Today, for the first time in over a year, Joba Chamberlain will pitch out of the bullpen. You might think this saddens us at RAB, who firmly believe Joba should get every chance as a starter — and that every chance extends beyond his first full season with the gig. This move, however, makes all the sense in the world. The Yanks could need a fourth starter* in the ALCS and World Series, so it’s better to keep Joba working, rather than sitting him for a whole series.
* They might not even need a fourth starter in the ALCS, if they’re willing to pitch CC once on three days’ rest. There’s an off-day after that, so they could then pitch Pettitte, Burnett, and CC on regular rest in Games 5, 6, and 7.
A.J. Burnett will try to pitch better in his final tune-up than Sabathia and Pettitte, but it really doesn’t matter. He’ll have Jose Molina behind the dish, and unless Girardi is setting up one enormous smoke screen, it appears that this will also be the Game 2 or 3 battery.
The A-lineup, minus Posada, gets a look today, though they’ll probably only get two to three at bats each. The team is still tied with the 04 squad for most home runs by a Yankee team, and Mark Teixeira is still tied with Carlos Pena for the AL lead in home runs. C’mon, Mark. Just get it done.
1. Derek Jeter, SS
2. Johnny Damon, LF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, DH
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Melky Cabrera, CF
9. Jose Molina, C
And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett.