May
28

Yanks stick it to Rangers in finale

By

The Yanks got just what they needed last night. After a night of frustration they pulled it together and decimated the Rangers in the series finale, 9-2. The Yanks have now won 13 of their last 17 games and are now tied with the Red Sox atop the AL East. Just three weeks ago, on the heels of a sweep by the Red Sox and amid a five-game skid, few thought this possible. But the Yanks came alive after leaving the Stadium, and have been on a roll ever since.

While the Yankees offense was impressive, the story of the night is A.J. Burnett. The $82-million man hadn’t recorded the meaningless stat known as a win since April 14, and has struggled a bit recently. He stepped up last night, pitching six solid innings of no-run ball. In typical A.J. fashion he struck out seven and walked four. As we’ve seen in almost all of his starts, efficiency was a bit of a problem. He threw just 70 of his 118 pitches for strikes (59%). Still, it was the kind of showing the Yanks needed out of Burnett tonight.

The offense took advantage of rookie Derek Holland and the Rangers’ bullpen, striking early and then striking hard, scoring eight runs before Burnett’s official exit. With such a lead it seemed like a given that Chien-Ming Wang would get an opportunity to finish the game. Yet, much to my surprise, Jose Veras stood on the mound when YES came back from a commercial. Why? Who knows. He was terrible, though, and David Robertson had to come in to clean up the mess against the middle of the order. He did, which makes me happy even in a blowout.

Wang finally did make an appearance, starting the top of the eighth inning. He looked a bit shaky, but was able to overcome his deficiencies to retire the Rangers in order. Overall he did a better job of keeping the ball low. His sinker sat around 90 to 91 mph, with his 4-seamer hitting 92 on occasion. That might seem low, but check out this start from last April. Seven innings, nine strikeouts, no earned runs, and he was sitting at around the same speed. He did, however, certainly throw a bit harder in 2007.

It’s always nice to see an offensive explosion, especially when it comes from the bottom of the order. In typical RAB fashion, right when we rip on someone he starts to hit. It started with Doug Mientkiewicz in 2007, and has moved through a few players before settling on Kevin Cash, who went 2 for 4 with a run scored an a pair of RBI. Perhaps, then, it’s our long-standing criticism of Melky Cabrera which has lit a fire under him this season. Hey, anything we can do to help.

Also nice was watching Nick Swisher collect a single. WIth Melky out he’s going to continue to get playing time, so he’s going to have to find his own way out of his funk. A hit and a walk tonight help. Plus, that last called strikeout looked a little suspicious. Sure, a slumping guy doesn’t have much room to complain, but I feel for him.

Add homers for Teixeira, his 15th, Cano, his 9th, and a pair for Matsui, his 6th and 7th. Hideki has looked poor at the plate at times in the past few weeks, but just when you start to get frustrated with him he smacks an RBI double one night and socks two dingers the next. Props also go to Jeter, who had three impressive hits in his first three at bats. His average is up to .297.

Also of note: The Yanks were a respectable 3 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Apparently Ken Singleton said the Yanks had 50 hits in the series. He was a bit off. They had 47, which is still remarkable. The offense is simply rolling.

So the Yanks take a positive into the off-day as they head north to face the last-place Cleveland Indians in a four-game set starting Friday. My only question is, what the hell am I going to do tomorrow night?

Categories : Game Stories
  • Drew

    Great to see Robbie bounce back from a few not so great AB’s against Holland. When he was younger, I remember him carrying early frustration into his later AB’s. Another series in the books, JoPo is ready to go, and X is already DH’ing down in EST. Good stuff.
    I hate days off…
    And hey, no need to get on Kenny. Don’t let facts get in the way of good commentary. He was obviously rounding up.

  • UWS

    John Flaherty and Ken Singleton are B-Jobbers, to my eternal sadness. Apparently two good innings from Wang was enough to set them crowing about Joba back to the bullpen. Yuck.

    • steve (different one)

      Flaherty has ALWAYS been a b-jobber, but i am surprised to see Singleton jump aboard.

      • Some call me…tim

        I LOVE having to defend the non jobber position.

        How awesome would it be to hear:

        CC, Wang, AJ, Pettite, Hughes and who’s that Brackman they just moved to AAA?

        Between Robertson, Coke, Marte, Bruney, Joba and Mo, just what more do you Yankee fans want?

        For Petes sake, you’re 13 games ahead of the Sox, what more do you want?

        Yeah, I’ll have that argument :)

        • handtius

          Joba is better then Hughes and Pettite won’t be around for ever. Someone needs to take his place next year and what better then having 3 cost controlled #1 or 2 starters in your rotation to mix in with the free agents signed this past off-season.

