But who’s going to pitch the 8th inning?

Betances shows some improvement
A-Jax on the radio

Remember when a whole bunch of New York sports writers and talk-show hosts were flipping out over Joba Chamberlain‘s move to the starting rotation? Remember how Joba was supposed to be oh-so-much more valuable to the Yankees as a one-inning set-up man than as an elite starter he was projected to be? Well, I don’t hear those voices anymore. That’s for sure.

Tonight, it was all about Justin Chamberlain. For seven innings, Joba powered his way past Boston’s offensive powerhouse in Fenway Park. He outpitched Josh Beckett and delivered the Wild Card-leading Red Sox just their 12th home loss of the season. The final score, of course, had to be 1-0.

Chamberlain was, in a word, masterful. Over seven innings — his longest outing as a starter — he threw 68 of 102 pitches for strikes and allowed just three hits, all singles, and one walk while striking out nine. Only two Boston runners made it to second, one on a steal and one was forced there on a walk. And until Kyle Farnsworth came in to attempt the eighth inning, the Red Sox never had much of anything going.

The best part of the outing had to be the Kevin Youkilis at-bat in the seventh. Youk and Joba, BFF’s since last season, were facing off when Joba fell behind 2-0. Chamberlain’s next pitch sailed up and over Youkilis’ head, and the feisty first baseman was so unhappy that, three pitches after jawing at Joba, he whiffed on one of the nastiest sliders Joba’s ever thrown. Game, set, match.

On the other side of the ball, Josh Beckett was good but not good enough. He too threw seven innings and allowed 10 baserunners, but the Yanks, Beckett’s strike-out victims six times, could push across just one run. Amusingly, that run came off a Jason Giambi infield single hit just to the right spot against the shift. When your opponents don’t score, one run is all you need.

The Yankees, of course, with Joba starting, ran into trouble in the eighth inning. How ironic. The recently reliable Kyle Farsworth allowed a hit, recorded an out and gave up an infield single before giving way to Mariano. It happens. The Sandman was more than happy to clean up Kyle’s mess, dispatching Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia to end the inning.

The game had to end with a nasty cutter from Mariano River, and as J.D. Drew watched strike three sail into Jose Molina’s glove, all was right in Yankee Universe. Two reinforcements are Bronx-bound; Joba finds himself with a 2.30 ERA as a starter with 63 K’s and 23 walks in 54.2 innings; and the Yanks are just two back of Boston, breathing heavily down their necks.

Betances shows some improvement
A-Jax on the radio
  • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

    Giambi’s cue shot in the corner pocket gave us a lead we never surrendered.

    Nady + Marte ^^^ARTICLE On My Link

    Can you guys add me to the Blogroll so I can stop whoring myself here? I need exposure!

    I know you like it. LoL

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

      Done already after your previous request. It’s all good :)

      • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

        Sorry Ben I got excited and did it again. I will not stand on your street corners any more.

  • Ivan

    Joba was just nasty out there and the best thing about his performance was making youkilis his bitch when he threw that pitch up and in and then a couple of pitches later struck him out.

    Also How good was Mo. Great command of his pitches and of the 5 outs he recorded, three were by strikeouts looking. Mo’s #’s are just sick.

    One more thing, with the addition with Marte to an already strong bullpen, and the top three in our rotation pitching terrific, if Hughes, Kennedy or Wang replace our 4 or 5 guy, the yanks pitching staff might be top ten in baseball. Bullpen is pithcing lightsout and now add a very good lefty with Marte, makes it stronger. Pettitte, Moose and Joba are pitching to there capabilities and having vey good seasons. Already our staff is very strong and if Hughes is healthy and Wang or Kennedy fix his problems, and replace Rasner or Ponson, I honestly believe the yanks have a top ten staff or top 5.

    Not Crazy, this team might be built better for the playoffs potentially, that’s if we get there.

