J-Dizzle continues his voodoo, resurrects Yanks

Jose Gil helps Trenton walk-off with a win
Game Thread: Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN

Through six innings today the Yanks offense again looked despicable. Things started off fine, with Mark Teixeira staking Joba Chamberlain to an early lead with a solo blast. Until the seventh inning they managed five hits, but none of them came with men on base. They wasted leadoff hits in two frames, and a one-out double in another. With the Orioles out to a 3-1 lead and given how games have been going lately, things didn’t look too bright for the Yanks.

Then came the seventh. Orioles manager Dave Trembley removed his starter after 94 pitches, despite his five strikeouts and zero walks. Robinson Cano made him pay. After a long at bat in which reliever Jamie Walker struck out Nick Swisher, Cano put the Yanks within one on a solo jack to right. After a quick out by Melky Cabrera, Trembley again went to his bullpen for someone to face…Francisco Cervelli. Why he felt the need to play match-up right there is beyond my comprehension, but it’s his team and he knows it best. It might have been the best move to make at the time, but it didn’t turn out that way.

On a 2-1 pitch, Cervelli dinked one toward second, which looked like the third out. If it had been Jorge Posada at bat, it surely would have been. But Cervelli put on the jets, getting to first base perhaps faster than any catcher I’ve seen, at least recently. Then, three pitches later, Derek Jeter bounced a similarly weak-hit ball to third, and he too beat it out for a single. That set the table for J-Dizzle, who instead of slapping a single to tie the game thought it best to give his team the lead for the first time in almost six innings. To the alley in right center it went, clearing the fence and giving the Yanks all the runs they’d need.

Damon has truly been a bright spot during an otherwise dismal week in Yankeeland. He hit in every game during the 2-5 stretch, hitting to a .419 average (13 for 31) with four doubles and five homers. True, this was the only win he brought the team, but the past week would have felt a lot worse without his heroics which turned lost causes into actual contests. Let’s try to remember this stretch when Johnny hits a slump later in the year. The guy comes to play, and this week he did more than anyone could have expected of him.

Things started off a bit rocky on the pitching end, almost exactly as they did in Joba’s previous start against the Red Sox. He allowed three runs in the first, all coming on an Aubrey Huff homer. Not only did he blow the lead, but he used 25 pitches in doing so. For a guy who cuts his appearances short due to inefficiency, this was not a good sign. Basically a quarter of his pitch allotment was gone after the first, meaning he’d have to ramp up the efficiency in the ensuing frames just to get through the fifth.

He looked to recover, throwing just 12 pitches in the second, but he got a bit wild in the third, walking two and throwing 20 pitches. Even then, he was aided by the pitcher’s best friend. It took 16 pitches to get through the fourth, but Joba did it in commendable fashion, putting away two Orioles while men stood on second and third. I do wonder, though, if Melky hadn’t made the throw to third and Andino’s at bat yielded the same result (beware the fallacy of the predetermined outcome), would Jeter have had the wherewithal to drop the ball and try for the double play? The ball got there a bit quicker than a grounder, so I think he could have turned it if he just knocked it down.

In the end Joba did get through six on just 104 pitches, amazing considering his 25- and 20-pitch frames early on. He entered the sixth inning with 92 pitches, so it was in doubt that he’d finish things out. Maybe Girardi would have let him go the 108 mark he achieved on Tuesday, or maybe 110 would have been the hard cap. It didn’t matter, though. Despite a Felix Pie single, Joba still got the job one on 12 pitches to complete the nominal quality start. He left matters to the bullpen, which hasn’t been the most optimistic prospect lately.

Well, that is, except when it involves Phil Coke. The man throws strikes, something his bullpen brethren should take note of. His efficient ways allowed him to toss two innings with just 25 pitches, surrendering just one hit and striking out one. That set the stage for Mo, who walked his first batter of the year but still came away with his sixth save. It was a relief to see the O’s go down rather futilely, given Mo’s last appearance. All in all it was a good win, though again the lows from last night made the first six innings tough to watch.

The Yanks get a day off tomorrow before heading up to Toronto, so it was an especially nice win. Apparently Tuesday night’s game is a big ticket up north, with the master taking on the apprentice, Roy Halladay vs. A.J. Burnett. Given how Doc has pitched against the Yanks in his career, Burnett had better also pitch the way he’s pitched against the Yanks. This series could go a long way in knocking Toronto down a peg or two and leveling the playing field of the AL East.

