So much for quality starting pitching to rival Boston’s staff…
Matthew West/Boston Herald
There was a time this season where you could trust the starters, but had to worry about the bullpen. My, how times changed! Suddenly, Joba Chamberlain has become the starting rotation’s version of Jose Veras, and Andy Pettitte is its Damaso Marte.
Sunday’s game turned out well (a win), but it was Joba’s worst outing yet. He couldn’t get out of the 4th inning, and gave up 8 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk. Fortunately, for Joba’s ERA, only 3 of the 8 runs were earned. But games are won or lost on runs, earned or unearned, and Joba gave up a lot of them. He threw 86 pitches in 3 2/3 innings, and failed in his 9th try to win at the new Yankee Stadium. To me, Joba isn’t improving each time out and he is not even forcing the “to the pen” chants to percolate, but rather he looks like is auditioning for a possible future start in Scranton/Wilkes Barre or Trenton.
The Yankees have been very fortunate for Alfredo Aceves to find his niche in long relief and prove he is the guy the Yankees have been seeking for years to replace Ramiro Mendoza. Aceves’ four innings of one-hit, scoreless relief allowed the Yanks’ comeback to stand, as they beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-8. Aceves picked up his first save of the season in relief of Jonathan Albaladejo, who picked up the win.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
All-Star starting shortstop Derek Jeter had four hits and delivered the key go-ahead two-run homer in the bottom of the 5th inning.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
Monday, on the other hand, did not turn out so well. After a solid outing in his last start, Andy returned to his inconsistent ways. By the top of the 7th inning, the Blue Jays had built a 7-1 lead against Pettitte and Brian Bruney. Pettitte gave up 6 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings. He walked 3 Toronto batters.
Chris Faytok/The Star Ledger
The Yankees attempted to rally, scoring 5 runs over the final 3 innings. However, with the tying run on first in the 9th inning, Eric Hinske struck out to end the game as the Yankees fell to the Jays, 7-6. To Hinske’s defense, he had homered earlier in the game and also had several outstanding defensive plays in right. So, the loss cannot be saddled on Hinske. But Pettitte? He gets full credit for this loss. Well, Derek Jeter’s failed attempt to swipe third didn’t help. Tag or no tag, it was a bad play on DJ’s part…
I am definitely concerned about both Chamberlain and Pettitte, and both guys need to get it together. With Chien-Ming Wang on the DL, the Yankees cannot afford for the only source of consistency to come from CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. Plus, CC has not performed like the ace he is paid, so that places even more pressure on the back half of the rotation.
When Girardi stretched Aceves out to four innings and let him close out Sunday’s game, I suspected that he was giving Aceves for length for a possible start. Sure enough, Aceves will start on Thursday against the Minnesota Twins. I was probably more in favor of bringing up Sergio Mitre, but if the Yankees feel that Wang will be back in a month, then perhaps Aceves is the best option. But long-term, I’d hate to lose the long relief star.
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Tonight, the Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins, 10-2. CC finally pitched like the ace he is, and he only gave up three hits and one run in 7 innings of work. So, the streak of poor starting pitching is over. Hopefully, Chamberlain and Pettitte will follow CC’s lead as we move into the second half of the season…
In addition to Derek Jeter, the 2009 American League All-Stars will include Mark Teixeira at first base. Mariano Rivera was among the pitchers selected. Congratulations to DJ, Tex and Mo!
The Toronto Blue Jays have indicated that they’ll entertain offers for pitcher Roy Halladay, 32. I’d be very surprised if the Jays dealt with either the Yankees or the Red Sox. If they did, I am sure that the price would be significantly greater than what, say, the Philadelphia Phillies would have to pay. But a note to Jays’ GM J.P. Ricciardi, if you receive a phone call from someone named Epstein with a 617 or 857 area code, don’t answer it. It’s probably just an annoying sales call! 😉
It sounds like Francisco Cervelli is headed back to Scranton/Wilkes Barre, possibly tomorrow, to make room for the returning Jose Molina. Bummer, I will definitely miss Cisco’s energy and hustle. He had definitely made his mark on the team, and hopefully, he’ll be back sooner rather than later…
There is no love lost as the Yankees play their final series in the Metrodome. The Twins will move to their new home, Target Field, in downtown Minneapolis next spring. Now, if the Vikings could only figure out a way to get out of the Metrodome…
Sorry Julia, it’s still just one game…