September 30th 2009
Yankees Vs Kansas City Royals
@ Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Joba rules! We’ve lived with them for the last two seasons. Designed to ensure that the young pitcher of the New York Yankees develops into the star we all KNOW that he can be. Mmmm……. Tonight after lots of late season restrictions the training wheels came off and Chamberlain was given his head to show what he could do in a game on which nothing depended. And we all sat there and squirmed……. And hoped that this was just another off night and tried to avoid the conclusion that they’ll never make a starter out of this guy. But, trust me, this was dreadful.
Joba Chamberlain pitched 3 and 2/3 innings for 3 runs, and even more worryingly 7 hits and 4 walks. He couldn’t find the strike zone and I would have to say that he was lucky to get off so lightly. He was replaced before the end of the 4th inning by Alfredo Aceves. Now this guy didn’t make the rotation back on opening day and has never really been considered as an option for the starting rotation in 2009 but tonight he looked like twice the pitcher that Joba appeared to be. Aceves pitched two innings and if it wasn’t for the fact that the Yankees’ bats had gone to sleep, we would have been right back in it.
Of the batters, only Jeter produced anything of note. Two hits, one a home run and also a walk before he was lifted for Jerry Hairston in the late innings for a game the Yankees didn’t seem to think they could win but in which they were only one run behind.
The late innings relievers, Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera were as overpowering and untouchable as they have been for most of the season but the Royals’ bullpen was just as effective and the Yankees ran out losers, 4-3.
So the last home game of the stand raised more questions than answers and Chamberlain hoping that he could some way edge onto the post-season roster and re-gain some of the ground he has lost.