Jose Gil helps Trenton walk-off with a win
Game Thread: Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN
  • ARX

    Fistpump this, Orioles.

    • eric

      cosign

  • JobaWockeeZ

    [b]“He does that stuff all the time as a pitcher, so I was just having a little fun with him out there,” Huff said. “That’s just part of the game. You get excited in situations like that. I wasn’t showing anybody up. I was just having a good time.”[/b]

    Why didn’t you do that yesterday Huff? Oh yeah you wanted to show Joba off, that’s all there was to it. You wouldn’t do a fake fistpump a second time if you weren’t planning too.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      *sigh* HTML fail. Screw forums and blogs having different stuff.
      “He does that stuff all the time as a pitcher, so I was just having a little fun with him out there,” Huff said. “That’s just part of the game. You get excited in situations like that. I wasn’t showing anybody up. I was just having a good time.”

    • pat

      via Fatman:
      “He’s done it a couple of times to me when he’s struck me out. For me, it’s just in good fun. I always told the guys that if I get him, I’m going to give him a nice fist pump.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Oh I never actually remember him doing that but Joba does it to everybody if he’s on a rol. It’s not personal to Huff. And Huff even admitted that he was going to do it on Joba if he hit him hard but the fact that it wasn’t out of emotion but just a way to mimic or mock Joba irritated me.

        • pat

          Nah I agree it annoyed me too but what you gonna do. I just showed that quote because it’s not like Huff was saying he didn’t do it on purpose. He admitted that it was premeditated.

          • JGS

            and rather than drilling him next time he comes up, Joba shut the door from then on and picked up a win. That’s much better revenge than hitting a guy

      • NaOH

        “via Fatman”

        I’d say that was not necessary.

        • pat

          I’d say I don’t care. Ive been calling him Fatman Scoop for a while now. That’s why it was capitalized.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            It’s out of love.

            (Sort of.)

          • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

            Dammit, I thought I was the first to call him that last year. Bah, here I am thinking one of my memes caught on here.

            • BklynJT

              How about no-neck? Or pigman?

  • Mike Pop

    Just an awesome game. Hopefully Joba gets his first inning struggles figured out. He could have scoreless outings if he does.

    Oh, and if anyone cares, Bill James is going to be on 60 Minutes tonight.

    • Mike HC

      thanks for the heads up … I am definitely going to watch it

      • Bob Stone

        Thank you for the tip – Should be interesting.

        • AlexNYC

          Didn’t Phil Hughes had first inning troubles??? Well Joba can fix that, I know its possible.

  • Accent Shallow

    Two out of three is all they have to do.

  • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

    “Done it a couple of times to me.”

    Do these guys not realize we can check these things. I have MLB.tv and went back and checked Joba’s three strikeouts of Huff. Two of them came last September, and Joba had no reaction. The first one, in August or 2007, Joba’s third career appearance, in a one run game, he struck out Huff to end the 8th, and did one of his fist pump while shouting deals. It happened once, in an appropriately big spot.

    • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

      well done.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      Just want to add, that means Huff fistpumped towards Joba on that home run trot more times than Joba ever pumped at him.

    • Mike HC

      You gotta love sports, where arguments like “who fist pumped who more,” takes center stage.

    • BklynJT

      If Joba’s going to dish it, he should be to take it too. Although Joba does it out of pure adrenaline and excitement and not spite, but whatever.

  • Yankee1010

    Did anybody just catch Gammons on NESPN? Unbelievable. This is a Hall of Fame “journalist?” Don’t they mean Red Sox mouthpiece? He went on and on about how Joba has enemies in the AL because he “fist pumps” and “throws at heads.” Peter, you d-bag, Beckett, Papelbon, Pedro, etc. all say hi. Where is the righteous indignation about them? Gammons can’t go away soon enough.

    • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

      Peter Gammons=oaktag

      • John S.

        Well I’ve never seen Huff or anyone do that to Pedro, Beckett, K-Rod, Papelbon or anyone else. Joba irritates some of these guys, that’s clear.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Which, clearly, is ridiculous.

          Those guys have been in the league longer and have thrown at way more guys and have engaged in way worse histrionics.

