So this Joba guy. He sorta sucks. He can’t win any games. He can’t pitch out of the sixth inning. And, as I said to my dad this evening, without him in the bullpen, the Yanks don’t know what to do with the 8th inning.
Wait. Wait. What are you saying? Joba pitched 6.2 shut-out innings tonight? Joba struck out seven while walking just one? Joba gave up only six hits, only one for extra bases? I’m not sure what to make of this.
Sarcasm aside, Joba pitched into the seventh tonight, going 114 pitches, and emerged with his first win as a starter. Tonight’s game against the Pirates — the team that’s scored the fifth most runs in baseball — marked Joba’s fifth start. He has now thrown 25 innings as a starter and has an ERA of 1.80. He has allowed 22 hits and has struck out 26. While the walks had been high prior to tonight, the 7:1 K:BB ratio is very encouraging. Joba — who will one day take his lumps — has arrived.
Offensively, it’s hard to complain about a 10-0 game, but it’s easy to highlight the hot Yankees. Derek Jeter went 3 for 3 to raise his average to .286. The Captain is now working on a 13-game hitting streak, and he’s batting .359 with an OBP around .400 during that stretch. That’s more like it.
Bobby Abreu broke out of his Nick Blackburn-induced slump in a big way, going 3 for 5 with 4 RBIs. Robinson Cano is now 14 for his last 33 (.424) and finds himself just .013 batting average points behind Melky Cabrera, who has done quite well in the leadoff spot over the last two days.
In the end, it boils down to one thing: After Tuesday’s 12-5 debacle, tonight was just what the Yankees needed. They jumped out to a two-run lead after the top of the first and never looked back. They got Joba his first win, and the guys who haven’t been hitting did tonight. With Mike Mussina going later this evening, I’m feeling pretty good about this game after a bad first night in Pittsburgh.