Wednesday, May 7, 2008

JC Human After All

It turns out that Joba Chamberlain isn't some otherworldly entity sent down from the heavens to dominate opposing hitters. In the end, he's just a man; one who doesn't always have perfect control.

Andy Pettitte pitched masterfully, giving up 2 runs in 6.1 innings. Kyle Farnsworth continues to excel, retiring the last 2 batters in the seventh inning.

In the eighth however, Joba Chamberlain walked two and then gave up a three run home run. Joba was shaking off pitches from catcher Jose Molina, threw too many curve balls and eventually got ripped on a high inside fastball that hung out over the plate a little too much.

Jose Veras went 1-2-3 in the 9th inning and pitched well in his second appearance in the majors this year.

The offense was sluggish again, with Hideki Matsui providing most of the excitement going 3 for 3.

This game was shocking for many to watch. Pettitte gave everyone something to cheer about with his performance and the offense had given the team a slim lead. By the time you get to Joba, fans are expecting smooth sailing and an automatic win at that point. Seeing him give up not one, not two, but three runs was heartbreaking. Manager Joe Girardi felt bad for him and commented that he felt like he should give the guy a hug.

Much maligned reliever LaTroy Hawkins had some words of wisdom for the stuggling star, "Now he knows what baseball will do to you. If he's smart, he'll never forget it. That right there is part of the job."

It was bound to happen, we all knew it was coming eventually, but it still hurt.

The good news is that hopefully Joba learned from the experience and perhaps will listen to his catcher a little more next time. Joba seemed disappointed but was handling it well, indicating a willingness to move on, "It stinks when it happens but you understand it's part of the game."

In other news, Wilson Betemit was called up and made a start last night after suffering from a protracted bout of conjunctivitis. He quickly fell back into form of mediocre hitting and was decent over at third base. The unfortunate side effect was that Alberto Gonzalez got sent down. Gonzalez isn't a star just yet, but the more big league at bats he gets, the better his chances. Betemit has established himself and isn't going to get any better.

Lastly, Ian Kennedy pitched the game of his life down in AAA. He went 7.1 innings giving up only 1 hit and no runs. He had a no-hitter going through six. There were no walks and 8 strike outs. I think Ian got the message the Yankees were trying to send him.


Mike said...

The biggest change Kennedy made between NY and Scranton was his pitching coach.

Jeff said...

I wonder how much work he did with the pitching coach, or did he simply say to himself "I haven't been pitching smart lately - I need to throw more strikes"?