          Joba irritating Huff more than Papelbon, K-Rod, Beckett, or Pedro doesn’t make sense. It’s like being offended at Seth McFarlane for “American Dad” but not having a single negative word for “Family Guy”.

          • http://www.youtube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

            What about South Park, Miguel Iran?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              That too… mi subversivo amigo.

              • http://www.youtube.com/kevyyankees Kevin G.

                I’m “Maximillian Qatar”

          • Yankee1010

            Huff said that the Orioles saw the Joba fist pump (hmmmm, against the Red Sox)on NESPN and it irritated them. God knows why. Do you think it had anything to do with the NESPN guys flipping out about it?

            And we all know that NESPN would NEVER show any Red Sox doing that. God, I hate NESPN and the complete double standard.

          • John S.

            I think closer histrionics doesn’t bother guys as much, for whatever reason. Beckett or Pedro, I dunno, maybe because they’re more established pitchers compared to Joba.

            Joba did the right thing. Retaliating would be dumb, just get the guy out and win the game.

      • Stryker

        oaktag.

    • Mike HC

      “Gammons can’t go away soon enough.” – – I think there is only one place left for him to go, and I doubt you really wish that on him … haha … otherwise, Gammons should be introduced as a HOF journalist, and a big time Red Sox Fan. At least that way, his “analysis” will be seen for what it is

    • blee

      They just asked him on Baseball Tonight about Huff’s showing up Joba.. and of course.. he instead talks about how Joba fist pumped after striking out Lowell in a 4-3 game.. and how Joba should tone it down..

      surprise.

      At least Joba does it when he’s pumped up, not to show someone up.

      ps – Beckett and Papelbon are the same way.. I dont get it.

    • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

      What about a couple days ago when he started talking about the “Decline in Manny’s OPS his last years in Boston” during the Manny/Steroids discussion as to insiniuate that his use started in LA.

    • pat

      Just to set the record straight, Peter Gammons has been honored by the Hall, he is not enshrined there.

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    During a recent interview, when asked who his favorite young Yankee on the team was, Darryl exclaimed “I love Coke!”.

    http://www.instantrimshot.com/

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

    I’m glad Cervelli’s baserunning isn’t going overlooked here.

    See, before now I had been unaware that a catcher that could, well, run wasn’t illegal.

    • Mike HC

      You can bet that Girardi does not overlook it, because he was one of the better base running catchers around.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

        I don’t think Girardi will overlook it, but a lot of the press and the fans will.

    • thurdonpaul

      ietc

  • josh

    i am not a fan of fistpumpers but joba pumps his fist like many others. it ia a little annoying but not a big deal. its not like he is the first player to ever do it in an untarnished game. people have got to give me a break with the who integrity of the game bullshit. next time the yankees play the orioles – especially if joba is pitching – they should drill huff square in the back. lots of pitchers do the fistpump. has anything like what huff did today ever happened to paplebon or k-rod?

    • Bob Stone

      I think hitting Huff is a waste of time. It’s more important to get him out (strike out preferred) and to beat the O’s. I could care less about the fist pumping.

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Aunt Becca-Optimist Prime

    “Kay isn’t going to Toronto, so we’ll make due with food updates from Leiter.”

    http://kimberlyjones.mlblogs.com/

    I admit, I smiled.

    • pat

      AWESOME. Games without Kay are stupendous.

  • Andrew W

    contract year

  • Drew

    Aubrey Huff’s fistpumps were hilarious. Choke on that shit Aubrey. BTW you got a girls name, son.

  • MOFACE

    Notwithstanding the shaky first inning, this was not a good day for all Joba to the Bullpen advocates. This game clearly demonstrated that 6, 7 innings of good pitching and keeping the team in the game is much much more important than pitching the pressure cooker known as the 8th inning.

  • mos

    a) I’ve noticed that Cervelli is actually pretty damn fast, too. I like him. If he can pick up an effective swing, he’d be a good replacement for an aging Posada.

    b) I will be heartbroken if Damon isn’t brought back next year. I don’t think anyone plays harder than he does day in and day out (except maybe Swisher, who seems to have the same get-up-and-go). Occassionally, Damon will pop up to the infield, and he always sprints to second before the ball drops, which is something I love to see from Little League on up to the bigs. He’s embraced being a Yankee, and he’s still a formidable player (albeit with a weak arm).