Sorry, couldn’t resist.
The Yanks go for the sweep today up in Seattle after riding some quality pitching (and a little bit o’ offense) to victories in the first three contests. Things just seem to be falling the Bombers’ way lately, and they’ll look to continue that today against rookie Doug Fister. They’ll send their young, controversial phenom Joba Chamerlain to finish the job.
Like Chamberlain, Fister was selected in the 2006 draft, in the seventh round by the Mariners. The 6’8″ righty wasn’t especially impressive, by the numbers, in college or the minors, posting ERAs around or above 4.00 most of the way. He did demonstrate good control in the minors, though, and likely earned his call-up due to his 0.9 walks per nine at AAA Tacoma this year. Yet that’s not without side effect. Fister has averaged over 10 walks per nine most of his minor league career, so perhaps it’s a case, as the cliche goes, of him throwing “too many” strikes.
This will be Fister’s second major league start. His first came on August 11 against the White Sox, in which he allowed no runs and one hit over six innings. That sounds impressive, but he did walk four along the way. That would seem to run contra to his minor league track record. He also had one relief appearance earlier this month, in which he allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out one in a scoreless frame.
Fister, according to the limited data in his FanGraphs page, is a fastball-changeup guy, tossing the fastball at about 88 mph and the changeup at 80. He also has a slider and a curve, which he has broken out less often. Still, even an 88 mph fastball from a dude that high can sneak up on you. We’ll see how his delivery affects a hitter’s perspective.
Joba had a hot and cold start last time out, pitching well most of the time but succumbing to the big inning. His control seemed a bit off, something we’ve seen from him this season, but he recovered to pitch a decent six innings, which set up the Yanks to take the game with a few big late hits.
What followed was a week of Joba. We discussed the Joba plan, though we don’t know exactly what it entails beyond spreading out his starts and keeping him active for the playoffs. This will be his last start for eight days, as the Yanks will use their two off-days this week to skip him completely, lining him up to pitch Tuesday at home against the Rangers. And no, the Yankees are not babying him.
Matsui’s day to day with fluid in his knees. This was inevitable at some point. Might as well DH Hinske in two out of three A’s games and give Matsui a little break before heading to Fenway.
And on the mound, number sixty-two, Joba Chamberlain.