Joba Chamberlain takes the hill, trying for his fifth straight win after a sub-par outing against Boston last Thursday. He walked seven and threw 108 pitches in five innings. Now the extra three days of rest may have been part of the reason for all the walks (though he pitched well on eight days of rest after the All-Star Break), but with the addition of facing the (at the time) undefeated Red Sox, he may have been over-amped.
Anyway, Joba's hasn't pitched too well at home, often being victimized by the rightfield porch. Of his nine Yankee Stadium homers allowed, six have been of the 'just enough' variety (as determined by HitTracker: "These are the ones that barely made it over the fence."), compared to one 'just enough' homer on the road. He has very strange splits -
Home: 3-2, 4.60 ERA, 60.2 ip, 60 K, 38 BB, 59 H, 1.60 WHIP, 9 HR
Road: 5-0, 2.78 ERA, 55 ip, 42 K, 19 BB, 55 H, 1.29 WHIP, 6 HR
Joba has a better K rate at home, but also a higher walk rate. Combined with the 'just enough' homers, it may mean he's scared of giving up a Yankee Stadium Special, and hence trying to strikeout more hitters, leading to more walks and higher pitch counts. He has to get past that fear (and keep the ball down) and not be afraid of throwing hittable pitches; that's when he's at his best.
His last game against Toronto was during his poor stretch before the ASB - he gave up eight runs (three earned) in 3.2 ip.
Opposing him is RHP Scott Richmond, who got destroyed by the Yankees in May (1.2 ip, 5 er) in his only game against the Bombers. He's making his second start after a DL stint with 'right shoulder tendinitis' that sidelined him for a month.
08/11/09 7:05 PM EDT
|Toronto Blue Jays||New York Yankees|
|Marco Scutaro - SS||Derek Jeter - SS|
|Aaron Hill - 2B||Johnny Damon - LF|
|Adam Lind - LF||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Lyle Overbay - 1B||Alex Rodriguez - 3B|
|Vernon Wells - CF||Hideki Matsui - DH|
|Randy Ruiz - DH||Jorge Posada - C|
|Edwin Encarnacion - 3B||Robinson Cano - 2B|
|Rod Barajas - C||Eric Hinske - RF|
|Joe Inglett - RF||Melky Cabrera - CF|