Joe Gets Run, Yankees Score Runs

June 25, 2009 – 11:51 am

Light My Team's FireNYY 8, Atlanta 4. So it turns out that all it took to light a fire under this team was Joe Girardi getting tossed? Yeah, I know, proving causality is a tough road, but take a look at the evidence. Going in to the 6th inning the Yankees had been shut out for the last 14 innings and were being no-hit for 5 innings. They were looking more helpless than the previous game, if that were possible. Then Joe gets ejected, and the fireworks start immediately with Francisco Cervelli hitting his first career home run. Which was quickly followed by the .205 hitting Alex Rodriguez getting a clutch 2-out 2-run scoring single. That was 3 runs on 4 hits in a single inning, matching their hit total for the previous 14 innings. Then in the very next inning, Nick Swisher who is mired in a 6-for-37 (.162) slump goes yard. And then in the bottom of that same inning, Swish who at times has had problems playing the simplest of fly balls, makes the defensive play of the game on Nate McClouth’s shot to the right-field wall, preserving a 4-3 lead. When the dust had settled, the Yankees offense was 10-for-20 after Girardi got tossed, compared to 4-for-45 before he got tossed. Looks like causality to me!

And not to be overlooked was yet another good outing by Joba Chamberlain. I just don’t get the “move Joba to the bullpen” crowd. In his 5 starts in June the Yankees are 4-1 (which makes them 6-10 in non-Joba starts). Of those 5 starts, 4 were so-called “quality” starts and in the other one he only allowed 2 runs. And unlike his last couple of starts, he showed good control, not issuing a single walk and hitting the magical 2-to-1 ratio for strikes-to-balls (68 strikes out of 99 pitches). Only thing I can figure for people who still want to see him in the bullpen is that as a starter he doesn’t seem to be near as overpowering as he was coming in from the pen. But that’s the nature of the beast — a reliever goes all out for one inning with maybe a dozen or so pitches. Whereas a starter is in there for what is hopefully 7+ innings and 100+ pitches, and thus needs to pace themselves. So naturally anyone is not going to be as “electric” starting as they are relieving. But take a look at Joba’s stats as a starter. That’s the bottom line, and that says this kid should be in the starting rotation, period.

Photo: Newsday

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