According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Joba Chamberlain’s 10 decisions (7-3) through his first 29 career starts are the fewest in Major League history. I’m not sure how to interpret that. But there you go.
As to what counts, Joba has one victory since June 1 and a 5.05 ERA. “It’s frustrating. I’m letting my teammates down. It’s kind of embarrassing, too,” he said. “At the end of the day, we have the second half (of the season) to get better. You can’t change the past.”
But there is also some denial. If you listen to his postgame interview session:
Joba says three times that his stuff and mechanics in the last two starts were the best he has had this season. Here is his line in those two starts:
8 innings, 18 hits, 13 runs, 7 earned runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 3 home runs. Those unearned runs are a bad sign. Fielders get bored and lazy working behind an inefficient pitcher. When the starter is nibbling and shaking off pitches and getting knocked around, it infects everybody else.
If that’s his best stuff, that is a problem. I asked Joba what the issue was if in fact he was throwing his best stuff.
“If I had an answer for you, it would probably be a lot easier,” he said. “I felt I’ve been better in the last two but we came up against some good ball clubs. They hit mistakes and that is what they’re supposed to do.”
I’m also getting a sense that his teammates are tired of the “well, I threw the ball pretty well” stuff and the flood of Nuke LaLoosh cliches. The Yankees are about accountability and results, not trying hard. Anybody can try hard.
“You have to work your tail off,” Chamberlain said. “But the sun will come out tomorrow. I’ll be the same person I was before.”
Well, the sun will come out in Scranton, too. At some point the Yankees can’t let a starter go five innings every time.
WFAN’s Sweeny Murti asked Girardi whether Joba should be working out his issues in the majors. “I think so,” he said.
That Girardi didn’t dismiss the notion out of hand should tell you something. Joba is scheduled to pitch the third game after the break against Detroit, a team he pitched very well against in April. That start could determine how long the Yankees are going to leave him in the rotation.
Derek Jeter didn’t offer an excuse for dropping that pop-up in the seventh inning. He could not remember ever having done that before. “I just dropped it,” he said “I used two hands, too.”
Meanwhile, Jorge Posada caught a foul pop bare-handed when in the same inning when Chone Figgins accidentally knocked the glove off his hand.
“I wasn’t trying to show (Jeter) up,” Posada said with a little smile.