So, okay, the Yanks’ didn’t hit much last night. Felix Hernandez was tough again, though not as dominant as he’d been against the Yanks in New York (without Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada in the line-up, he wasn’t facing the team’s best). It eventually caught up to the Yanks when Joba Chamberlain coughed-up a slim, 1-0 lead in the eighth. Gave up a grand slam of all things as the Yanks fell, 4-1 to the Mariners. Shame because Javy Vazquez was terrific–he had a no-hitter through six.
According to Ben Shpigel in the Times:
“He’s a human being that’s giving everything he’s got out there, so I don’t get frustrated,” Manager Joe Girardi said. “I still believe in him. He hasn’t been the eighth-inning guy for a year and a half. Most of the times we’ve had the lead, he’s done a good job. Tonight, he struggled.”
Girardi is correct, in a sense: of the 31 times Chamberlain has entered with a lead, only four times has he departed with the score tied or the Yankees trailing. One other time, he left with the lead, but Mariano Rivera allowed three inherited runners to score. The larger problem plaguing Chamberlain and, by extension, the Yankees is his unreliability. After every implosion, he calls it a learning experience, but does not seem to be learning from it or to have an explanation.
“You’ve got to go out and pitch,” Chamberlain said. “That’s the art of pitching. You’re not always going to have your best stuff, you’re not always going to have your best command. That’s the journey we have as pitchers.”
Tough night. It might not be fair (since when does fairness have anything with being a fan?) but every time I think of Joba these days, this is what I hear:
[Photo Credit: AP Photo/John Froschauer]