Help Wanted: 8th Inning Set Up Guy…
Forget about 3 out of 4…
The Yankees may have won the weekend series against the Cleveland Indians, 3 games to 1, but they should have swept the series. What happened on Saturday? Four games and all I want to know is what happened to Joba Chamberlain?
With a 10-4 lead in the fifth inning, the Yankees should have been able to skate to the victory. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. CC Sabathia was less than sharp, so he does hold some responsibility for the Tribe’s momentum that ultimately led to the erasure of the six run lead against Sabathia and the New York bullpen.
But it’s getting torturous to watch Joba come into the game at times.
The last two games, although close early on, were both heavily tilted toward the Yankees by the end of the games. There was a sense that the Yankees would score the necessary runs in both games, which they won 7-3 and 11-2 on Sunday and Monday. However, there was a common denominator in both games. Neither featured an appearance by Joba Chamberlain. At this point, we don’t know if he has a short memory or if this two week stretch is a sign of things to come. Hopefully, he’ll right the ship and catch up with his teammates who appear to have moved past the struggles of late.
Speaking of today’s win, hats off to Andy Pettitte. It was a terrific outing by the left hander and in winning his 7th game of the season, he tied the Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford, for 60th place on the all-time wins list at 236. Of course, you have to wonder what could have been in terms of those three years in Houston. When Andy left via free agency, I was surprised at the time given where he was on the Yankees career list for wins by a lefty. So, instead of tying Ford for the most wins in franchise history, he is 37 wins behind at 199 Yankees victories. This has been a fantastic year for Pettitte (7-1, 2.48 ERA), however, I feel this may be his last given how much more he has been talking about his family this year. Regardless of what happens, Andy is doing it his way…
It is a startling statistic when Mark Teixeira is intentionally walked. The grand slam by Alex Rodriguez in the seventh inning broke open what had been a tight pitching duel between Pettitte and Indians rookie Mitch Talbot. When Teixeira is given a free pass, A-Rod is 5-for-5 with 3 home runs and 18 RBI’s. So, please AL Managers, please continue to walk Mark Teixeira at your leisure! J
Derek Jeter was hit by a Talbot pitch in the second inning and left the game after hitting a single in the 7th inning when the hamstring tightened. Hopefully, DJ will be fine after a night’s rest.
A special shout out to two brilliant pitching performances over the weekend. Roy Halladay went a long way toward making Philly fans forget his recent rocky performances and Cliff Lee along the way in throwing a perfect game on Saturday night. It was the 20th perfect game in Major League history and the second game this season (Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s threw the other perfect game this season). Also, Ubaldo Jimenez (10-1) of the Colorado Rockies became the majors’ first 10 game winner with a 4-0 victory over Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants.
The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Toronto Blue Jays today so the Yankees are just 2.5 games out of first place. But of course, the Jays and the Boston Red Sox are nipping at their heels. The Jays are just a game behind the Yankees, and the Red Sox are just 2.5 games back. So, the AL East lead could be taken by any one of the four teams depending upon who gets hot. Let’s hope it gets hot for the Yankees…very hot!