  • Mustang

    You guys were so right about Joba I was one of those keep him in the pen guys. After tonight to me Joba is now the ace of this staff.
    What a night for Yankees fans like I said before this team is on a mission from God.
    Mr. Cashman I will not ever doubt your plan again until next time.

  • Chip

    If Joba keeps this up, he’s gotta be the rookie of the year. I don’t care how good Longoria is hitting or that he was in the all-star game, the Rays will fall out of it and Joba will carry this team down the stretch.

  • Anthony M

    pure joy. i like the trade and there’s nothing like the sound of 34,000 fans shutting up.

    Josh Beckett’s soul patch looks like my dog crapped hair on his face.

  • Baseballnation

    Big Surprise Beckett was infront of the dugout (on the field literally) after Youk was hit, in an incident I don’t think was purposely initiated by Chamberlain. What would he get out of putting a man on base in a 1-0 game? Of course though Beckett the douche is the irst one to leave the bench and quick to gawk and jaw…. Is this man the biggest asshole in the world or what?

    • giselle

      yes, yes he is. beckett was the same back in yankee stadium when joba threw over youk’s head twice. jawing off in the dugout. and do you think its because he gives two shits about youkilis? no, its because he’s a jerk looking for a fight.

      • Realist

        A man once told me. ‘You go looking for a fight your gonna find one but it might be more than you bargained for.”

        Beckett has an ass kicking coming for sure ;-)

    • dave

      Are you saying that if Beckett threw 4 times at jeters head no one on the yankees would be at the top step? Please tell me you’re joking.

      • Baseballnation

        Exactly. That’s a piss poor arguement considering the Red sox pitchers have made it a ritual to beam Jeter in the wrist continually over the years with no retaliation on the yankees side. Even a blind man can concur that Jeters the red sox personal beannie bag. And Josh Becket is a turd because only in one of those four incidents youkilis was actually hit…yet you’s swear he sent a train into Youkilis.

        • dave

          Throwing inside to a diving jeter and hitting his wrists is not the same as throwing at his head. And using the fact that Youkilis has somehow managed to get out of the way to back up your argument is moronic reasoning.

          Do you write for the onion?

          • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

            if Jeter dives out, so does Youkilis. is everything even then?

            • Stephen

              Jeter addressed this, and he said he stopped ‘diving’ into the plate a few years ago. Anyway, hitting someone in the wrists, where the Sox seeme to hit him, means its up and in and not too far from his face, so watch some games.

  • Berto

    pure NYY dominance on this day………the sleeping giant awakes like the beast it has always been known to be…….AND they are not done yet……..

  • muteym

    All is right in the Universe.
    Hey Boston you weren’t cursed for all those years you just sucked.

    • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

      Ah, the truth is told. Good job friend, let’s spread the word!

  • giselle

    hmm… i still think the reason we won today was because mike posted the game thread. cause come on, how often does giambi hit an opposite field infield single? and how often do yankee/red sox games end at 1-0?

    • Ben B.

      from giselle’s lips to G*d’s ears.

      Mike, you’re on game posting duties for the remainder of this winning streak.

  • BigBlueAL

    For whatever it is worth, both Buster Olney on TV and Keith Law in his blog said that other GM’s and front office people told them that the Pirates got way less than they should have and Keith Law said one person told him what the Pirates got back “was a joke”.

    • Ben B.

      As a Yankee fan, who follows and probably over-values our prospects, I think that’s crazy. Coke may never amount to anything, but he could also be a No. 3 starter. Tabata has attitude problems, and has been disciplined a couple of times this year, but is an incredible athlete, and getting traded to a second-tier NL team may be just the kick in the pants that he needs. Ohlendorf’s 2008 ML numbers aside, he did a serviceable job in 2007, has a 92-94 mph sinker, and can definitely contribute to a ML staff.

      Nice to get Marte back, having lost him in the (first) Enrique Wilson trade, and I expect he will help us this year and next, but he’s 33. Nady is having a terrific 2008 campaign that ranks well above what he’s previously accomplished. I’ll be happy with a decent OPS and 20 HRs a year, which I think he can do, but he’s not (yet) and AL All-Star, and he’s 29. Do we think his peak is still coming??