      • kunaldo

        he’s probably just trying not to ruffle any feathers

  • handtius

    Hopefully, starting Friday we can have first all to ourselves for a while…till like October or so…

  • handtius

    I’m glad to see Grittlez hitting some. When Melk comes back, Swish can finally get that well deserved few day off.

    • Drew

      Yeah great series for Grit. It really looks like he can swing the bat and also put together good AB’s. A stark contrast from the beginning of the year.

  • steve (different one)

    let me know when Teixeira’s HR lands.

    also, i thought Moshe had a perfectly good explanation for why Veras got in the game. off day tomorrow, so he’d have been dormant for 5 days if he didn’t get in.

    2 almost perfect wins in this series.

    • handtius

      I understand the need to get Veras in, but I think putting Wang if for three innings supersedes that need. Wang did look like he’s getting better. Hopefully it leads to some more stints, climbing in innings.

    • Jake K

      Yeah, I buy that. I just wish Veras wasn’t part of the bullpen at all. I can’t ever imagine trusting him in a tight spot.

      • steve (different one)

        i hear you, but for now, he’s still here. hopefully Robertson steps up and becomes a go to guy.

        that would be huge.

        • Bo

          Veras is doing a good job of pitching himself to a plane ride out of town.

          • JohnnyC

            I’d just put him on a slow mule.

    • JP

      Did anyone think Wang’s delivery/motion looked different? Maybe it was the camera angle, but it looked like he was trying to come more directly overhand than I’m used to seeing with him.

  • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

    I stand by my comment when I said Jose Veras needs to die in a fire. Besides that great to see them shutdown the juggernaut of an offense that is the Rangers.

    • Drew

      That’s a horrible thing to say.

      • handtius

        Agreed. Horrible and tactless.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          It’s an Internet meme. I don’t thing OmgZombies! really wants Veras to DIAF. It just means he should go away and never come back.

          • handtius

            I understand that…sarcasm of the utter most dryness.

      • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

        Oh please like I’m going to see a headline that says “Jose Veras spontaneously com busts” and be happy. But if he disappears and is never heard from again then yea I wouldn’t care at all.

        • handtius

          Someones life is nothing to joke about (unless said person plays for the redsox[kidding]).

        • http://justinyates.wordpress.com justin

          i would actually giggle about that a little bit…i mean…how often would you ever see a headline about spontaneous combustion? It’d be a terrible accident, but, at the same time the sheer magnitude of the odds of such an occurrence make it a cosmic joke of sorts.

        • JP

          Veras has, at times, been very, very good. Yeah, limited times, and when he’s bad, he’s as bad as he is good.

          But guys and gals, there ain’t that many players available out there, period. Veras is important to the team. If they get him fixed, say, in time with the beginning of the playoffs, he’d be a huge weapon. He throws 93-96 with movement, and has a sharp breaking ball. He just has this problem with going 3-2 on every hitter…

  • yank1

    Hopefully Yanks remember the 22-4 game against the Indians a few weeks back and that motives them throughout the weekend and the potent offensive of this series and the homestand continues.

    • Drew

      Damnit! I just forgot about that and here you go bringing it up!

      • yank1

        A thing of the old team (pre-Arod days). It will help them and be a good thing. This way they don’t need to feel bad about trying to beat up on a last place team now.

        • Drew

          Yeah, I’m not sure how much “bulletin board material” works in baseball but I know Joey G is going to point out that they rocked us last time. I can’t wait to see Pavano again, even though he didn’t get the win last time, I want to see him walk off the mound crying like a little girl in the 3rd inning.

          • Sean C

            Pavano leaving the mound crying or injured (and I’m not saying I want to see him injured) would certainly be a little cathartic for us Yankee fans. It looks like Hughes is set to pitch against him, and it would be awesome to see the bats destroy Pavano and have Hughes mow down the Indians. Sure, they’re last place in the alcentral, but I’ll take any win just to have sole possession of 1st place.

    • JP

      I’m actually worried about the Cleveland series. Those memories might work the wrong way…Cleveland has an aggressive line up with lots of really good hitters who can handle the bat, and Phil might get eaten alive at the Jake…

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        Well now. If your prophesy comes true, it will have been a good move by the Yanks to not hastily move Joba to the pen.

        I know you dig my use of the future perfect tense.

        • JP

          Yes, indeed. Does anyone expect mature, front-line, ace level pitching from Joba or Hughes this season? I don’t. I expect one or both of them to eventually get to that level, but they certainly won’t without a season or two of taking their lumps from teams like Cleveland. Hughes won’t get his lumps in Scranton, and Joba won’t get them coming in in the 8th inning with no runners on and throwing 98 for one inning, either.

  • steve (different one)

    Cleveland can put some runs up in a hurry, huh?

    • handtius

      so can your mom…OHHHHHH. just kidding.

      • Drew

        that doesn’t even make sense… lol

        • handtius

          That’s what your mom said…after I blew her mind! ohhhhhh. I did it again. sorry.

  • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

    Good to see Burnett locate his pitches as well as he does pies

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Burnett’s pies miss their intended targets by one foot?

      Zing.

      • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

        Well its good that Arod has a big head

        Wocca Wocca Wocca

  • Rich

    Here is a what if….what if Melky needs to go on the DL what do they do about outfield depth. There are no outfielders available without exposing someone on the 40 man. Any thoughts?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      Austin Jackson.

      I went there.

      • handtius

        Joba to the Pen!

        • Tom Zig

          CC to the 5th!

          • handtius

            Mo to the 1st!!!

            • Jobber

              That made me LOL.

      • JGS

        Ajax isn’t on the 40 man

    • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

      Ruben Sierra is just lurking in the background

  • JackISBACK

    They should just leave Veras off the plane. Tell him to ride a bike into Cleveland!!

    Good to see Burnett bounce back, and hopefully we can extract some revenge on the Indians.

    And on the commenting, for the most part I watch Yankee games without sound now. I feel more at peace, its like yoga sitting on a couch for my brain.

    • Tom Zig

      They should just leave Veras off the plane. Tell him to ride a bike into Cleveland!

      Or have him run across the country, Forrest Gump style. That way Girardi is never tempted to use him again

    • http://forums.projectcovo.com/images/smilies/e6omir.gif OmgZombies!

      With his luck he would probably cause a 10 car pileup

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

    Yet, much to my surprise, Jose Veras stood on the mound when YES came back from a commercial. Why? Who knows.

    Because he last pitched on Sunday and there’s an off-day tomorrow.

  • http://theyankeebomber.blogspot.com Conan

    How long is Damaso Marte going to be out for? Didn’t he go on the DL in mid-April?

    • anonymous

      WHo!?

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Last we heard, he started a throwing program, which means the shoulder has calmed down. How he’s got to get back in pitching shape, so figure a few weeks.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        “NOW” he’s got to get back in pitching shape

  • Jona H.

    I thought Wang looked good…2 perfect innings, no baserunners, 2 K’s, 2-2 GB/FB, 26 pitches, 69% for strikes. Not shaky at all in my book.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Better in the 9th than the 8th. The 2 seamer looked sloppy in the 8th, stuff-wise. It was much tighter in the 9th.

    • JP

      I thought he looked good, too. To my surprise, I’ll say, as I’m on record multiple times saying he’ll never be a great pitcher again, just a back of rotation type guy who gives up too many homers.

      I hope I’m wrong.

      When you think of it, though, he’d make a great relief pitcher. If he’s “on,” he gets tons of grounders, which is nice for men-on-base, late game situations.

  • AlexNYC

    Great game by Burnett although the walks are up. But I suppose that isn’t a problem since teh Johan allowed 6 walks and struck out double digit Nationals. It’s nice seeing Wang’s sinker sinking, although I am getting sick of the Joba to the pen crap. When Wang is ready to start, I’m sorry to say this but The Phranchise goes to Scranton or goes to the pen. There is no way that Joba is going to the pen, EVER! That would be like the Mariners sending Felix to the 8th.

    If there is someone who can pitch the 8th, what do any of you think of Tony Peña (D-backs reliever)?

    • JP

      I really, really like Burnett. We can criticize his numbers and get all picky, but let’s face it — he’s a mensch. He has great stuff, and he isn’t afraid of hitters. If he’s not spotting his pitches he can give up homers, but at least he doesn’t screw around out there. He attacks, and has the mentality you need for really important games. If he stays healthy, his signing will have been a real bargain, I think.

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

        On the one hand, I agree with you.

        On the other hand, his career ERA+ of 110 is still lower than Freddy Garcia’s, Kelvim Escobar’s, Bartolo Colon’s, Barry Zito’s, and Derek Lowe’s.

        I love his stuff. But his propensity to give up homers and walks saddens me.

  • Tom Zig

    I have an idea!

    Let’s start Swisher in RF when Melky comes back and then bam remove him after one inning, switch melky to right and put gardner in center.

