Can we agree that Yankee fans are spoiled?
We are, and we feel we deserve to be.
We get pissed off with every reliever who blows a lead because we're used to the most automatic closer in history. We get impatient with every league average position player because we're used to fielding 9 of the top 20 hitters in the league (see Spencer, Shane; Ledee, Ricky).
And we get frustrated with 23 year old starters who struggle in their first full season starting (3rd professional season overall).
Joba Chamberlain (23): IP, 1.5 WHIP, 94 ERA+, 7.6 K/9
The possible 4th starters for the other teams in the playoff hunt:
Matsuzaka (28): 46.1IP, 2.0 WHIP, 69 ERA+, 8.5 K/9
Buchholz (24): 77.1IP, 1.4 WHIP, 135 ERA+, 5.8 K/9
Washburn (34): 176IP, 1.2 WHIP, 115 ERA+, 5.1 K/9
Bonine (28): 22.2 IP, 1.6 WHIP, 98 ERA+, 5.2 K/9
Twins (Holy cow! Good luck figuring out who the Twins 4 starters would be)
Liriano (25): 130.2 IP, 1.5 WHIP, 71 ERA+, 8.3K/9
Blackburn (27): 184.2 IP, 1.4 WHIP, 95 ERA+, 4.0 K/9
Baker (27): 182.2 IP, 1.2 WHIP, 93 ERA+, 7.5 K/9
Pavano (33): 57.1 IP, 1.3, 115 ERA+, 6.8 K/9
Duensing (26): 72.2 IP, 1.3, 128 ERA+, 6.1 K/9
E. Santana (26): 122.2 IP, 1.5 WHIP, 84 ERA+, 7.0 K/9
Kazmir (25): 136.1 IP, 1.4 WHIP, 89 ERA+, 7.3 K/9
Granted, these are season averages, so they don't reflect how terrible Joba has been recently. They don't account for how Dice-K might rebound from his injury, how Kazmir likes his new home, or how using a guy at home or away might give a better match-up.
But, if you believe that Joba can be the Joba we've seen all season (rather than just the guy who has inspired dread in August and September), then should they just hand Joba the ball with the confidence that he's as good or better than whomever he matches up against?