Dissecting Joba’s starting debut

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When the Yanks had a mascot

So that didn’t quite go as planned tonight, eh?

Joba Chamberlain, on a strict 65-pitch limit during his first Major League start, couldn’t last through the third inning today, and while Dan Giese held the Blue Jays to one run over 3.2 innings, a quick hook by Girardi and a subsequent bullpen meltdown led to the Yanks’ third straight loss. And, oh, yeah, they’re back in last place.

We’ll start with Joba because outside of Joba, there isn’t much to say about this game. Joba was not as good as we hoped and not as bad as his short outing makes him out to be. In 2.1 innings, he allowed one hit and one earned run while striking out three. The bigger concern tonight were his walks. He allowed an un-Joba-like four walks in this short outing.

Some Yankees fan on this site accused Joba of nibbling a la Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy earlier this year. Chris accused Joba of trying to make the perfect two-strike pitch. As I noted then, that simply wasn’t the case tonight. Rather, Joba couldn’t put his pitches where he wanted to put them, and when he did, he wasn’t getting the benefit of the strike from Ed Hickox. Admittedly, Hickox’s zone was small for both teams, but that’s baseball.

Who knows to what Joba’s struggles can be attributed tonight? While Harlan Chamberlain told Kim Jones that Joba wouldn’t show his nerves on the outside, it seemed clear that he was a bit amped up for this start. He was overthrowing in that long first inning and just didn’t have a feel for his stuff. He settled down in the second, but by the time the third inning rolled around, he had reached his pitch count. It’s encouraging seeing him maintaining a K/9 IP rate of better than 11 in his short outing, and I expect him be calmer and more on target on Sunday.

With Joba out of the game, the Yanks had to fashion a lengthy bullpen outing. This would give Joe Girardi a small opportunity to see if some other relievers could get outs. The answer, we know now, was that they could not. Girardi inexplicably yanked Dan Giese, a starter after 65 good pitches, and the rest of the bullpen was one disaster after another until Chris Britton pitched. Hmmmm.

In the end, it was more of what we know and hate from the 2008 Yankees. The bullpen couldn’t get outs, and the offense was inconsistent. Bobby Abreu, A-Rod and Robbie Cano combined to strand 15 runners, and Cano looks utterly lost at the plate. Jose Molina had a game that will have Yankee officials strongly considering Chad Moeller as the next backup catcher when Jorge Posada rejoins the team later this week, and the Yanks remain 0-for-June.

12 Hits

During the game, Michael Kay was really laying into Robinson Cano. “The Yankees have to be worried,” he over-stressed. “Cano’s really struggling.” Kay, as he often does, went on and on about Cano’s struggles.

Now, we know Cano is struggling, and we know he’s swinging at everything. But here’s the reality: At this point last year, Cano’s batting average was .050 higher than it is now, and the second baseman had just 12 hits more than he did now in the same number of at bats. 12! That’s hardly anything.

As Mike said to me tonight, the difference between a .275 hitter and a .300 hitter on the season is one hit every other week. For Cano, all this means is that when it all clicks and he breaks out of this slump, we’ll forget Michael Kay’s overreactions and all of our concerns. That said, he has to start zoning pitchers. Swinging at everything just will not do.

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When the Yanks had a mascot
  • Will

    Curious – what’s been Giese’s typical pitch count in the minors? (i.e., how much longer might he have gone had Girardi not pulled him?)

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      He’s been up over 90 pitches for some time now. He could have gone another inning, maybe 2 if he breezed through them.

  • Phil McCracken

    I didn’t really have a problem with Joba’s start. Can’t expect the world from a guy who was pitching 1 inning two weeks ago. Its going to take time to stretch him out at the major league level. And its going to take longer than it would have taken him in the minors. Gotta compromise somewhere.

    As for Kay’s comments on Cano, the manner in which he did it was odd, but he’s right. This is the second year in a row he’s been off to a very slow start and while he may be putting forth his best effort, he looks lazy swinging away at some pitches that clearly aren’t strikes.

    My fear is he never learns any patience at the plate and continues to swing at stuff way outside the zone. Soriano had the same issue as pitchers learned that he would swing at anything.

