Oh man, this should be a good one. The Yanks and Rays in second-half a rubber game that pits a pair of young live-armed hot-heads against each other in Matt Garza and Joba Chamberlain. Garza, 25, has his strikeout rate up to 8.1 K/9 this year and is coming off a complete game win over the Blue Jays in which he struck out nine. The rejobanated Chamberlain, 23, has allowed just two runs on five hits in his two second-half starts, posting a 1.34 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and striking out 14 in 13 2/3 innings. I do worry that Joba’s been a bit hit-lucky in those two starts, but having watched them both, the stuff matched the results, with Joba getting his velocity and the sharp break on his slider back.
Standard lineups for both teams tonight, and still no position-player move for the Yankees who keep the extra man in the pen.
Meanwhile, deadline deals are starting to drop (Ryan Garko to San Francisco, Cliff Lee to Philadelphia, the Mariners living in a house with no mirrors). If he averages six innings per start, Joba will have just eight turns left, including tonight, before he hits 150 innings. Will the Yanks blink? Will the new old Joba pitch so well the Yanks can’t take him out of the rotation? These questions hang over Chamberlain’s head as he looks to give the Yankees a series win against a rival intra-division contender.
Things are getting good . . .