“I let my teammates down. It was pretty much embarrassing what I did, not being able to pick my team up and get out of here with a series win,” Chamberlain said. “It will take more than this to get my confidence level down. You can kick me as much as you want but I will come back fighting every time.”
Excellent. My biggest concern right now is of course Joba’s confidence level. So thank God that’s still intact.
Is that supposed to make us feel better, Justin? (That’s right. I’m back to calling him Justin, and will continue to do so until he starts acting like a baseball pitcher, and less like a semi-retarded ferret.)
Are we supposed to be in some small way comforted by the fact that your resilience calls to mind images of those inflatable baby toys that are weighted on the bottom? So you’re saying that it doesn’t matter how hard we hit you, you’re gonna pop right up?
And this benefits the Yankees in what way specifically? Your ability to emotionally withstand these blow, that is. Personally, I’d be happier if you said “This game was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I think the Yanks should call a spade and spade and accept that I’m not reliable enough to be considered a starter, and I’m sorry I wasted their time and relievers because of the ridiculous hoops everyone had to jump through to accommodate my sensitive arm.”
But no, instead Justin Chamberlain is letting this one roll off his back like water.
To review, in today’s game against the Mariners, a team from Seattle that is barely above .500, the Yankees, a team with the best record in baseball, lost 7-1 at the hands of Ian Snell, who has more instability issues than Vince Young and who quite literally is so temperamental that he is little more than an overgrown embittered toddler.
The Yankees scored 1 run off Snell.
The Mariners scored circa 108 off Chamberlain. It bears noting that these runs were recorded not over the span of 9 innings, but over the span of about 1 hour. Justin allowed 7 earned runs in 3 innings.
In his last 7 starts, he’s overfeated (0-4.)
At the end of July, he pitched 8 shutout innings. Since then, he’s allowed 33 earned runs in 36 innings.
And the best part is, he accomplished all of this with 69 pitches. So basically, it was like taking a cab to work when you’re running late and can’t deal with walking to the subway. Because you think it’s the most efficient move, but then you get stuck in traffic, take just as much time if not longer getting to the office, and end up having to pay $20 instead of just using your monthly Metro card. And not only that, but you had the added pitfall of having to sit in the cab in traffic, getting more and more increasingly frustrated with the molasses pace, all the while kicking yourself over not just taking the subway.
That’s what every Justin start reminds me of.
To really grasp the magnitude of his wildly detrimental impact on this team, consider that the Mariners had a total of 7 hits all game. ALL BUT 1 OF THOSE came in the third off our boy #62. Sergio “You know things are bad when I’m getting the nod” Mitre had to come in for relief. Sergio. Mitre.
Mitre held the Mariners to 1 hit while striking out 5. He pitched the rest of the game once Justin was pulled in the 3rd. So just consider what the game would have looked like if anyone other than our reliever in starter’s clothing governed the game.
The Mariners’ explosive offense? Amounted to no more than 5 cases of having RISP. Five. The damage was really done off the bat of Ken Griffey, Jr., who a.) banked 4 ribbies and b.) also inspires the comment from at least one present party “Wait, he’s still playing baseball?” The heart of the lineup was the only source of offense from Seattle, but that was all they needed. RBIs from Beltre, Griffey, Lopez and Gutierrez were enough to best offensive powerhouse of a team that couldn’t put more than 1 run on the board.
And yet, I still can’t fault the Yanks’ bats. More often than not, I’ll think, “Ok the pitcher imploded but it didn’t help that the offense couldn’t make anything happen, so it’s not fair to throw one guy under the bus.” But also more often than not, Justin Chamberlain is the cause of the Yankees’ losses. Justin defenders will throw stats in my face about how awesome the young kid is, and how the Yankee win 90% of the games that he starts.
The Yankees also win 70% of games played at home, 60% of games played on the road, 66% of night games, 58% of day games, 72% of games played on turf, and 62% of games played on grass.
The point is that the Yankees have a winning percentage in almost any set of circumstances, so Justin’s starts aren’t anything special.
Do I blame the Yankees for going 1-11 with RISP? No. Because at this point, if I played for the Yankees, I wouldn’t be too motivated to play with guns blazing if the fair-headed prodigal son vomited up 7 runs in less time than it takes to finish a pitcher of beer and plate of nachos.
As such, the fact the Yankees could only bank 5 hits and bring the runner in one time is actually immaterial. Because if I were on the Yankees right now, I’d be saving all my arm strength and power for more fruitful endeavors than 7-1 routs that occur when you should be clinching instead of wincing. I wouldn’t waste my muscle on hits that are ultimately eclipsed by Justin’s egregious inability to effect economical defense.
I’d use my upper body strength on something more along the lines of this.
Hey, it worked in the movie.
In fact, during the second inning I turned to my sister after Justin had walked a run in and said, “I don’t understand why Eiland or Girardi doesn’t just go up there and say, ‘if you don’t throw strikes, we’ll break your arms.'”
“Is that a real question? Don’t have children, by the way.”
Time to put our game faces on for real now, Yanks. Sweep the Angels and we head back to the Bronx heads held high and ready to slice up Boston. Anything short of this, and Justin’s unshakable confidence may come in handy after all.