  • JeffG

    Got Cash?
    Kay, Torre, Giardi are the whipping boys? There is nothing but truth when Kay says Cano is in deep… the fans in the crowd were cheering when he took a pitch. His second half success last year was based on his improving eye. He needs to get with it – I do not doubt his talent. But last year was a great feat. To top that?
    Next, today, there was a RAB post that got on the manager for not using the bullpen correctly… today we saw an alternative and it wasn’t a good one.
    Last, I saw what I expected out of Joba. Humaness… but we have seen how he pitches and walking guys is not what I expect again.
    The rotation is going to be better and Cash has a job to do with the bullpen if we do not want to forfeit this year. If you’re in love with the prospects though, if Dof excites more that a WS, you have a cool project ahead. I would rather see a cocktail of internal growth and some smart moves by the GM.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I think, Jeff, that you missed my point. I’m not saying that Kay is a whipping boy; I’m saying that Kay was getting bent out of shape over the wrong thing. Yes, it’s alarming that Cano’s rate line numbers (AVG/OBP/SLG) are so low, but in reality, it’s a difference of twelve hits.

      What we should be focusing on is Cano’s utter lack of pitch recognition and plate discipline right now.

  • Rich

    “Amped” is the word I used to describe Joba’s demeanor to a friend.

    btw, Kepner has some interesting notes on the organization’s continued faith in Tabata, Girardi’s continued faith in Farnsworth (although he said that he would “mix and match” in the 8th), and that IPK has resumed throwing.

  • http://sport.newsvine.com Adam

    I think if the Yanks intentions were to convert Joba back into a starter, then they did not use him properly out of the bullpen previous to this start. They should not have used Joba as the 8th inning setup man, because first off at some point they were going to lose him from that role and need someone else. They should have found that someone else during Spring Training. Second, it would have been better for the transition to use Joba in two and three inning stints to keep his arm used to longer workouts, so when the transition did come, they’d be starting out closer to full endurance. The entire idea of Joba in the pen to start the year was to limit his innings and save his arm, not to use him as a setup man. They definitely screwed that up. But whatcha gonna do?

    I am starting to become concerned about Cano though. From what I’ve read previously, Larry Bowa had helped Cano out greatly with his concentration and work ethic. I wonder if sans-Bowa Cano has gotten lazy and unfocused…

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      They were talking about your latter point on the broadcast. They say Cano’s been working really hard with Kevin Long. I think it’s just a slump, a very bad slump.

      • Rick in Boston

        To add to your point Ben, about a month or so ago (if not longer) when Cano was still below .200, I think Flaherty or Singleton mentioned that it wasn’t for a lack of effort. Cano was coming in early and taking extra BP, reviewing tape, etc. with Long. I do wonder if part of it is an inability to transfer knowledge gained to actual production when he’s in the box.

        I’m wondering if, at some point, Girardi tells Cano (and Melky, while he’s at it) that he’s got to take pitches until a strike is called or he ends up in a good “hitter’s count”. While it’s something that’s usually not done often above the high school level, this forced taking pitches could put Robbie in a 1-1 or even 2-0 count a lot faster than what he’s at now.

  • brockdc

    I wasn’t privy to the YES telecast and Kay’s criticism of Cano tonight, so I can’t really speak to that. My concern with Cano isn’t whether or not he’ll break out of his slump. Eventually, he will – and with a vengeance. My concern is that he never fully develops into the hitter we all thought or hoped he would be. It would seem that his utter lack of plate discipline will inevitably limit his ceiling going forward; and, I must say, that’s pretty disappointing.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      But if his ceiling is a second baseman who hit .300/.350/.490 with ~20 HR, I’m not going to complain.

      • brockdc

        Good point. I guess based on his output the past two years, I hoped that he would eventually grow into one of the elite hitters in baseball. Not that that still can’t ultimately happen – it’s just looking like less of a certainty now.

  • http://www.overheardinnewyork.com NC Saint

    I was at the game tonight, and based on a scientific survey of loud douchebags in earshot, there are a lot of fans who buy the tabloid line on Joba’s role. By the end of the first inning the anti-Cashman cheering was constant and loud.

    As much as I love watching Yankees games live, I sometimes wish the Stadium didn’t have so many goddamn Yankees fans in it.

    • Bo

      , “I sometimes wish the Stadium didn’t have so many goddamn Yankees fans in it.”

      Intelligent thing to say.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        But here’s the question: If they’re behaving unintelligently and following the rantings of blowhards like Kay and the Post and the Daily News, are they truly Yankee fans? Or are they something else… Yankee fans in name only?