    Bingo bango, gardner goes 2-3.

  • Joe LA

    My only question is, what the hell am I going to do tomorrow night?

    Have no fear, Mike Francesca is on Yes tomorrow from 1- 6:30 PM.

    The Francesca marathon uniquely combines the length of a Yankees- Red Sox game with all the entertainment and importance of a Rockies-Reds game in mid- September.

    Worried about your night after that? After trying to drink away your sorrows from watching 5.5 hours of Mike minus Mad Dog, you can sober up in time for The Best of Mike Francesca at 11 PM!!!!!!!!

    • whozat

      *golf clap*

      • Bo

        And after all that you will be watching that for 5 hours.

        • whozat

          Nope. Never watch (or listen to) Francesa.

  • BigBlueAL

    You know I thought Wang looked pretty good. He was getting swings and misses with guys swinging over the sinker, and he had a couple of guys fouling balls of their feet/ankles which is something he commonly does when he is on.

    Also please dont talk about his velocity only being at 91-92 and not 95 because whenever someone brings that up about Joba they get lectured about how velocity isnt important. To be honest the fact that Wang is “only” throwing his sinker at 91-92 is not as alarming as Joba throwing his 4-seamer at 90-91 for much of the game.

    Anyway its nice to be tied in 1st past the month of April for the first time since 2006. Lets take 3 out of 4 in Cleveland and keep this train rolling….

    • whozat

      The reason we bring up Wang’s velocity, when we do, is because that is what it was as a starter when last he was successful and healthy.

      It’s not that he CAN’T succeed with a 90-91 MPH sinker, it’s that when he WAS SUCCEEDING it was with a 92-93 MPH sinker. Him not being able to muster the same velo could be a sign that something is still not quite right with his mechanics. Hence the worry.

      If this is his new max velocity, that’s ok — but he’ll have to re-prove that he can succeed at this level.

      • BigBlueAL

        Uh and Joba last season as a starter wasnt throwing 94-95 all the time as a starter???? To me Joba’s lack of velocity is much much more worrisome than Wang’s lack of velocity, considering especially that Wang’s arm strength cant possibly be that high with missing most of last season and the lack of innings so far this season.

        I agree that the velocity is over-rated, but lets not just ignore it for Joba and keep bringing it up for Wang.

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

          To me Joba’s lack of velocity is much much more worrisome than Wang’s lack of velocity.

          No, because when you and other were freaking out about Joba’s lack of velocity, you weren’t wrong because Joba’s diminished velocity wasn’t important… you were wrong because Joba’s diminished velocity wasn’t PERMANENT.

          People were freaking out because Joba was throwing in the low 90’s instead of the mid 90’s for a start or two in April. You were told to calm down because it likely wasn’t a permanent diminished velocity, he was just building up his velocity in the normal gradual process of a typical power pitcher.

          Within a week, Joba was back in the mid 90’s and all was right with the world.

          It wasn’t the fact that you pointed out that his velocity was down that was the problem, it was the fact that you acted like it was a huge, gigantic harbinger of imminent doom that was the problem.

          Like my grandaddy likes to say, the less a man makes declarative statements, the less apt he is to look foolish in retrospect.

    • my wang

      I remember Wang’s sinker had sharper bite before. maybe that could come when he gets consistent innings??

      – my wang

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      But he’s not a swing and miss guy. He’s a groundball pitcher when he’s right. The 2 seamer should have hard, late movement. Not fall off a cliff like a slider.

  • BigBlueAL

    BTW was at Yesnetwork.com to check out the post-game interviews and noticed the headline to Kim Jones’ blog was Joba to the bullpen. I guess Kim is a Joba to the bullpen advocate as well, although the one thing she brought up which has been brought up by a few writers as that many players in the team privately say they want Joba back in the bullpen.

    Obviously the opinions of the players are meaningless, but you cant help but wander if Joba doesnt realize that too and is putting to much pressure on himself to prove he is as good a starter as he is a reliever, especially with the problems of the bullpen this season and the new depth in the rotation unlike last season.

    • Drew

      I do often wander… lol jk but yeah this whole debate is ridicurous. His last start was ineffectiveness due to rust IMO.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I love her reasoning on that. “He just seems more natural there.” Yes, let’s base baseball on our feelings, not what objectively makes sense.

      B-Jobbers annoy me with the arrogance of their personal opinion.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        But Joe, you have to go with the game’s heartbeat!

      • Andy

        Speaking of arrogance, I’ve always felt comments like “meaningless stat known as a win” to be arrogant. First of all, a win is not meaningless. Second, I understand that the game has “evolved” and every smart guy has a new statistic that is better than thou, but how arrogant is it to completely dismiss a stat which has been hugely important and relevant to the game for over 100 years? Pretty damn arrogant if you ask me…

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          A win is dependent upon the pitcher and the offense, yet is only credit to (or debited from, in the form of a loss) the pitcher. It’s not arrogance. It’s looking at something and deciding it doesn’t make sense.

        • jon

          2 players

          A has 10 wins and an ERA of 15.00, it just so happens for the last 10 games his team has scored 20 runs

          B has 0 wins and an ERA of 2.00

          clearly the first guy is better right? cause he has more wins

          • andrew

            very nice straw man argument… nobody ever said that.

            Wins are not the final measuring stick of a a player, neither is ERA for that matter, but they are all tools that help us determine how effective somebody is. How many 20 game winners have been crappy pitchers? How many 20 game losers have been great pitchers? It may have some outliers in the middle, but it very accurately depicts whos the best and worst pitchers. It has value.

        • Tampa Yankee

          Which pitcher was the better in 2005?

          Player A: 13-8 1.87 ERA 32 GS 211.1 innings 185Ks

          Player B: 13-6 4.57 ERA 32 GS 191.0 innings 146 Ks

          Player C: 14-10 4.51 ERA 32 GS 205.1 innings 100 Ks

          Player C right? And players A and B were even because they had the same amount of wins right? Yeah, not so much.

          There are so many other variables that make using the number of wins by a pitcher a bad stat to determine worth on(such as the bullpen blowing leads or the offense not scoring enough runs, etc).

          • andrew

            Same as what i just said above. That is a very convenient straw man argument. Nobody said that.

            • Tampa Yankee

              This is what Andy said that I took issue with: “but how arrogant is it to completely dismiss a stat which has been hugely important and relevant to the game for over 100 years?”

              What I was trying to portray was what you said in your post above (which I agree with), that there is more to look at than just wins to value a pitcher. I just used actual numbers and not obscure numbers like Jon did.

  • Frank Fernandez

    Joba has started 20 games and given us 7 innings a grand total of two times. All the evidence suggests he is someone who needs 100+ pitches to get through 5-6 innings and needs 2-3 pitchers from the bullpen to complete his games.

    Yet when Wang is rotation-ready, you pen-jobbers will be screaming for Hughes to get sent down, even though he threw a more useful game on Monday than Joba has ever thrown in his ML life and there will still be a gaping hole in the bullpen where, as Ken Singleton implied last night, Joba belongs. Does that make him a dope, too?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Ever thrown in his ML life? Ever seen him against Beckett last year? Shows what you know.

      Way to butcher the facts to make your point seem valid which it doesn’t. He has potential to become a great starter but people like you want him for one inning. Mind boggling.

      • Frank Fernandez

        So let’s send Hughes down and keep the bullpen craptastic…ok.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          How many games has the bullpen blown?

          • JobaWockeeZ

            1 or 2? Seriously this whole bullpen thing has been blown out of proportion due to the Mets last year. Yet he fails to mention that Robertson is up and he could be effective. Melancon could be up as well and Joba would not be needed. B-Jobbers have no valid arguement at all.

            • Frank Fernandez

              Here’s a better question: who gets the 8th inning in September and October? You think we’re going to ride this group all the way to the World Series? That’s funny.

              • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                So you refuse to answer the question and pose a hypothetical in it’s stead.

                How about we get to October before commenting on what happens them. In this moment, Joba’s ideal role is where he provides the most value long-term, and that is the starting rotation. If he’s running up against his innings limits in September, then maybe we can have this discussion.

              • http://eemack.blogspot.com Jackson

                I just don’t know how many different ways to say that it isn’t about this year alone. Ok, so Joba’s only gone 7 innings twice in his career. You know what’s going to ensure that he nevers learns to pitch with the efficiency required to go deep in games? Putting him in the damn bullpen.

              • JohnnyC

                “Here’s a better question: who gets the 8th inning in September and October?”

                And what did Joba achieve in October of 2007 that makes you so cocksure about it? By that metric, he’s proven he’s not even the equal of David Weathers.

              • NHYankee62

                Brian Bruney.

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

                  NHYankee62 says:
                  Brian Bruney.

                  +1.

    • kunaldo

      he’s TWENTY FREAKIN THREE!! how can you possibly expect him to have it all together already at this age? if you actually watch yankees games, you’d realize that there is definitely something special in the making, but he needs work as any other young pitcher does

      UGH

      • Frank Fernandez

        His WHIP is 1.57 and batters’ OBA is .383 against him. Those numbers are among the worst in baseball of all starters with 40+ innings so far.

        • kunaldo

          he also had a 1.301 as a starter last year…are we just dismissing these numbers? or just using the ones you want to make your point?

          • Frank Fernandez

            I’m looking at this year. He also had a WHIP of 0.75 as a reliever in 2007. Are you dismissing those numbers are just the ones that support your point?

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              Listen. Joba became a reliever in 2007 for two reasons. First, he was about three starts away from being shut down because of his innings limit. Second, the Yankees’ bullpen was bare. So instead of letting him finish the season in the Thunder rotation, the front office got creative and decided to let him get his innings in as a major league reliever, since they could get some use out of those remaining 24 or so innings.

              Then, in 2008, he opened the season in the bullpen for the same innings limit reasons. The plan was to do exactly what they did: limit him early and then stretch him out to be a starter. Which they did.

              Joba Chamberlain was a reliever out of necessity. Now he’s back in the role the Yanks drafted him for. They drafted him in the first round because he was a high ceiling guy who other teams backed off of because he had a triceps injury at the end of his college tenure. It was a high risk, high reward pick. They clearly want to see if they can get that high reward out of him.

              Since starters are more valuable than relievers, the highest reward comes from him being in the rotation. Moving him to the bullpen cuts his innings in half, even more in the long-term. Why have one of your most talented pitchers in a place where he isn’t maximizing his value?

              • kunaldo

                well said, except the freudian slip at the end! edit!

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

                • JP

                  Bullpens are overrated. I keep saying this, but I’ll say it again. With rare exceptions, most bullpen pitchers are just journeymen. On a championship team, we get this impression that there is a “great bullpen”, but what usually is happening is that the team has a good starting rotation, or at least a healthy one, and the relief pitchers are rested and can throw hard every time they get in there. They get out of jams because the opposing team hasn’t had a chance to adjust to them, and the reliever is out of there before anyone gets a second crack at him.

                  Yeah, elite guys like Mo, Papelbon, Hoffman, etc., are special pitchers with great stuff. But most teams are lucky to have one pitcher of this caliber, even the teams with “great bullpens” on championship squads.

                  Starters are waaaaaay, waaaay more important than relievers. You can get by with so-so talent in the bullpen, but you’ll get demolished without top level talent in your starting rotation.

                  Joba Chamberlain, winning 12-18 games per year with 200 Ks and a 4-ish or sub-4ish ERA for the next 10 years is far, far more valuable than him pitching 70 bullpen innings for the next 10 years with really sexy numbers.

                • kunaldo

                  haha damn you joe

              • Frank Fernandez

                I don’t totally disagree. Problem is, Cashman overrated his bullpen and did nothing to cover the team when he moved Joba into the rotation. So now you have six competent starters, assuming Wang finds himslef, and a depleted bullpen. Something has to give.

                Of course, what you left out was that Joba took to the bullpen like few pitchers ever have. Excuse us for not being able to get that Goose Gossage impersonation he did for two years out of our heads while we’re watching him struggle to get through six innings as a starter.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  I don’t think I left that out. I think that Joba took to the bullpen like few pitchers ever have because pitchers of his caliber don’t typically pitch in the bullpen. The bullpen is a place for failed starters. Even Mo was a failed starter. So while you are certainly correct in that statement, I don’t think it’s for good reason.

                  Remember, too, that the bullpen has been twice as good in May as it was in April. Bruney and Marte are both on their ways back — though as I said the other day, I wouldn’t count on Bruney. But Marte, when healthy, has been good his entire career.

                  The Yanks have options. They’ve already swapped out Albaladejo and Edwar. Aceves and Coke have stepped up. There’s still Robertson and Melancon. Let’s exercise some patience with these by-nature volatile bullpen arms and see if there’s a better solution than converting a high-ceiling starter into a reliever.

                • Frank Fernandez

                  The Chicago White Sox are calling: They want you to know that Damaso Marte has been a choke artist his entire career.

                  The other pitchers you cite aren’t even worth discussing.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

                  Why? Because you say they’re not worth discussing? Both Robertson and Melancon can be stabilizers in the bullpen. There’s no guarantee, but what bullpen arms do give you a guarantee?

                • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

                  But the hole that’s fixed in the bullpen is much smaller than the hole you create in the rotation by moving Joba out of it. Chances are, he’s a better starter than Hughes, regardless of the differences of their last two starts. And, assuming Wang is going to be himself after a nice relief appearance last night is a little presumptive if you ask me.

                  In 7/12 starts in 2008, Chamberlain pitched at least 6 innings, which includes his first two starts during which he was on a very strict pitch count, and a game in which he left with an injury. So, yeah, he can go six. He’s had a little bit of a slow start this year, but there’s still a long time for him to rebound.

                  And that “Goose Gossage impression” is nice and all, but it’s not nearly as valuable as the next 10-15 years of a “Ron Guidry (or better) impression” we’ll get from Joba.

    • Frank Fernandez

      Change “pen-jobbers” to “rotation-jobbers.”

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Because a reliever pitching one inning >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> potential ace.

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

        Change “pen-jobbers” to “rotation-jobbers.”

        I’ll not have your foolish non-intellect sullying my well-crafted internet meme, thank you very much.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Yes. It does. Since when are relievers more valuable than starters?

      This isn’t about opinion. This is about where you get the most value from a player. Starters are more valuable than relievers. Joba has a high ceiling as a starter. So instead of knee-jerking him to the bullpen, a place he had never pitched in his entire career until 2007, why don’t the Yankees exercise some patience and see if this guy can reach his ceiling?

      But no, by all means let’s put him in a place where he pitches less. Less is always better.

      • kunaldo

        it’s b/c all these people are so goddamn impatient…my friend asked me the question “if you put joba in the pen this year and could win the world series or kept him in the rotation so he could be a #2 type by next year, which would you choose?”…i said door #2 please, it’s about the long haul…here in the bronx, we build dynasties, not one year wonders

        • kunaldo

          btw, i meant “guaranteed the WS win”, if that wasnt already implied…

    • kunaldo

      another thing is most young pitchers at this age would still be in the minors honing their craft, but joba’s been pitching against the best of the best, a lot of times in high leverage situations….and doing so well above average as well!

    • JP

      I disagree. Many, if not most, young pitchers (age 25-26 and under) pitching in the majors can’t get through 7 innings with 100 pitches on any regular basis.

      Batters are too smart today. They have the strategy of taking pitches and fouling off tough pitches down pat. Watch a game from the 70’s or 80’s and see how much more often batters swing at the first or second pitch.

      Joba is progressing fine as a starter.

      Folks, there is no problem, no need to send anyone to the minors or to the bullpen. If you do the math, the innings limits that we’ll be following with Hughes and Joba are such that we will not be able to finish the season with only 5 starters. Even if Wang were out for the season, at some point, both Hughes and Joba would have to be out of the rotation or miss a few starts, in order to stay under their limit. If Burnett or Pettitte miss some time with injury (not a far-fetched proposition), having Hughes/Joba/Wang will be a necessity, obviously.

      Just leave them all up there. Share the starts, rest the guys. For the next week or two, they can gradually build up Wang’s arm strength and confidence with relief appearances. If they think he’s ready for a start, then just sit Joba or Hughes one time through the rotation. See what happens…play it by ear.

      Joba and Hughes are Major League pitchers now. Unless one of them were to go Kennedy/Bucholz, it would be a mistake to send either one to the minors. And I’m not even going to dignify the Joba to the bullpen idea with a rebuttal…

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        I like the way you think, JP. Hughes has had some roadbumps, as we saw after his last stellar performance. Let’s see if he can string together some good starts. Let’s start using Wang out of the bullpen more often so he gets regular work. There’s no reason to jump on any kind of maneuver right now.

        One point I was keeping in my back pocket for the Joba argument above is that when you have a quality rotation, the bullpen becomes less important. The Yanks should be worried about pitching their five best guys in the rotation, not about some moves to appease certain players.

        • NHYankee62

          I agree wholeheartedly that it would be a tremendous waste of talent to put Joba in the pen.

          Alot of you may have noticed that Joba has developed a pretty good curveball. When he trusts it, it can be downright nasty. Now what happens if you move him to the pen?

          He’ll stop throwing the pitch and become a two-pitch pitcher.

          Just another example of what an absolute waste of talent it would be to give up on this kid and relegate him to the pen.

          Finally, I couldn’t care less about what some players are “supposedly” saying about wanting Joba back in the pen. What is this the National Enquirer? Even if that’s true, you don’t let the inmates run the asylum.

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

      Does that make him a dope, too?

