Joba rises to the occasion
Feeling better about the idea of Joba Chamberlain as the fourth starter in the postseason? The Yankees probably are. Chamberlain appeared back in form on Friday, firing six innings of three-run ball to log his first victory in a span of eight starts.
It must have helped to know that the ‘Joba Rules’ restrictions were finally relaxed and he was free to throw as many as 90 pitches — Chamberlain got to 86 and that was plenty as the Yankees coasted to a 9-5 victory over the Red Sox.
“You’ve just got to challenge yourself,” Chamberlain said. “There come points in your career when you’ve got to look yourself in the mirror and make an adjustment. I was at the point where I needed to do that, and it’s something I’ve had to learn at a young age, to do that quick.”
While the Yankees were in Anaheim, Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland sat down with Chamberlain and looked into his eyes. Girardi said that it wasn’t a reading of the riot act, but the point was made that the Yankees needed to see better results.
“We just had a discussion that we knew he was capable of pitching better and that we need to see him pitch better,” Girardi said.
It doesn’t seem like the outing will make the Yankees want to push Chamberlain into the American League Division Series, but they’ll need him if they get to the next rounds. This should make them feel better about that idea.