Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Shut Up! Just Shut Up!

Joe Girardi, have we not learned a damned thing?

Is it really necessary at this point to reveal every detail about the franchise's plans for Joba Chamberlain this season. Wasn't the fiasco created by the "Joba Rules" in 2007 lesson enough to not repeat that mistake?

I went to bed Tuesday night quite pleased after Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada hit back-to-back homers in the eighth to rally the Yankees to a 7-5 victory over the Jays at Yankee Stadium to remain 5-1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox in AL East.

Those good feelings quickly disappeared as I was driving into work and listened WFAN's Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton discussing the 39 innings Joba appears to have remaining to pitch this season, according the New York Post.

That means Joba likely has only seven starts at most left to make this season, three or four in the regular season if Joba is going to pitch in the postseason. He will not be going back to the bullpen.

Why would Girardi reveal the details of the Joba Plan now, before the Aug. 31 trade deadline after keeping it top secret all year?

It makes no sense and was unnecessary. Though the specifics weren't known, it wasn't a secret that Joba has an innings limit, and in the past week, general manager Brian Cashman said the team would start pushing back or skipping Joba in the rotation in order to allow him to pitch as a starter in the postseason. Chad Gaudin will start Sunday and Joba pushed back.

Look, I'm not against a plan to limit Joba's inning and nurture his development. Unlike Boomer and Carton, I've actually heard of the Verducci Effect and understand it. I applaud the franchise's decision to protect this talented 23-year-old and his powerful right arm. It absolutely is the right thing to do.

But by announcing what that limit is Tuesday, Girardi may have hampered Cashman's ability to swing another waiver-wire move to help bolster the rotation and fill the void left by the Joba Plan. Other teams may now perceive the Yankees as needing to acquire another arm and could try to jack up the price, hoping to play on any perceived desperation.

This announcement should have and could have waited.

What a way to spoil was was a pretty good win!

Joba was better last night, but by no means anywhere close to the domination we saw coming out of the All-Star break. He allowed four runs on five hits and two walks in six innings. He struck out five, threw 64 of 103 pitches and really pitched well outside of the third inning, when he allowed Lyle Overbay's two-out, bases-loaded, three-run double that tied the score at 3.

The other run scored on Randy Ruiz's leadoff homer in the fourth that gave the Jays a 4-3 lead.

But there was no way the Yankees' offense was going to be shut down in the late innings for a second straight night.

Matsui led off the eighth with an absolute monster shot off Jesse Carlson and Posada followed with fly that just eluded Joe Inglett's glove and reached the stands for a 5-4 lead. It was the third straight game the Yankees have gone back-to-back.

Melky Cabrera and Johnny Damon tacked on RBI singles and that was more than enough for Mariano Rivera, who picked up his 33rd save despite allowing his first run since June 12 on Edwin Encarnacion's homer.

Too bad that good feeling was spoiled by Girardi's loose lips.

Runners In Scoring Position
4-for-9 (.444)
276-for-1,059 (.261)
First Half
217-for-819 (.265)
Second Half
60-for-238 (.252)
Since A-Rod's Return May 8
211-for-787 (.268)
Vs. Red Sox
20-for-126 (.159)

Up Next
Wednesday vs Jays, 1:05 p.m., YES
Ricky Romero (10-5, 3.66 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.67)

Burnett is coming off that brilliant start against Josh Beckett in Friday's 2-0, 15-inning win vs. the Sox. Hopefully he can keep pitching well and keep the good vibes going by winning the series against the Jays.

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