      Yes, Ken Singleton is a dope. I love his announcing, but he’s a stupid dope if he really thinks the team should sacrifice Joba Chamberlain’s long tern development to plug a hole in the bullpen THAT ISN’T EVEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

  • Bo

    You may not like it but you better accept Joba to the pen because that’s where this train is headed. For better or worse. It all adds up for them. With Hughes pitching competently. Them wanting Wang in the rotation no matter what. Bruney out. Pen needing another arm. Jobas inconsistent starts. They are moving him to the pen. I think they’d be better off going out and getting a Street and letting Wang be the long man but Brian Cashman is a modern day Branch Rickey. He knows best. Sarcasm.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I’d appreciate it if you stopped parroting Francessa here.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      yeah let’s put a whole in our pitching rotation so Joba can pitch teh 8th!!!!!!
      Your logic is flawless.

    • kunaldo
  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    My only question is, what the hell am I going to do tomorrow night?

    Pommes frites and smooth, cool jazz, you uppity musician.

  • http://www.onedayonejob.com/ Willy

    I think that it’s ridiculous to say that Wang was shaky. Did you see how many swings and misses he got? I thought that his stuff looked great, even if he was a 1-3 MPH below what he should be throwing.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I always wanted Wang to turn into a strikeout guy. It’s never going to happen but it would be nice.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        I think there was one pitch on Gameday listed as a changeup. I’ve always said that if he can work a change into his repertoire, he’d enter a new level of nasty.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Yeah, if he could get a changeup with good drop, it could look enough like the sinker and be slow enough to induce a bunch of swings and misses.

        • JP

          Yup. But the changeup is a tough pitch to master, by my reckoning. Guys with bad changeups get hammered.

          You’d think Edwar could teach Mo and Wang his changeup, which is as good a changeup as I can remember seeing.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      I don’t. He didn’t look very comfortable in the eighth. In the ninth he looked much, much, much better.

      • http://www.onedayonejob.com/ Willy

        I think that you’re putting your qualitative opinion of “how he looked” over what he actually did in the inning. 4 of 11 pitches in the 8th inning were swings and misses. 3 of 15 in the 9th. That’s looks like a phenomenal 2 innings to me, even if it came at the tail end of the blow out. He threw strikes, he missed bats, he got 6 outs without letting anyone getting on base. I think that you’d have a very different opinion if it was Mo who threw those two innings.

        I’m not saying that Wang is back, but we couldn’t ask for a better bullpen performance from him. I mean, I’d love to see him thouch 94 and not allow a couple of line drives right at guys, but what does the guy have to do to “look comfortable?”

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          That’s fair enough. As I said, it was an observation. Clearly, the results were good.

  • Frank

    Let’s put the Joba to the pen argument to rest. I think one thing we can all agree on is Veras needs to not be part of the BP. Cut him loose and bring up Melancon. Watching Veras last night was the final straw. An 8 run lead and he can only manage 1 out on 23 pitches. I can’t understand why the Yanks are so vested in this guy.

    • V

      I’m not high on Veras either, but I do understand why they stick with him.

      http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/p.....007/448912

    • Chris

      They’re vested in him because he has no options left. If they could send him down, then I’m sure he would be in AAA already. Instead, they want to make sure that he’s really toast before giving up on him.

      • JohnnyC

        Also, he has no trade value if you never use him. (They were able to trade Latroy Hawkins, although Hawkins had a much longer track record than Veras where some team would take a calculated gamble) Girardi is trying to get him some PT in non-stress situations in order to improve his stats. Unfortunately, Veras and his godawful mechanics aren’t cooperating.

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

          (They were able to trade Latroy Hawkins, although Hawkins had a much longer track record than Veras where some team would take a calculated gamble.)

          We also traded Hawkins for the rough equivalent of a bag of baseballs, FWIW. 23 year old Matt Cusick isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire in High-A.

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

    My only question is, what the hell am I going to do tomorrow night?

    River Ave. Hookers.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      This is the best forgotten meme on RAB.

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

        You’re a creepy effeminate pencil-necked socialist beancounter with tarnished credibility who only posts for the intelligent fans.

        /meme mashup

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          I think you should make a YouTube video explaining (in a deliberate manner) all the memes on RAB.

          “I-E-T-C. I. Enjoyed. This. Comment”

    • matt s.

      I wish YES could show some minor league action. It is the yankee network, is that too much to ask for?

  • JP

    TSJC wrote: Like my grandaddy likes to say, the less a man makes declarative statements, the less apt he is to look foolish in retrospect.

    And like my Mama said, “when a man avoids making declarative statements too often, he looks like an indecisive, hedging, wussy, panty waist.”

    Sometimes, ya gotta take a stand.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Just know what you’re talking about, and have some facts to back your position up. The guys who are a joke are the ones who haven’t done their homework and/or haven’t thought things through.