      I like this trade, and the baseball people outside the organization who complain about how little the Pirates got are the same people who passed on Robinson Cano when he was available for the taking in almost any trade as a minor leaguer.

      • Chip

        Dude, we really didn’t give up anything. Tabata might someday be a major league outfielder, MIGHT. IF he is, then there’s a CHANCE that he’s above average. IF that happens, he MIGHT be an all-star. Seriously this guy has about a 1 in 10 chance of being as good as Nady is right now. Sure, he could be better but I’ve seen enough prospects fail to see that it’s a risk you take.

        Kontos and Coke aren’t anything special. If it were McAllister, McCutchen, Aceves, Horne, IPK, Hughes, Betences, Sanchez, Garcia, ect it would have been one thing but he’s essentially Karstens as far as I’m concerned.

        Ohlendorf was good when used for one inning and really shitty as a long man. Now we convinced the Pirates he can start for them, yeah right. He’s not a young guy with electric stuff, he’s an older prospect who has never put it together at the big league level.

        Overall, I honestly can’t believe Cashman fleeced these guys so badly. We gave up nothing on the ML team or anybody who was going to contribute for at least 2 years (in any big way anyhow) and got a very good lefty for the pen and a very good outfielder. Take tonights lineup and put, say a guy with .290/.360/.450 in Melky’s spot(batting seventh). That makes a HUGE difference and Nady is hitting well over that (notice I’m underestimating his number by a large degree, anything better than that aka what he’s done so far this season, is icing on the cake)

        • BigBlueAL

          Just read Joel Sherman’s article about the trade and he said the same thing Buster Olney and Keith Law said which was that other GM’s and front-office people told him the Pirates got crap in return and only got quantity not quality.

          • Mustang

            I read or heard the same thing the only people who had some negatives to say have been some commentor here. For the most part everyone thinks the Yankees made out great for what they gave up.

          • Chris

            The key to how you view this trade is what you think of Tabata. If this year is just a bad year and he’ll turn it around next year, then this was a bad (or at least questionable) trade. If you think that this year was the start of a downward spiral, then the Yankees gave up a lot of value for Nady.

            • Chris

              oops.. then they gave up nothing for Nady.

            • mustang

              This is my problem with your statement you’re talking about a kid in AA even if he would make to AAA and bat .300 that doesn’t mean that he going to that in MLB. Even with his talent a lot things would have to go right for Tabata to make this deal look bad. Once again I think people are overvaluing potential. I don’t think some people realize what the Yankees pull off in this deal, but before this whole things ends they will.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

    I was checking Gameday to see if those called Strikes to Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew were legit and I came up with two things. One being that the called Strike to Lowell was clearly a Ball, Lowell had every reason to lose it and Drew’s called Strike was over the damn plate. The second being that Mariano Rivera hit 96-MPH on back-to-back pitches in the Lowell AB. Yeah, 96-MPH. Wow.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      But Jamal, the pitch one or two before was a non-called strike at the knees, low on the innerpart of the plate.

      • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

        the zone was bad for both sides. what about Lopez’s first pitch to Abreu, that was about 6 inches from the dirt? beckett got several stomach-high FBs called strikes, which aren’t usually strikes in today’s game.

        once computers take over calling pitches, it’ll be so much better. complete consistency and accuracy, something humans are just incapable of.

        • Ed

          NoMaas recently did an interview with one of the big PitchFX gurus. You should read it. To get accuracy in the data, you need people constantly reviewing the data and correcting it. To get anything accurate on pitch recognition, you need a network of computers working for about 15 seconds per pitch.

          Oh, and the computers are a neural network. Essentially, computers programmed to think the way people do to get the answers. You train them with data sets, and they refine their results as they get more data to work with. If umpires were just random guys off the street then yes, computers could easily top them. But that’s not who umpires are. MLB umpires consist of a fraction of a percent of the people who want to be umpires, with years of experience required to even be considered by MLB. Computers aren’t going to match them for a LONG time.

