Tonight’s 10-9 loss to the Rangers was about pitching, pure and simple. The offense was fine (except for Nick Swisher’s lame bunt attempt). Nothing wrong with four runs in the first, another in the fifth and a four-run rally in the ninth that fell just short of a pie in someone’s face.
But Joba’s outing was another story. Another sad story.
He was coming off eight days rest – the idea being to prevent injury and keep him fresh should the Yankees be playing October baseball. I get it. I do. He’s never thrown this many innings in a season and the Yanks have to be careful not to overtax their valuable asset.
Or is that just a crock?
“Do you honestly think his arm will fall off if he pitches on regular rest?” I asked my husband Michael, who is far wiser than I am. More patient, too.
“They can’t just throw him out there every four days if he’s not stretched out,” said Michael. “He’ll end up with an injury – and it could jeopardize his future.”
“Stretched out,” I scoffed. “In the old days, pitchers just pitched. Nobody worried about how much.”
“Yeah, and their careers didn’t last long. Look at Koufax. Look at Sam McDowell. Look at Tommy John. There were tons of them whose arms blew out.”
“But who’s to say their arms wouldn’t have blown out even if their innings had been restricted? Some of these injuries have to do with the pitcher’s mechanics.”
“It’s been medically proven that you can’t have young pitchers throw an unlimited number of innings or they’ll have problems.”
“So you agree with the Yankees’ Joba Rules?”
“I don’t agree with how they keep messing with his routine,” said Michael. “Pitchers are creatures of habit. You can’t tell a guy he’s on eight days rest, then four days rest, then eight days rest again. No wonder he’s screwed up.”
“You blame outings like tonight on his routine?” I said. “He gave up seven runs in four innings. He’s not aggressive. He doesn’t throw strikes. He goes to full counts on everybody. Maybe he’s just not as good as we thought.”
“He does seem to go out there without a plan, completely lost.”
“Maybe he has a plan but can’t execute it,” I suggested.
“But then why isn’t Dave Eiland talking to him in the dugout during a game? Or Jorge? They should be coaching him more.”
I shrugged. “It’s a mystery. But I know one thing.”
“I’m not wild about Chad Gaudin. Please make him go away.”
“I’ll work on it,” he said.
What a guy. If only I could get Cashman to work on it too.