Joba Chamberlain Leads New York Yankees to Sweep of Detroit Tigers

July 19, 2009   ·     ·   Jump to comments
Article Source: Bleacher Report - New York Yankees

I couldn’t blame Dean Euewhndsj for questioning my prediction on Friday that Joba Chamberlain and the Yankees would beat Edwin Jackson and the Tigers by a score of 2-1 on Sunday.  After all, Joba had a 7.88 ERA and failed to reach the sixth inning in his previous two starts. 

But I felt Chamberlain would turn things around against Detroit because he pitched one of his best games of the year in an 8-6 win over the Tigers on April 29.  In that contest, he gave up just one run and three hits in seven innings and the entire Detroit roster was a mere 5-for-33 against Joba entering Sunday.

Well, the young right-hander once again tamed the Tigers by surrendering just one run on three hits, three walks and a hit batsman in 6.2 innings.  He struck out eight en route to his first victory since June 24 against Atlanta.

It was also Chamberlain’s best performance at the new Yankee Stadium, where he was 0-2 with a 5.36 ERA prior to Sunday.

Here are the grades from New York’s 2-1 victory over the Detroit Tigers.


Joe Girardi, Manager: (A) The skipper could have gone with Andy Pettitte in the finale against Detroit and held Joba until Monday versus the Baltimore Orioles, but it was wise to get Chamberlain’s confidence up by pitching him against a team he’s had a great deal of success against. 

The decision was probably also made in order to split up the Yankees’ two lefties, Pettitte and CC Sabathia.

The official reason for Johnny Damon not starting might’ve been because he was nursing a sore back, but I think his 3-for-22 career against Jackson had something to do with it also.

Despite the fact that they went 0-for-6 on Sunday, I also agree with starting Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera because they were a combined 17-for-51 against Jackson entering the game.


Derek Jeter, SS: (F) The captain had been 11-for-27 versus Jackson, but he went 0-4 with two strikeouts in this one.

Brett Gardner, CF: (D+) Gardner was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Mark Teixeira, 1B: (A+)
Tex picked up his 24th double and 23rd homer, the latter of which gave the Yanks the lead for good in the sixth.

Alex Rodriguez, 3B: (A+)
A-Rod continued his domination of Jackson, going 2-for-4 with a game-tying home run in the fourth.  Rodriguez is now 9-for-22 with nine RBIs against the Tigers’ right-hander.

Hideki Matsui, DH: (C)
Godzilla was 0-for-2 with a strikeout, but he walked twice.

Jorge Posada, C: (A-)
Posada doubled and walked but committed his fifth error of the season on a wild throw on Curtis Granderson’s steal.

Robinson Cano, 2B: (F)
Cano continues to struggle with runners in scoring position.  He left five men on base and is now hitting just .204 with RISP.

Nick Swisher, RF: (C-)
Swisher was walked, hit by a pitch and struck out.  He also should’ve been charged with an error when he misplayed Granderson’s single into a triple in right field.

Melky Cabrera, CF: (F)
Cabrera was 0-for-3 and grounded into a double play.

Joba Chamberlain, SP: (A)
Chamberlain had been having difficulty wriggling out of trouble lately—something he excelled at last year and early this season—but the skill returned on Sunday.  Joba escaped a two on, one out jam in the first and a first and third, one out pickle in the fifth.  He also struck out five of the last six men he faced.

Chamberlain is now 5-2 with a 4.05 ERA (24th best in the AL) and the Yankees are 12-6 in his starts this season.  In his career as a starter, he is 8-3 with a 3.52 ERA and New York is 20-10 in those games.

Can we all stop comparing him to Phil Hughes (8-9, 5.22 as a starter) and Mariano Rivera (3-3, 5.94 as a starter) and just let him pitch?

Phil Coke, RP: (A) Coke threw one pitch and got Granderson to line out to short to end the seventh.

Phil Hughes, RP: (A)
Isn’t it laughable to think back to those critics who thought it was a crime to pull Joba from the eighth inning because “no one would be able to dominate like him.”  Even a guy with a 5.22 ERA as a starter can get three outs in the eighth.

Mariano Rivera, RP: (A)
And a guy with a 5.94 ERA as a starter can retire three of four batters in the ninth.

Yankees Overall Grade: (B+)
Just two runs on five hits, but Joba and the pen did their job as New York swept Detroit for the first time in four years.  The Yanks are now just one game back of the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East.

Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison.

Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report’s New York Yankees Community Leader. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.

Jordan can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com

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