  • http://Greg Greg

    I’ve gotta’ say that as much as I despise the Sox, I don’t understand all the crowing about the pitch at Youk’s head. C’mon everyone, do you remember Dickie Thon? Nobody’s happier than me that the Yanks actually brush guys back now, rather than allowing teams to continually bean them with impunity. Having said that, take a step back and look at it objectively. Over the last five years or so, the disparity between hit batters Yanks Vs. Sox has been enormous, but two things: 1. The main offender (Pedro) has been gone for years now. and 2. I don’t recall many of those bean balls at a Yankee’s head. I think most reasonable people can agree that brush-backs are a part of the game (and OK) as long as it’s at the lower two-thirds of the body. How many times has Joba gone at Youk’s head? In less than 1 calendar year! You’re not talking about sending a message or making someone your “bitch”. That’s potentially career/life threatening. I agree whole-heartedly with those citing the context as a defense of Joba. In that game situation it makes little sense to hit Youk. Why put the tying run on base? But any way you slice it, 4 pitches at the same guy’s head in sch a short span of time is pretty damning. And this is not Rickie Vaughn, it’s Joba. It’s tough when many praise Joba’s control (and command, for that matter), then continually say “It got away.” The fact that he was actually only hit once in those four pitches is not a good defense. None of these pitches were 2-3 inches off the plate. They were all WELL off the plate around the head. That’s playing with a fire that no sports rivalry can justify. What would the posts here look like today if Cano had been head-hunted 4 times in less than a full season? Again, I don’t think that Joba intended it last night, but the Sox and Youk have every right given the past year to be furious. Yesterday was a great day in Yankeeland, between the trade and the terrific win last night. If you’re a yankee fan, there’s a lot to be happy about/proud of. That pitch is not one of them

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Joba had nothing to gain by throwing at Youk. Youk is a big fat idiot and Beckett is his bitch. Joba might even be psyched out at this point. He’s not going to throw intentionally in a 1-0 game.

      As they say in Boston, “Calm down there Francis.”

      • http://Greg Greg

        I conceded that Joba would not have been thinking if he were throwing at Youk’s head and probably didn’t mean to do it. That doesn’t mitigate the seriousness of repeatedly throwing at someone’s head with a 90mph+ fastball. This isn’t a videogame. That’s real bone and brain tissue. Why is Youk a big fat idiot? Because he’s a Red sox and he’s good? If he were a yankee you’d love him. I actually give him credit for not charging the mound after all these incidents. Maybe I’m the one that’s out of touch here. Do we have to lose all civility/decency to enjoy this rivalry?

        • LiveFromNewYork

          I do not believe Joba intentionally threw at him. I believe they are in each other’s heads. I think that there are other reasons why it keeps happening. I’m not saying Youk shouldn’t have charged the mound but maybe he was thinking he didn’t want to get ejected in a close game. I think there are mental things going on for both of them. It’s a dance they are doing and will continue to do IMHO. And it will result in a bench clearing brawl at some point.

          • Andy In Sunny Daytona

            Just look at Joba’s expression when the ball left his hand. He looked pissed that it slipped. I think he was trying to overthrow, because he was behind KY Jelly 2-0. If there is one person he wants to get out on that team it’s KY Jelly.

      • Casper

        I love Joba as much as the next Yankees fan, but everyone really has to stop denying that he throws at Youk intentionally. It’s ridiculous. And the quote is “lighten up, Francis,” and it’s from the movie Stripes, it’s not a Boston thing. Of if I’m wrong and that movie somehow became a Boston thing, kudos to them for digging a funny movie.

