That win today, it was a good one. Hideki Matsui, batting clean-up, utterly crushed a 3-1 offering from Pat Neshek to give the Yanks a lead they wouldn’t give up. And with that blow, the Yanks took 3 out of 4 in a must-win series for the Bombers.
But the real story of today wasn’t the win or Kyle Farnworth’s fourth 1-2-3 inning of the season. The real story was yet another incredibly bad outing from Kei Igawa. Down 2-0 before the Yanks had a chance to bat, Igawa would later cough up a three-run lead. Torre pulled the Japanese bust after five innings, and for once, going to the bullpen was the right move.
Since returning to the Yankees rotation from Minor League purgatory, Igawa has gone 0-1 with 6.19 ERA. Sadly, that’s an improvement from his pre-demotion tenure on the Yanks. While the Yanks have gone 2-1 in his three starts, the credit belongs to the offense as they’ve scored 14 runs in the two wins (and were one-hit in the loss).
Specifically, Igawa has thrown 16 innings, surrendering 17 hits while walking 9 and striking 12. He’s given up 3 home runs and has retired just 14 batters via the ground ball as opposed to 21 via the fly ball. He pitches like a disaster waiting to happen, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets pounded for an ungodly number of runs in, say, 1.2 innings.
So what should the Yanks do? With Phil Hughes still a few weeks out, the Yanks’ options are limited. They could keep Igawa in the rotation, and they do seem to be leaning toward giving him at least one more start. They could dip back into the farm system and call up Steven White.
What they won’t do, however, is what we would all love to see happen if just for the novelty of it: The Yankees will not call up Joba Chamberlain. This afternoon, I debated whether or not to post a piece calling for his Bronx debut. He is, after all, making mince meat of AA hitters, and he has the psychological make-up to make the most of a Big League call up. But being cautious right now is the right choice. There’s no need to rush a potential top-line starter this season.
For now, then, we’re stuck with our expensive waste of money. While some of us have clamored for Igawa’s release, the Yanks have options on the ineffective lefty and owe him a pretty penny over the next few seasons. He won’t go anywhere, but the team will try to minimize the damage he may do at the Big League level. And with Hughes on the horizon, all we have to do is hold out a few more weeks. It can’t be all that bad, right?