        One of my favorite sayings from a friend of mine: “The problem with Christians is that there’s so few of them.”

        Not interjecting religion into this, just referencing a comparative statement.

        You could also say that “Sometimes I wish this sold-out Yankee Stadium would have a few more Yankee fans in it…

  • dan

    It pains me to say it, but something Michael Kay noticed (or re-told Ken Singleton noticing) in the broadcast today was actually dead on. He said Cano is so good that he hurts himself. What he meant was that Cano is so good that he can hit anything that’s thrown at him, so he swings at bad pitches, hits them, but doesn’t hit them well. Well it turns out that the numbers back this up. (scroll to bottom section)

    O-Swing% shows the amount of balls out of the zone that he’s swinging at. You’ll notice that it’s less than last year, and right around his career average. Everything else appears close to normal except his O-Contact%. This number shows the percentage of times that he HITS a pitched ball that would NOT have been a strike. This number has taken a huge turn upwards, which means that he’s making contact with pitches that are difficult to hit well.

    So he’s swinging at the same amount of bad pitches, it’s just that this year he happens to be hitting them. Making contact with bad pitches will decrease BABIP, which is driving the low batting average that has us all worried.

    • not dan

      astute observation.

  • stuart

    the 60 pith count really was a problem..

    adding 15 or 20 pitches will help a ton.

    I guess we will not se the real Joba for about 4 starts….

    there pen sucks.. hawkins and farnsworth are total losers.. Kyle has been at it 8 + yrs and has had 2 pretty good yrs. the rest are very very avg. for a middle reliever.. he is not the answer.


    • dan

      Well Girardi isn’t the GM, so yell at Cashman if you want the young guys. Britton should definitely be pitching, but in all fairness, even Edwar got absolutely rocked tonight.

      • Rich

        Cash granted Torre the same leeway. He lets his manager have input on marginal roster decisions, at least to a point. But has I pointed out on another thread, it’s time for him to Proctorize Hawkins and possibly Farnsworth.

        I think the pen is in a holding pattern until Cox, Melancon, and possibly Robertson are promoted.

        • TurnTwo

          i agree… i think at this point, Hawkins’s and Farnsworth’s tickets out of town are already punched, but the organzation is just waiting until JB, Robertson, and Melancon are really ready before they begin the bullpen overhaul.

          the way Melancon and Cox are throwing, you wonder if they’ve each got a ‘dead arm’ period in them at some point soon… i dont want to jinx them, but neither one of them has really had any sort of setback since starting out the year, and its unrealistic to think these guys arent going to have a single issue the season they come back from their surgeries all year.

          • A.D.

            Well they got shelled at points early in the year

  • xkevinx

    Was anyone else concerned with how often Joba shook off Molina? He is 22 – he needs to trust his catcher.

    I also disagree (somewhat) with this statement:
    “It’s encouraging seeing him maintaining a K/9 IP rate of better than 11 in his short outing”

    I general, such a rate is unsustainable as a starter – he will reach his pitch count far too early in games. I love watching him rack up the Ks, but the most effective pitchers know how to pitch to some contact. He will learn.

  • TurnTwo

    by the way, i know they need something to talk about, but i certainly didnt need Michael Kay to reiterate to me joba’s pitch count total every other pitch, nor did i need him to act surprise and tell me the speed of every pitch that joba threw, while asking the other guys in the booth about twice an inning if he could sustain his heat throughout 6 or 7 innings.

    • Glen L

      That’s why I listened to the new Slackers album while watching the game :)

  • Mark B

    It sure seems ot me that the Yanks needed to send Joba down to Scranton for 3 or so starts to bulid up his arm stength, pitch count and most importantly his confidence. Last night he looked lost. Taking him out early, only exposed one of our glaring weaknesses, our bullpen.

    It is telling that the Yanks couldn’t wait to throw him out there last night, like they did with Hughes and Kennedy.

    I know I have been extremely critical of Cashman the past few weeks, but make no mistake, I think his job is riding on how well Joba does this year in his new role. With Wang and Pettitte floundering the past month and the bullpen, sans Mo, looking awful, we cannot afford to go 0-3 in 2008 with the Three Amigos…..

    • TurnTwo

      “the Yanks needed to send Joba down to Scranton for 3 or so starts to bulid up his arm stength, pitch count and most importantly his confidence.”

      i had the exact same thought last night.

