Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Here Comes the Pain (Dumb Nice)
2008-04-07 05:40
by Alex Belth

Show of hands, how many of you out there were excited to see Joba Chamberlain enter the game with two runners on and nobody out in the seventh inning? Joba struck Willy Aybar out on three pitches, including a fastball that hit 101 mph on the scoreboard radar gun. According to Sean Brennan in the Daily News:

Did Chamberlain think his triple-digit fastball got into Aybar's head?

"I think a little bit," Chamberlain said. "But you can't rely on that because then you get too complacent and you leave one over (the plate) and it doesn't matter how hard you throw to these guys. They can come in 101 and it's going to leave at 140 and go about 500 feet."

...In all it took Chamberlain 16 pitches to nail down six outs, and the righthander seems to have grasped the notion that low pitch counts may be more effective than logging strikeouts.

"I'm probably a little smarter," Chamberlain said. "I'm still young and dumb sometimes but that works for me. I just try to attack the zone and be aggressive. I'm a little more experienced (though), not necessarily any smarter."

Leave the smarts to Joe G, son, everything else will fall into place.

2008-04-07 07:08:38
1.   murphy
i feel like such a dope. i rarely get into "joe-fanboy" mode, but hearing joba say stuff like thats gets me all stupid excited for the yanks to have him.

i somehow wish the they could just thrown wang/joba/mo all 162. : )

2008-04-07 07:36:59
2.   Rob Middletown CT
Joba and Phil (and IPK, when he's not getting shelled by the Rays) definitely bring out my inner fanboy.
2008-04-07 07:45:50
3.   joe in boston
I am really really excited about the young arms. I thought at this point I would miss Torre, but I really don't. It WAS time to move on ...

Hey, do any of you find yourself subconsciously counting Joba's innings ??!! Unfortunately, I have.

2008-04-07 07:51:26
4.   mehmattski
"Show of hands, how many of you out there were excited to see Joba Chamberlain enter the game with two runners on and nobody out in the seventh inning?"

(raises hand)

But please, Joba, throw some more sliders! And that curve for a strike... a thing of beauty- might be that Phil and Joba are exchanging notes!

2008-04-07 08:00:05
5.   Shaun P
4 It will be interesting to see if Joba's next couple of outings include him throwing 81% fastballs, like yesterday, or if he does work the slider (and especially) the curve and the change-up in there. Those are his more questionable pitches. Working those in more would indicate, to me, that the Yanks really are prepping him to start later in the year.

OTOH - Posada said to Kim Jones after the game ended, that he kept calling for lots of breaking pitches from Wang to keep the Rays off-balance. Perhaps that's why he went fastball-heavy with Joba.

2008-04-07 08:02:21
6.   mehmattski
Are the Orioles really in first place? It's stupid to even look at standings right now, but my Marlins fan friend was bragging about being in first place.

Oh, they've been playing Seattle, the only team in the perhaps worse than them. That makes sense.

2008-04-07 08:05:18
7.   ms october
3 read an article in si about torre recently and was thinking about this and i feel exactly the same way

4 he does seem to be using the slider more sparingly - will be interesting to see how his pitch selection goes for a while - he didn't seem to be shaking jorge off that much yesterday

rob neyer has two interesting links today-

one is on the mlb blackout rules

and the other on phil's mechanics

2008-04-07 08:19:55
8.   tommyl
3 Well, after reading Dodger Thoughts a bit last night, I don't think I'm missing Torre at all. They are going bonkers over there over this Pierre situation. Joe T keeps starting him because he has "veteran presence." At one point, one commenter questioned if Pierre had compromising pictures of Torre. Ah....the good old days ;).

Girardi can't make them hit, but he has I believe put them in nearly the best opportunity to win in each game. That's all you can ask from a manager.

2008-04-07 08:20:57
9.   monkeypants
7 Ha-ha-ha. I incorrectly cut and pasted the link about Hughes' mechanics (I left off the final 'd'), and got sent to a jokey (I think) article about caring for Michael Jackson. For some reason, that little sequence of events made me laugh out loud.

OK, back to baseball...

2008-04-07 08:27:16
10.   tommyl
7 In regard to Phil's mechanics, I would take anything Pags says with a huge grain of salt. He's shown himself to be a complete moron on more than one occasion. Mostly, he writes "articles" showing how the guys in charge don't know anything and if they'd just listen to him and his company everything would be all swell.
2008-04-07 08:30:50
11.   monkeypants
10 Agreed. All the concern over Phil's velocity is based on one major assumption: that he really threw the ball 93 to 95 consistently. IF that's the case, then his velocity is down, and it MAY be a problem. But if he keeps getting good results, it's not a problem at all.

And, more likely he never threw as consistently hard as the legendary rumors suggested, so we are not really witnessing much if any drop in velocity. That he was hurt last year is indisputable, and is the most probable explanation for the dip in his velocity.

Pags' webpage is hysterical, though.

2008-04-07 08:36:48
12.   mehmattski
11 And, according to MLB Gameday, Hughes was at 93-94 in his final spring training game. When it warms up, so too will Phil's fastball. The hand-wringing about Hughes is out of control. In addition the irrationality behind Steve Lombardi's claim that Hughes will only lose velocity until he's at Mussina levels when he's 31 makes me less and less willing to visit
2008-04-07 08:37:50
13.   tommyl
11 ..."Why doesn't Brian Cashman know this? Because he's an expert at managing groups, people and processes; he's NOT a baseball expert in terms of scouting, of understanding pitching mechanics, or understanding hitting mechanics, etc."...

LOL, sound analysis with caps lock on for a word. Its true, Brian Cashman is not the pitching coach. However, you have to think Dave Eiland, you know, the guy that's been with Phil since he turned pro would notice a drop in velocity and, since he IS an expert on pitching take steps to fix it. But then what do I know, I'm just a lousy theoretical physicist ;).

2008-04-07 08:39:44
14.   tommyl
12 Phil Hughes is the second youngest player in the majors this year, and definitely the youngest pitcher. I wish people would remember he's still just 21, younger than Kennedy and Chamberlain by almost 2 years. The guy almost throws a no hitter last year, was lights out down the stretch and in game 3 and in his first start this year pitches 6 innings of 2 run ball. I'm not sure what they are expecting out of him? I guess he didn't strike out 19 or something.
2008-04-07 08:47:59
15.   Schteeve
14 A-Men. It's almost unbearable to read anything about Hughes recently. Even the "enlightened" fans are so completely irrational about this guy. Can't we just let him pitch? And stop being slightly concerned over 1-2 mph of FB velocity?
2008-04-07 08:49:45
16.   tommyl
13 Just caught the, "...of scouting..." in above. I guess Pags isn't an expert in the use of the english language. I remember FJM last year going to town on one of his analyses.
2008-04-07 08:51:30
17.   Shaun P
12 James Shields was a very good pitcher last year; 28th in MLB in VORP (17th in the AL); 22nd in MLB in SNLVAR (12th in the AL). I think he pitched very well yesterday.

However, according to Gameday, which ought to have velocity exactly right, yesterday his fastest pitch was 91 MPH. Often, his fastball came in at 89 MPH. He still held the Yanks to 2 runs in 5 innings.

Let's see where the velocity is in June.

2008-04-07 08:53:31
18.   monkeypants
12 Waswatching is pathological about Sir Phil's velocity. I stopped reading the site months and months ago.
2008-04-07 08:54:22
19.   tommyl
11 Or that he used to throw 95 and get tired by the 4th inning and he's since learned to pitch more. Who knows? I'm not really sure where those original numbers came from and he's sitting around 91-93 right now. He's touched 95 to 96 a few times.
2008-04-07 08:54:35
20.   ms october
10 et al - maybe we all should have just read the article on michael jackson 9

12 i don't get the hand-wringing either.
but it seems to be a cottage industry now.

2008-04-07 08:55:14
21.   tommyl
18 Yeah, myself as well. He's 21, and Steve is worrying about his velocity at 31! You know, I'm worried about Brett Gardner's footspeed into his late 30s. Will he still be a productive CF at 35?
2008-04-07 09:40:41
22.   Schteeve
Brett Gardner will not be playing professional baseball when he's 35.

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