Where Did This Clunker Come From?

July 29, 2009 – 10:11 am

Tampa Bay 6, NYY 2. Well, everything sure got real ugly real quick in this one. In the span of one day the Yankees went from looking unbeatable to looking like a sandlot team. Shoddy defense, base running mistakes, no hitting, poor pitching. They stunk it up at every aspect of the game. Hopefully this is no more than a quick reality check for the team, and they will quickly return to form. But a lot of issues certainly got exposed. At the top of the list is CC Sabathia, who continues to have major consistency problems. You just never know what you are going to get out of him. Over his last 10 starts, he’s had 4 very good ones, 3 mediocre, and 3 poor ones. And the Yankees are .500 over that span. In fact, they are .500 in CC’s starts over the entire season. Do the math and they are 50-28 (.642) when CC does not start. Makes you appreciate Andy Pettitte (aka “The Battler”) all the more — in Andy’s starts, the Yankees are 13-7 (.650). Bottom line is that CC needs to get better.

Defensively, both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez made errors, but I’m not going to lose sleep over those two guys’ defense. That was just an anomaly. What was disturbing was seeing Nick Swisher drop a fly ball that was right in his glove (how in the world do you not score that an error?) and then misplay a routine single in to an extra-base hit. Between him and Damon’s erratic fielding that is more than cause for concern. Somewhere, somehow the Yankees need to come up with a decent defensive outfielder until Brett Gardner gets back. Having both Swisher and Damon out there on a regular basis is a disaster waiting to happen.

So now the streak of having won 3 series in a row since the All-Star break is on the line, and it’s Joba Chamberlain on the mound. Joba has put together excellent back-to-back starts, so this is the real test for him. Were those two just aberrations, or does Joba now have the consistency that is eluding CC these days?

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