always a step down from his stuff as a reliever, where he'd come in and throw harder with more movement. This season he's had some nice 3 inning outings, but last night he came undone after one. The first inning Ohlendorf pitched beautifully, but the second he came out flat and got tagged. In the end Ross gave up 5 runs on 5 hits in 2 innings.

I didn't like Joe Girardi's decision not to have a long reliever on the team out of Spring training and it continues to hurt the team. Darrel Rasner is pitching extremely well in the minors and deserves a chance to come up. He's the guy you want to bring in to relieve Hughesey, Ike, or Moose if they need to come out early. A long reliever will eat up a bunch of innings, hopefully keeping the game close until you can bring in your closer. As much as I like Ohlendorf, he's definitely not long reliever material.

LaTroy Hawkins was decent, giving up 1 run in 2 innings of work. Kyle Farnsworth pitched a scoreless inning until slipping off the mound and hurting his right elbow. Kyle said he hoped to be back in action on Friday.

Brian Bruney didn't pitch this game but apparently sprained his foot or ankle on Wednesday night while attempting (unsuccessfully) to cover first base. Bruney will likely go on the DL so that another pitcher can be brought up. The Yankees have been using their bullpen heavily and need some fresh arms.

Jason Giambi had a decent hitting night going 2 for 4, but remains a defensive liability. He botched a simple 5 foot toss to Hughes who was running to cover first. Thankfully the athletic pitcher was able to reach down low and scoop the ball in time, but there is no excuse for that kind of sloppy play, especially when you have guys like Ensberg and Duncan available.

The Yankees will be making some moves today, putting people on the DL and calling up relievers from the minors. Now might be the time Chad Moeller gets sent back down since Molina and Posada both appear to be healthy. If so, once again, congratulations Chad on doing an outstanding job of filling in!

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