I'll leave the plunking of Bay aside for a moment. Once he settled down after a rough first inning, Joba was flat out incredible. He finished with 12 K's, including 8 STRAIGHT at one point.
So can we please, finally, put the "Joba-should-be-an-8th-inning pitcher" crap to rest?
Pete Abe has some good live-blogging quotes:
- UPDATE, 8:20 p.m.: I’m sure the put-Joba-in-the-bullpen chuckleheads enjoyed the first inning. Meanwhile, he has struck out seven of the last 11 batters he has faced. This just in: He’s not going to be Bob Gibson every inning. He’s 23 and in his first full year as a big league starter. He’s figuring it all out. Give him a chance. He could be great. Not good, great.
- UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: Witness and behold Joba Chamberlain, who is filthy as filthy can be these last four innings. He has fanned 10 of the last 16 batters he has faced, eight of them looking.
Word around the league was that Chamberlain could not throw his slider for a strike and to lay off it. That is no longer the case.
Anybody who wants to waste this kid in the bullpen is clinically stupid.
- UPDATE, 9:08 p.m: The last time a Yankee fanned 12 was Mike Mussina on May 7, 2007 at Seattle. The last Yankee to K 12 in the Boogie Down was Moose on Sept. 24, 2002.
But by all means, let’s use him in the eighth inning. That way he can strike out three guys.
I will note this, too, from my limited observations of the team this year: they do seem to be pitching on the inside half more than I have seen in prior years. An organizational committment to recapture that part of the zone, perhaps?