      • ChrisS

        I don’t know about lack of confidence, I could tell he was frustrated. After Molina dropped that third strike on Stewart, Joba looked pissed. And when Rolen slapped that roller in RF while Cano was moving towards 2b, as Joba ran towards first the camera caught his face and he kinda sighed and looked down.

        The tight strike zone was a problem for him as well and he missed getting calls on some tough pitches. One pitch he threw to Overbay was a borderline strike (I thought it was a ball) and later in the AB, he threw another curve in the exact same spot and it was called a ball.

        Hawk and Farnsy shouldn’t get too comfortable in the Yankee bullpen.

        I’m concerned that Edwar hasn’t K’d anyone in his last 4 or 5 appearances.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      His confidence? Were we even watching the same game last night?

      • A.D.

        He looked completly fine, frustrated because he knows he’s on a pitch count, and it’s not the worst for there to be some difficulty for Joba.

        Having him stretch out at the big league level doesn’t hurt the Yanks, the bullpen issue is mute as Guise would have just started tonights game insteading coming out of the pen, the issue is Guise should have been allowed to continue to pitch until 100 pitches, effectiveness declines, or we have a lead in the 9th

      • TurnTwo

        yeah, im not worried about his confidence, just thought it would have served him better to get his first two stretched out starts under his belt in Scranton, it may have served the team better.

        but, if they continue the Giese piggy-back, i guess its just the same. good chance for Giese to hold onto a bullpen long-man spot if he can continue to eat innings.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          It wouldn’t serve the team better to lose one of their best pitchers for ten days, no matter how you try to spin it.

          Last night’s start would have been a fine outing had Joe Girardi not yanked Dan Giese after 65 pitches.

          • Badhay

            I don’t think Girardi should really be at fault that much for pulling Giese after 65 pitches. He threw 3.2 solid innings, which is more than you could’ve asked from him. After all, you said in your post yesterday about other relievers, i.e. Edwar, getting a shot in a big spot to prove himself. Well Edwar got his shot, and he failed (although I think he should’ve started that inning instead of Veras, who really shouldn’t be long for the Majors). Could he have let Giese stay in for the 7th? Sure, but I think that’s a telling sign of how weak the bullpen is. When you’re relying on Dan Giese, a 31 year old journeyman, to come up from the minors and give you 4-5 innings in order to avoid using your other relievers, that’s a major issue.

            • Bo

              When you can’t trust 5 of your 6 relievers it doesn’t matter how long Giese stays out there.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

                Actually, it’s because you can’t trust 5 of 6 relievers that it does matter how long Giese stays out there. If a pitcher used to starting is at 65 pitches and is pitching effectively, why would you remove him for one of the five guys you can’t trust? There was absolutely no need to pull Giese until he started getting into trouble.

            • A.D.

              He may be a journey-man, but he was putting up great numbers at AAA, and pitching well in that game, brining in Edwar with the corners and 0 out isn’t exactly bringing him in to give him a chance to be successful

      • Mark B

        Ben- We were watching the same game. Confidence and youthful exubernce are two different things entirely. That is what I saw last night.

        We all know Joba has confidence in his fastball. Correct me if I am wrong, but from watching the game, I could see that he doesn’t have confidence in his other pitches, though. Pitching a few games in the minors could help him at this.

        He might be our second best pitcher, though that goes out the window when we moved him into the rotation.

        My issue is that the Yankee brass should have done this in spring training and not the regular season. Especially at a time when our supposed ace and #2, Wang and Pettittee, are struggling.

        Last time I checked, we were never viewed as the front-runner which would possibly allow us to transition a player like this during the regular season. Fact is, our competition in the AL East has never been better from top to bottom, which makes our margin for error very slim.

        One could make a fair argument that he would presumably do better than anyone else available (e.g. Igawa). Fair argument.

        My point is that the majors is a tough place to make any type of drastic switch like this in the middle of the season. The competition is brutal and the damage it can do to the psyche of a 22 year old is huge.

        No one anywhere is writing about what happens it he ends up flopping again as we have so much faith and confidence in him from his past performance.

        My guess is that if he does falter in his next two starts, a quick trip down to the minors will be needed to save face for the Yankee brass for making the move when it did and quickly fix his problems.

        I hope that isn’t the case, but if it is…..ouch

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          You just cannot do this in Spring Training this year. A lot of people refuse to admit this, but Joba Chamberlain is on a strict innings limit. The Yanks have learned from Mark Prior that young pitchers are fragile. Had they done this in Spring Training, Joba would have reached his limit by late July or mid August. By delaying this transition they can have him pitch the entire season. Why waste those innings at AAA when he’s never had a confidence problem before? I think you’re just searching for answers as to why he wasn’t as dominant as everyone hoped he would be.

          • Mark B

            I disagree with innings limit issue, though will eat crow and admit you are right that this is the reason why the Yankee brass did what they did. Makes sense

            That said, while the health of Joba is very important, fielding a competitive team is tantamount to our success as well as making sure Joba is set for the future. Having a work-in-progess on the mound is hardly what I call competitive as it puts undue stress on a shaky bullpen. The only answer I see in this is that they jettison the current crew for a new set of arms (Melancon, Cox, Strickland, etc.) in a few weeks.

            If it ends up that Joba fails (trying not to overrreact on just one start, but then again we are a last place team now!) and the bullpen continues to be taxed in each of Joba’s starts however, then Cashman should be fired for bungling this entire process. His reputation is on the line in handling what has become the gem of our tarnished team.

            Personally I think the whole innings limit issue becomes moot if/when Hughes and or Kennedy comes back and the idea of a 6-man rotation becomes a possiblity. That should and continue to be the solution to Joba re-learning how to become a starter if this is all an innings issue.

            Send him to the minors, then have him pitch every 5th game when he’s ready to provide a quality start. When either Hughes or Kennedy can pitch effectively (if they can return), transition him to pitch every 6th game.

            • tommiesmithjohncarlos

              I agree with everyone who says that Joba should be getting stretched out in the minors, where the pressure is lower and he can feel freer to experiment with his secondary pitches. However, the problem is that If we send him down, we don’t have any reasonable alternatives to replace him in the rotation. Consider this:

              Organization wide, as of June 2008, our top four starters are:
              1) CMW
              2) Pettitte
              3) Mussina
              4) Rasner

              The next group is:
              5) Jeff Karstens (injured)
              6) Ian Kennedy (injured)
              7) Phil Hughes (injured)
              8) Joba on a pitch count, shadowed by a long man (like Dan Giese)
              12) David Wells (if we were stupid enough to sign him)
              13) Steven White, Jeff Marquez, or Daniel McCutchen, none of whom should leave Scranton one second before 12:01 am, September 1, 2008
              14) Chase “4 homers” Wright
              15) Kei “Mr. Instant Loss” Igawa

              While there are valid arguments to sending Joba down, the argument that we’re throwing away June games by keeping him up here is not a valid one. Joba plus a shadow DOES give us the best chance to win, because until some of our hurt starters get healthy (or we acquire some other innings eater), Joba is BY FAR the best option we have.

              • tommiesmithjohncarlos

                #8. Stupid smiley face…

  • nick blasioli

    you are right…joba should have been pitching in scranton until ready for the bigs and the hell with pitch count…the jays were smart making him throw pitches…they knew he had a pitch count…i dont think i have ever seen this situation for a pitcher before…(in the bigs)..lets quit talking about getting rid of farnsworth and hawkins..just do it…

    • Yanks Fan in NY

      Thank you for your ever-rational and point-filled posts. You should really go into Baseball Operations.

    • Glen L

      You’ve never seen a pitcher on a pitch count in the majors? seriously?

      Last friday Kershaw was on a pitch count against the Mets

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        … EVERY SINGLE MAJOR LEAGUE PITCHER is on a pitch count. There are 30 major league managers and I know of none of them who don’t closely monitor the pitch count of all of there starters, even horse studs like Halladay and Webb. The only difference between Joba’s pitch count and Halladay’s is that Joba’s is artificially lowered because he hasn’t been starting all year.

  • Z1m

    For as bad as the last few days have been, as hot and cold as the hitting has been and how up and down the pitching is the Yanks are still going to win the divison. When it’s all said and done the two best teams in the East are going to be the Yankees and the Blue Jays.

    Boston is starting to lose some players and maybe for some significant time. The Rays played a lot of home games to start the year and won a lot of close games. Can they keep it going on the road. I don’t think so.

    The Yankees are one hot streak away (maybe within the next week or so) of making a move.

    • A.D.

      Without a doubt the Yanks aren’t out of it, and the Jays have too much starting pitching to fall out of it.

