June 1, 2009

Joba & seventh inning outburst too much for Tribe

Seagulls were not the only ones flying in Progressive Field on national television.  Joba Chamberlain pitched eight strong innings and the Yankees (30-21) scored four in the seventh to beat the Indians (22-31) 5-2, while also setting a major league record.

Quick ‘Cap: 
Nick Swisher provided all the offense Joba would need, starting with a run-scoring double play in the third (he was safe at first, but called out).  Chamberlain made his only mistake pitch of the night in the fourth to Victor Martinez (the Indians’ only major threat in the lineup).

The unexpected lift off from Progessive Field came in the bottom of the fifth in a first and second, no out situation.  Kelly Shoppach popped up a bunt down the third base line, prompting Joba scurry off the mound and make a diving full-extension catch.  After catching the ball inches before it hit the ground of the slow-motion leap, Joba doubled off Ryan Garko at second base.  Joba topped it off with a big shouting fist pump, and deservingly so.

Indians reliever Greg Aquino pitched his way out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the sixth unscathed, but the Yankees weren’t so kind to him the next time he loaded the bases.  In the seventh, three straight batters were walked for the second inning in a row, and Swisher doubled high off the wall in left field to score two.  After Mark Teixeira was intentionally walked and our old friend Luis Vizcaino was called from the bullpen, Alex Rodriguez hit grounder just past the shortstop’s glove to score two more runs.

Prior to Monday night’s game, the longest Joba had pitched in a major league game was seven innings – a feat he accomplished on April 29.  Joba allowed a run in the seventh, but continued into the eighth and had no trouble.  Mariano Rivera made some sweet defensive plays, as he did his thing in the ninth.  The flawless Yankees defense set the major league record for most consecutive game without an error with 18 in a row.  During that stretch, the Yanks are 14-4 and have allowed 3.6 runs per game (2.5 runs lower than the prior RPG).  Full box score here.

The Yankees are really on a roll right now.  I can’t remember the last time I have seen a Yankees club play as good as this one.  The only weakness I can pick out is middle relief, but everything else has been spot on.  Joba may have finally shut up the “Joba to the pen” chanters (I’m hoping), and the rest of the rotation has been more than respectable.

Noteworthy Performances: 
- Swisher’s two RBI skewed his home-road stats even more than before: 28 of his 31 RBI have come on the road. 
- Chamberlain’s lengthy performance couldn’t have come at a better time.  David Robertson is the only reliable one-inning pitcher pitcher, and he pitched the previous two nights.

Up Next: 
The Yanks ended the road trip with a 5-2 record and hold a full one-game lead over the Red Sox.  The Rangers will visit the Bronx and send out Vicente Padilla (3-2, 4.71) to counter A.J. Burnett (3-2, 4.78).

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP