June 7 Tampa Bay
Synopsis: Joba turns in a quality start, allowing three runs through six. Had one run headed into the sixth, but the Rays went single-happy, hitting three in the inning to go with a walk and give Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead. Yanks recover in eighth, taking ball four off Grant Balfour to retake the lead. Joba gets a no decision.
Pitches – Strikes: 100 – 56 (56%)
Breakdown: 54 fastballs, 29 curveballs, 12 sliders, 5 changes
Average and Max FB: 92, 95.4
Notes: Not a great strike percentage with the fastball (52%), and the curve was only 55%. Velocity is okay, not great. Still, the bigger issue remains throwing strikes. Not that we need any fancy breakdowns to know that. He also seems to favor one breaking pitch each outing. This one was curve heavy. We’ve seen plenty of slider heavy games.
June 12 Mets
Synopsis: Joba’s inability to throw strikes leads him to build up 100 pitches through four innings. Short outing forces Brett Tomko into the game, who allows four runs while recording only two outs. Yanks come back, but Coke blows it. Mo allows go-ahead run, but Luis Castillo drops the ball. All is forgiven. Except Joba’s performance.
Pitches – Strikes: 100-52 (52%)
Breakdown: 69 fastballs, 20 sliders, 5 curves, 5 changes, 1 two-seamer
Average and Max FB: 91.87, 94.8
Notes: Joba clearly didn’t have his best stuff, as his average fastball was under 92. It was another slider game, but again he just didn’t throw the fastball for strikes.
B stuff + two pitches + horrible control = horrible start. Joba allowed only two runs, but he exposed Tomko, which is bad.
June 18 Washington
Synopsis: Another quality start, though again Joba puts up the bare minimum. Commits the cardinal sin by walking in a run. Offense can’t muster a run off Cy Stammen and the shutdown Nationals bullpen and lose the game 3-0. Fanbase embarrassed.
Pitches – Strikes: 100 – 60 (60%) — three in a row at exactly 100
Breakdown: 64 fastballs, 17 sliders, 12 curves, 7 changes
Average and Max FB: 92, 95.6
Notes: We’ve seen Joba around 92 for a while, and the results seem to be predictable. If he more or less throws over 55 percent strikes, he’ll be OK. If he loses his command, he’ll be less than okay. His best starts Feature his fastball at 93, 94, a decent number of strikes, and usually a better mix of his pitches. Minus the walking in a run, this one wasn’t too bad.
June 24 @ Atlanta
Synopsis: Joba pitches into the seventh, but a single, error, and RBI single chase him from the game after recording just one out. Was he tiring? Considering how rarely he’s seen the seventh this year, it’s a possibility. Coke allowed an inherited runner to score, but Yanks hold on and finish off the Braves. Oh, and Joba also hit a line drive right into the opposing pitcher’s neck and took him out of the game. He was perfect through three. The next guy came in and gave up three runs.
Pitches – Strikes: 99 – 68 (68%)
Breakdown: 66 fastballs, 18 sliders, 11 curves, 3 changes
Average and Max FB: 92, 95.6
Notes: See what happens when you throw strikes? You go deeper into the game, and eventually if you can pitch into the seventh you’ll have the stamina to get through it. All in all a good start for Joba, though again we’re just not seeing anything close to the fastball we saw last year. A few mph decrease is fine if he’s trying to get some movement on the pitch and save his shoulder. This dropoff, though, is a bit more than that.
June 30 Mariners
Synopsis: Joba throws way too many pitches in the fifth and only gets two batters into the sixth. Other than that inning he was fine, but other than that one part, I’m sure Lincoln had a good time at the play. Yanks come back off Chris Jakubauskas and Sean White and take the series opener.
Pitches – Strikes: 96 – 55 (57%)
Breakdown: 67 fastballs, 20 sliders, 8 curves, 1 change
Average and Max FB: 92, 95
Notes: He threw only 55 percent strikes with his slider, which would indicate that he wasn’t getting many swings and misses, or at least as many as he usually does. Throws almost 60 percent strikes with his fastball, which is good for him. All in all, a pretty unremarkable start.
This was a pretty ho-hum set of starts for Joba. Maybe it’s because they’re all starting to look the same. Sometimes he has some better control and is a little better. Sometimes he can’t find the zone and is bad. For the most part he’s at 92 with his fastball, picks a primary breaking pitch and sticks with it. Unfortunately, being patient means waiting more than a couple of months for a young pitcher to develop. Still, his steep drop off in velocity is certainly a concern.
Tomorrow we’ll go over the last two. I can’t wait to see the comments section on that one.