    • Old Ranger

      Get a life people…
      There is no way in hell Joba threw at Youls’ head, or any other part of his body.
      Today, when Youk is at the plate, see where he stands. He and Ortiz, both crowd the plate and dare you to come inside on them…knowing that most won’t. Sometimes the ball slips, when one tries to hard putting it where one wants to. There is a skill to pitching inside, Joba hasn’t arrived at that point yet.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    All I could think of last night was Harlan sitting there doing fist pump after fist pump. His boy looked FANTASTIC. I have stopped gloating about my “Joba as a starter” argument which centered around “Let’s see what he HAS first before we resign him to the pen. We need all the data.” because Joba does my talking for me. That’s all I could think of…

    That and the fact that RAB was crashing every 2 seconds.

  • Steve

    For any of the people who didn’t like this trade, answer me these two questions.

    How does this trade HURT our MLB team?

    How does this trade HELP our MLB team?

    If you weigh those two answers against each other, a conclusion becomes pretty clear.

    • whozat

      “If you weigh those two answers against each other, a conclusion becomes pretty clear.”

      If that were the only concern, then every prospect should be traded for a player that might improve the MLB roster, no matter how marginally.

    • RR


      Based on your little “analysis” there, trading AJax for Washburn would but a pretty good trade

  • Tripp

    Anyone watch ESPN last night?

    They didn’t talk about the yanks and their comeback, not about the fact Joba shutout the Sox in Fenway for 7 innings…nope all they could discuss was Joba throwing in on Youkilis.

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      No. i didn’t realize they were still broadcasting.

    • http://derekjetersbat.blogspot.com/ Joey H

      new england based one sided pricks, just like how tom brady and the pats are always in the espn news BIAS

  • Steve

    “The best part of the outing had to be the Kevin Youkilis at-bat in the seventh. Youk and Joba, BFF’s since last season, were facing off when Joba fell behind 2-0. Chamberlain’s next pitch sailed up and over Youkilis’ head, and the feisty first baseman was so unhappy that, three pitches after jawing at Joba, he whiffed on one of the nastiest sliders Joba’s ever thrown. Game, set, match.”

    Bingo. They can say on YES all they want that it ‘wasn’t intentional’ and ‘made no sense’. It made all the sense in the world. They know that Youkilis is a high strung, overly serious guy and they were doing that to get in his kitchen. Teams used to do that all the time to O’Niell trying to get him off his game.

    Clearly, it worked in this case and I suspect we’ll be seeing more of this on both sides. Under Girardi we’re the ones INITIATING the brush backs in stark contrast to the pin cushions we were under Torre. I’m fine with a little gamesmanship as long as no one gets hurt.

    BTW-Joba has a LOT of Clemens in him. Lets hope he has 300 wins under his belt as well.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      I don’t know if it’s intentional but this will continue…

      • Casper

        You either believe it’s intentional or you believe that one pitcher with exceptional command just HAPPENS to throw very close to the head of one particular hitter with highly unusual frequency. Be reasonable. This isn’t even an indictment of Joba or an argument that he shouldn’t be throwing high and tight to Youk (seems to be working for him), but it is unreasonable to believe he’s not throwing at or near Youk’s head on purpose.

  • Steve

    I guess we can all put away those accusations of Cashman “Being too in love with his prospects”. He is clearly willing to part with the ones who (despite still having a big upside) have fallen out of favor with the organization.

  • http://derekjetersbat.blogspot.com/ Joey H

    well. joba made them look stupid, itoo can admit i thought joba should have stayed in the pen but look at that tense compare to now,
    1. Fire balling farnsworth and other struggling rookie relievers would take the ball in edwar and olendorf and veras ect.. guys we didnt have confidence in.
    2. 2 time 19 game winner wang was still baffling hitters at 6-0.

    1 farnsworth learned what MOVEMENT on pitches it. refined his breaking stuff and adding movement to his 97 MPH fastball, have an above at best average off speed breaking pitch.
    2 veras and edwar stepped it up. Nuff said.
    3. wang is out for months.

    sure we can say well we didnt know wang would be out, fansworth would be more than a homerun proned rire baller and decent but not what i would call reliable relievers would become essentially lights out. this was an outstanding move. i have to keep my mouth shut. he added ace like stuff(overpowering fastball and downright NASTY sliders and curveballs) to the rotation. and well we just have to let the pros make the decisions

    • LiveFromNewYork

      My argument was always let’s see what he has as a starter before making a decision. NOT trying him out as a starter would have been insanity in my opinion. Even if he had been an abject failure, there was non reason not to try it. Why handcuff a young guy’s career with relegating him to the pen without even seeing what he has a starter when he’s been a starter all through his pre-major career.