      For Boston is how long Dice-K & Ortiz are actually out & how Masterson/Colon hold up, they do always have Bucholtz waiting in the Minors

      For TB its all about young pitching, will Garza & co. keep pitching well, will the pen continue to be shut down, will Percival come back from injury healthy.

  • Z1m

    Not to mention that 65% of the Rays games have been at home. That helps the young pitching and close games down the stretch. I’m looking after the Interleague series as a good measuring stick. The Yankees should be able to steady the ship. I’m thinking by the all-star break they’ll either be in first or 2-3 games out.

  • mike

    And I hope Robbie makes up his 12 hits by then………honestly, my dispelasure with Cano is not his batting average or his failings, its his inability to do adything with the bat if he is not hitting well – i.e. take pitches, work the count, bunt, choke up and slap the ball etc.

    With his inability to wait for a pitch, even if there is a runner on, you cannot even start the runner on a hit and run in the first place ( maybe to make Robbie concentrate more etc.) because the pitcher knows he will swing at the first pitch – will not throw a strike – and the runner will be a dead duck.

    Thus, all of the traditional ways a manager can get a guy going ( other than benching him….although it worked well that night in Tampa…) are out the window because of Cano’s inability or stubborness in working the count in his favor

    • A.D.

      He’s pretty much the Anti-Giambi in the plate dicipline when struggling

  • Bo

    How is Kay overreacting??

    Cano looks horrendous and the swing at everything approach obviously doesn’t work. He won’t be that dangerous #3 hitter we all thought he would be if he doesn’t learn how to zone himself and look for pitchers that he can drive.

    • mike

      and I kind of like that Kay will criticize a guy on the Yankazeera Network, because all too often homer-announcers will not express their true frustrations with a home player.
      As bad as it is in NY, when you travel and hear other teams its like Amateur Nite at the Mic with idiotic commentary, and Kay harping on an obvious point is a welcome sign

  • zack

    I’ve counted at least one headline article on every major sports outlet dedicated solely to using last night’s game to question the Joba-starter thing. No surprise there. Of course, each one has to bite the bullet and say that after the first inning Joba was fine and that it was only because of the pitch count that things were a problem, but they quickly go off onto waxing poetic about how “this can’t be what they expected…” And of course then squeeze in the quote from Girardi saying this is what they expected…Until Joba throws a few solid starts, and probably after that too, this will be the normal state of affairs. And then the papers will do an about face and suddenly proclaim the genius of Joba as starter…

    In any case, it does seem pretty clear that Chris Britton is a better option than Hawkins (duh) and might start getting more looks, and that perhaps Joe will start to open up his BP management a bit as a result of all this. If the BP can just not completely and totally suck and just sort of suck until the All-Star Break, then the Yanks should have a new wave of Cox and Robertson nearing promotion time, hopefully spelling the end of the Hawkins era…

    A BP of:

    would, I think be pretty respectable–with all those guys matching up rather than having prescribed roles, of course

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Girardi should have left Giese in and Hawkins out.

    Girardi needs to relegate Farnsworth to cleaning lockers.

    Girardi needs to pitch Britton.

    Girardi needs to call for bunts and hit and runs.

    Girard needs to smack Robinson Cano every time he swings at a first pitch.

  • Rob_in_CT

    Joba was inefficient, and had some misfortune to deal with. It happens. Giese pitched well. Edwar, who has been pitching well, got utterly rocked, and Hawkins did what he’s fit for: mop up.

    As for Girardi… I suppose he could’ve left Giese in. At some point, however, he’d have gone to Edwar, and Edwar had nothing. Meanwhile, the Yanks could only manage 3 runs. The decision to pull Giese after 3.2 innings didn’t cost the game.

    Hits & runs and bunts can lead to running into outs. They’re gambles. With certain hitters up and certain runners on, I’m fine with some limited gambling. But let’s not go crazy here.

    Britton: agreed he should get a decent shot. I also hope Edwar doesn’t get buried now.

    Cano… forget whether it’s the 1st pitch or 2nd or 3rd. He needs to get smacked every time he swings at pitches he cannot drive (unless it’s a 2-strike count and he’s protecting). If the first pitch is a fat fastball down the middle, I want Robinson to hack at it. If it’s a sinker at the knees on the outside corner, I want him to take it.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      He still needs to learn patience. It drives me crazy watching him chatting with Abreu in the dugout and all I want to do is scream at them to talk PATIENCE AT THE PLATE.

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