The Joba-to-the-bullpen argument can quiet down for now.
Jobamania went into the eighth inning tonight in Joba Chamberlain’s finest pitching performance in pinstripes as he went 8 innings, allowing 4 hits, two runs (both earned), while walking two and striking out five on a pitch count of 106 (66 for strikes). Chamberlain got into some trouble in the bottom frame of the fourth when the bases were loaded. Joba struck out Mark DeRosa looking to escape the jam. In the fifth, Joba made a web gem catch of a bunt loop that he dived for and fired to second base to complete the double play. After that play, Joba did his trademark fist pump.
Mariano Rivera came in the ninth and mowed down the hitters in order, getting two ground outs and a fly out for his 11th save.
Much of the Yankees offense came in the seventh inning, a typical night for the Yankees offense as they continue to abuse opposing teams’ bullpens. The Yankees have been scoring in droves from the 7th inning and beyond all season, which is a good indicator that the team does not let up easily.
In the seventh inning, Melky Cabrera — back from the bench after a shoulder injury — grounded out and Hideki Matsui came in for Angel Berroa (more on that later) and walked. Ramiro Pena pinch ran for Matsui and then Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter both walked to load the bases. Nick Swisher hit a deep 2-RBI double off the wall in left field. Teixeira was intentionally walked, then A-Rod singled infield to bring home two more runs to give the Yankees the 5-1 lead they would need the rest of the night.
The other Yankee run came in the third inning on a Nick Swisher infield single (turned into a double play).
The Yankees set a modern record with their 18th straight errorless game, breaking the mark set by the 2006 Boston Red Sox.
A few notes about tonight’s game, which I saw on TV…
Derek Jeter extended his hit streak with 15 games, as did Mark Teixeira with 14 games.
Angel Berroa was playing third base, but the 68-year old player made a good defensive play in the bottom of the third to grab a bouncing single to throw out Garko. Thankfully, Berroa was lifted in the seventh for Matsui.
The Yankees now have won six of their last seven series, taking this one from the Indians, 3-1. They are now 17-6 since the return of A-Rod.
The Yankees head back home to the Stadium to play host to the Texas Rangers. Tomorrow night, AJ Burnett takes the mound at 7:05pm.