      Joba stepped up when the organization needed him to. It was only fair (and good for both Joba and the team) to give him a look-see as a starter. I’m glad it’s all worked out.

      I had no idea he would have ace-like stuff as a starter but my argument was that we had to give him a fair shake and that only with all the data could we make a decision that was good for both him and the Yankees.

      Why wonder? It was good to get him out there and see what he had.

      • http://derekjetersbat.blogspot.com/ Joey H

        thats exactly right, we need to play a safe than sorry mentality. worst case scenerio in any account was that he sucked as a starter, then we knew he was a lights out setupman and stick him back there.but in the light of the injury of wang it was great how he turned out. another thing is this “joba-mania” was mostly because he was an excellent counter part to mo, we havent had a great setup man SINCE mo was setting up wettland. thats why we were so anxious and happy with him. but on the contrary, we havent had an overpowering ace since roger clemens. of the lat 90’s early 00’s

    • Casper

      It’s not that you “just have to let the pros make the decisions.” We all comment here and discuss these things because we like to analyze these decisions and determine if we think the right decisions are made, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But… When analyzing those decisions we should probably be looking FORWARD instead of backwards and understanding the value of certain positions (i.e. starting pitching over relieving) and the relative ability of a team to replace guys in certain slots. The Joba SP vs RP argument should just be a learning experience, and the lesson is not “just let the pros make the decisions.”

      • radnom

        Yeah, especially considering the fact that every intelligent/informed yankee’s fan was in favor of Joba in the rotation…….

      • http://derekjetersbat.blogspot.com/ Joey H

        do you understand that i am agreeing with these poinds, im no jackass i know how commenting on posts go.

  • Steve Farr Rules

    Re: Joba’s high/tight pitch to that obnoxious SOB:

    When Bob Gibson did this type of pitching in the 1960’s he was called
    a great competitor. Let’s hope Tim McCarver (Gibson’s catcher at the time)
    will spare us any ” Joba The Headhunter” crap on future Fox telecasts.

    • steve (different one)

      they won’t.

      they will be aghast. guaranteed.

      they are idiots, and Buck hates the yankees. we’ll see. i guarantee they have only negatives to say.

      • Casper

        Who gives a sh*t. Let them see Joba as the bad guy. As long as he’s the bad guy who wins, he’s the good guy to us.

        • steve (different one)


        • http://Greg Greg

          I love Joba, but if he continues to throw at peoples’ heads (torso is ok), I’d have a hard time seeing him as a “Good guy.”

  • pete c.

    AllI can say is “that’s some mighty tasty crow”, I knew Joba could do great things as a starter; I just didn’t like him going from the pen to the rotation in one season. So much for that argument. One of the best things too, I think, is they won a close game, away, against a powerful team, there’s gonna be a lot of oppotunities like that in the playoffs.
    One more thing it was great to see the front page of the “Courant’s” sports section showing Lowell forming an F BOMB, just don’t forget, Boston didn’t have Manny last night, all those guys up top should calm down, there’s a lot of ball left.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      there’s a lot of ball left but there were posts before the AS break pronouncing us dead.

      We’re not dead yet.

  • Casper

    Can we please get a “The Big Three K’s Craniosynostosis” update? Joba’s performance just reminded me I might be a bit lighter in the wallet this morning.

  • Steve Farr Rules

    Good points – steve (different one) & Casper.

    The only thing worse than listening to McC & Buck is hearing Joe Morgan tell us how
    every member of the 1975-76 Reds should be in the HOF!

    Enjoy the game(s)!