Joba Chamberlain found a way to get rid of his first inning woes – a simulated first inning. After allowing 7 runs in the first innings of his previous two starts, but very little in the innings afterwards, Joba and the Yankees were determined to find something that would get him ready faster.
They found it with a pregame simulated first inning in the bullpen. With coach Mike Harkey standing in the left-side batter’s box, without a bat, Joba threw 15 pitches at game speed over a period of four minutes. Despite the short amount of time between pitches, it seemed to work.
Joba struck out the first two batters he faced and allowed only 2 ER and 3 hits in six innings. He threw 108 pitches, 66 for strikes. Including his 15 pitches in the bullpen, he threw 123 total – a bit more then he usually does in a game.
Joba’s next start is Thursday at home against Baltimore, where he will have an opportunity to repeat his new routine again.