How bad are Joba Chamberlain and Javy Vazquez?

I know Joba and Javy have been pinatas for me all year… but let’s face it, they’ve earned every single whack the way they’ve pitched.

Don’t believe me? Just look at last night… a game where their supposed 8th inning stud and supposed new rotation workhorse were used in their playoff roles: Mop up men.

Actually Joba was given the role to get out of a 6th inning bases loaded jam and keep the game close at 4-3.

How did he do? Well not only did he let all three inherited runners to score but let up another run charged to himself. A close playoff feel game turned into a blow out where by the end I think Joe Girardi was asking Guiliani’s son if he wanted an at bat.

But the actuality of Joba’s futility could only be overshadowed by the disrespect the umpires gave to Javier Vazquez.

Keep in mind the scenario… the Yankees and Rays are neck and neck… they might meet up in the post season with the AL Pennant on the line… this is their LAST regular season meeting… the games, save for last night, were rife with emotion and posturing…

And with the Rays blowing the Yankees out of their own building and former supposed Cy Young candidate turned “use only in blow outs” mop up man Javier Vazquez hit Desmond Jennings.

No warning issued.

Then he hit Willy Aybar… no warning issued.

Then he hit Kelly Shoppach… THREE STRAIGHT HIT BATSMEN…
Nope. Nothing.

Even the umpires knew “He’s not trying to hit them… it’s Javy Vazquez. He sucks.”

I like to think Javy WAS trying to hit them, just to show his teammates his toughness and to show them how much a team guy he really is.

Plunk.
PLUNK!
PLUNK!!!!

And the ump saying “Sorry Javy… I’m not buying that you are doing that intentionally!”

For those of you who think I am too tough on Javy Vazquez, take it up with home plate umpire Andy Fletcher.

He agrees with me.

It’s to the point where the Yankees almost have to say “We can NOT put either Joba nor Javy on the post season roster.”
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The Yankees lose in an unusual way but with the usual pitchers

I mentioned last weekend that the Yankees hadn’t lost game that they were leading in the 8th inning or later since July 10th… before the All Star Break.

Well now you can change July 10 to September 10 as the Yankees coughed up an early 4-1 lead, an 8th inning lead and an extra inning loss.

While the result was surprising, you can hardly say the culprits were.

The Yankees took a 4-1 lead after 3 innings. They handed that lead to starter Javier Vazquez… one of my reader’s favorite pitchers.

Now I admit, he is more talented than me. But he is also making $11 million more than me a year to pitch. He’s not pitching 11 million times better than me.

This big game horse couldn’t get an out in the 6th inning and turned it over to the bullpen for at least 4 innings. (Remember… he EATS UP innings!)

FYI, if your average start is 4 runs in 5 innings, you would have a 7.20 ERA.
Vazquez’s season ERA is only 5.09… which is still inexcusable.

Now the middle relief did a solid job keeping Texas off the board and keeping the lead for the Yankees.

Guess which reliever coughed it up.

YUP! Joba… the guy who the Yankees turned from a stud into a basket case lets up a game tying shot, once again showing that they can not use him in a big moment in an important game.

Now I give Joe Girardi some credit. He used struggling Phil Hughes out of the pen in the 9th, knowing that if he got them into the 10th the Yankees would have the heart of their order up and Rivera able to preserve the lead.

A sneaky way to get Hughes a confidence boosting win #17 and put him back on track to join the 20 win club.

It didn’t work out, but it was clever.

Finally Chad Gaudin, who offers nothing and will only pitch in a mop up scenario, ended the game.

Now the Yankees remain the best team in baseball and they are still the champs and the team to beat.

But going into the playoffs they can rely on Sabathia, Rivera and remind me who else?

Burnett goes tomorrow. You either get an ace or a disaster from him.
Vazquez is a bust even though he’s better than me.
Hughes needs confidence boosts as he has been a dumpster fire since the All Star break.
And Pettitte is having his pitches counted in Trenton.
And the middle relief is up and down and they don’t have an 8th inning guy… and on nights Sabathia doesn’t pitch, they need a 6th, 7th AND 8th inning guy.

The Yankees could very well repeat this year and they will be as tough a team as there is in the AL. But their feet are made of clay… and I am not talking KEN Clay.

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