Last night’s game was frustrating to watch on the out of town scoreboard — constantly seeing men on base with none out. I can’t imagine what it was like to see it in person. They just have to put it behind them and concentrate on tonight, when they’ll have a chance to take the series from the Rays.
They’ll have to do it against Matt Garza, who is again having a fine season for the Rays. He’s doing it in a bit different fashion than last year, though. Both his walk and strikeout rates are up, but his strikeouts to a greater degree than walks. It’s actually helped him go a little deeper into games, as he averaged just over six innings per game last year and is up to six and a half (whatever the hell a half inning is) this year.
In terms of stuff, Garza seems in the same place he was last year. His two main pitches, fastball and slider, are right around the same speed. The difference, is that he’s throwing the fastball a bit less frequently, but not dramatically so. This has led him to throw his slider and curveball more, the curveball especially, going from 7 percent of his pitches last season to 11 this year. He’s also cooled it on the changeup, throwing it just 4.4 percent of the time this year, to 7.9 percent last year.
Garza has pitched twice against the Yanks this year. In his first appearance, on my birthday, he allowed just two runs over seven innings, striking out nine. Too bad A.J. Burnett had an even better game. The second appearance came on June 7, wherein Garza tossed 96 pitches through five innings, causing an early exit. He did allow only one run, though, but the relievers allowed three and that was enough for the Yanks. He’s coming off a nine-inning, 116-pitch, two-run, nine-strikeout performance against the Blue Jays.
The Yanks will counter with Joba Chamberlain, who has been brilliant over his last two starts, lasting 6.2 and 7 innings, and racking up a combined 14 strikeouts. The six walks are a bit concerning, but he’s also held opponents to three and two hits in that span, and allowed just one run in each game. Joba’s been unleashing the heat, and it’s paying off.
There’s no word on a roster move, probably because there will be none. CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler tweets that the Yanks have interest in recently-DFA Josh Anderson. He could fill in until Gardner returns. He’s certainly not going to light the world on fire, but he’s better than Terrence Long.
And on the mound, number sixty-two, Joba Chamberlain.