Bombs Away

August 12, 2009 – 11:21 am

GodzillaNYY 7, Toronto 5. Another so-so outing from the starting pitcher, but this time the Yankee offense was able to overcome it with a 4-run come-from-behind rally in the 8th inning. Cito Gaston got away with bullpen-by-committee yesterday, but that strategy ultimately is not a winning one, and sure enough it failed on him last night. Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada got back-to-back home runs to give the Yankees the lead, then Melky Cabrera (no surprise there!) got what would end up being the game-winning RBI, and Johnny Damon got an insurance RBI. The Yankees have the second-highest scoring offense in the AL right now (5.58 RPG to Los Angeles’ 5.66), and that’s what has been making the difference of late with the pitching being so unpredictable. But as long as they get one or the other (good pitching or good hitting), they continue to win — so who’s complaining?

Meanwhile, Joba Chamberlain continues to be a puzzler. Unlike his last outing, when he struggled from the first batter on, he actually looked pretty good for the first couple of innings. He retired seven of the first eight batters, striking out two and consistently pitching ahead in the count. But then all of a sudden he seemed to lose concentration. Staked to a 3-0 lead, he walked the No. 9 hitter (how can you do that?), then three batters later with two on board he walked Adam Lind on four pitches to load the bases. And sure enough Lyle Overbay then cleared the bases with a double, and just like that the 3-run lead disappeared. This seems to be a pattern for Joba that’s hard to explain. Other than his age, which is what Girardi always reminds us of — and which of course, is in fact a good explanation. There’s no reason to doubt that eventually he will become a dominant No. 2 or No. 3 pitcher with time. We just have to be patient!

Head-Scratcher Dept: Once again, Rob Thompson made an incredible coaching blunder at third when he sent Mark Teixeira home in the first inning when Tex had zero chance of scoring. The Yankees were in the process of blowing the game wide open, and there’s no justification for risking that out. And he did the same thing in a game last week, sending Jorge Posada home when he stood no chance of making it. Now this is not to fault Thompson — overall he’s done a good job coaching at third — but it just reinforces my comment from a couple of weeks ago. Last year, Bobby Meacham got raked over the coals every time he made a mistake like this — and unfairly in my mind. The only real difference is that last year the Yankees were struggling, and this year they are winning. So someone has to take the fall, and last year it seemed like Meacham was continually drawing the short straw.

Photo: Yahoo! Sports

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