Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Big Take Away From a Loss

Last night the Yankees had plenty of opportunities to win the game. In fact a total of 20 runners were left on base last night. Sometimes you just can't come through when you need it the most. However Joba Chamberlain is starting to look absolutely dirty. Here is a excerpt from Greg's post game thread:
"Joba Chamberlain's performance was certainly a bright spot. He struck out the side in the 8th on 14 pitches and had velocity that reminded me of 2007 Joba. I'm not sure if the radar gun was accurate tonight in Detroit, but if it was, Joba's heater was averaging 96.76 mph and topped out at 98.3. If correct, this was the best velocity we've seen from Joba in a long time, and to go along with it he had a slider that Kenny Singleton called "absolutely filthy." He's been better lately, but this was as good as he's looked in a long time."

Joba started out the season with that great performance in Boston, but then reverted back to throwing 91-93. Slowly but surely he has increased his velocity to consistent 93, then 94, then 95. Last night, in a cold weather city, he was in the 96-98 MPH range. Check out this velocity chart from Fangraphs to get a better idea:


As you can see, yesterday he had more velocity on his fastball than he has since the beginning of the 2008 season. Establishing a good bullpen routine for the whole season must be helping him regain his 2007 form.

His slider was also great, especially in contrast to his fastball. But we still have not seen the very tight slider that is thrown in the 90's. Who knows if we will ever see that again? The point is Joba has finally started to return to form. With most of our starting pitchers going deep into the game, having the 8th and 9th innings virtually locked down and shortening the game is very important. And with Joba throwing the way he is now, the Yankees might be able to play seven inning games for the rest of the season.

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