Yanks, Joba Embarrass Themselves 7-1

Honestly, this has to be one of the five worst losses of the season in my opinion.  The Yanks were facing a pitcher in Snell whom they had battered, who was averaging six walks per nine innings, and a team with the worst offense in the American League that had scored 270 fewer runs, and hit 27 points lower than the league-leading Yankees entering today.  Yet thanks to letting the erratic Snell off the hook in the first, then having Joba follow it up by allowing seven runs in the first two innings, the Yanks ran for the bus with a weak 7-1 loss today.  New York had first and second with no outs in the first, yet failed to score or even advance the runners.  Joba then allowed two two-out runs in the first, then collapsed in the second and allowed five more.  Not much more to say than that, or much more point in delving into the ugly details of this wretch.

I will add this, however: I would seriously put it to Joba that he needs to earn his spot in 2010 or be sent down to SWB to learn to get batters out again, to develop other pitches, and to mature as a pitcher and person.  He has unquestionably regressed, apparently has some mechanical issues that Girardi acknowledged as a “hitch” in his delivery, and is not helping the team right now.  Both Hughes and Kennedy have gone to SWB and returned, with Hughes developing the ability to get batters out and pitching great as a reliever.  Should Joba not regain some focus, he might well end up demoted.  I would certainly issue that threat.

While the Yanks are on the verge of a playoff berth, and that is great, things are not a foregone conclusion right now.  With the Yanks losing and Boston and the Angels winning, the Yanks are four up in the loss column in the East, and five ahead of the Angels.  Boston has won 10 of 11 and played great of late, cutting into the Yanks’ lead.  Now, after playing poorly against Baltimore and Seattle, the Yanks head to Anaheim for three very important games.  Winning two of three would be excellent, especially since Boston faces KC for four.  That reference to Boston’s light schedule finish, the Yanks have had some tough and some easier opponents down the stretch.  Baltimore got rolled by Boston, yet beat the Yanks two of three.  Seattle has an anemic offense, yet beat the Yanks two of three.  I am only so willing to entertain arguments about Boston’s easier schedule when the Yanks played poorly against teams against whom they should at least have won the series.  That would have placed the Yanks six games in the loss column ahead of Boston.

There are 12 games to play, and the Yanks have the lead.  That’s good.  Yet they need to stay focused, play better ball, and find a way to win two in Anaheim.  Their fate is in their hands, period.  They have played very well for a few months, but it is time to stop screwing around and start clinching.

[Edit: Shame on me for failing to mention the yeoman’s work that Sergio Mitre did in relief yesterday, throwing five scoreless innings of one-hit ball to spare the rest of the pen before the big series with the Angels.  Despite being a bad loss, it was not a total loss.]

Published in: on September 20, 2009 at 7:04 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The last thing the Yanks need is Boston within breathing room (only 1 or 2 back) when that 3-game series starts next weekend.

    Don’t give them life.

    Time to lower the boom. They need to take 2 of 3 from those pesky Angels.

  2. Agreed all around, Mike.

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