Hi all, Sam here. Looking forward to a more formal “re-introduction” next week (though thanks to all who have emailed already), but since I wrote about Joba last night (as you can see in the post below), I thought I’d give you a little detail to pass the time until the game post goes up.
Neither Joe Girardi nor Joba were interested in offering many details about the conversations that took place between pitcher and manager/coaches after Joba’s last start out out west, and that wasn’t surprising. Girardi danced around the subject several times in his post-game press conference and Joba wasn’t exactly forthcoming in his own meeting with the media. But he did admit that Girardi/Dave Eiland hammered home the point that it was getting to be do-or-die time.
“It’s kind of the same concept” as in the past, Joba said, “but it was a little more stern.”
Apparently “stern” worked, as Joba had the kind of outing he needed. As he said afterward, “there are a lot of people in this game that want your job” and his consistent inconsistency had him on the verge of slipping off the Yankees’ October radar. Instead, he gave them six solid innings, showed good command of his breaking pitches and seemed to be on the same page with Jorge Posada the entire night. To me, that cohesiveness was as important as anything else since the pitcher-catcher relationship is so important in the playoffs – there’s no time for in-fighting in October.
As he was getting ready to leave, someone pointed to the championship belt the Yankees pass around and asked Joba what he thought about seeing it in his locker.
“Man,” he said. “Now that looks really good right there.”
Obviously everyone wants to know what this start means for the future and, at this point, all we know for sure is that Joba will pitch again on Wednesday against the Royals. After that, it’s very possible he’ll see the Red Sox again … in Game 4 of the ALCS.
“This is an important time of year and we told him we needed him to step up,” Girardi said. “And he did that.”