New York Yankees: Was Joba's First Start A Success?

John LewisSenior Writer IJune 4, 2008

So was Joba Chamberlain's first start a success?  He only lasted 2 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, one earned and four walks.

The sell out Bronx crowd wanted to see Chamberlain pitch well and show he's worthy of a starting job.  So while on a strict pitch count he was pulled after just 62 pitches and failed to impress anyone as the Yankees lost 9-3 to the Toronto Blue Jays.

The first inning started out a little rough as Chamberlain threw 38 pitches and lacked the usual solid stuff that made him successful coming out of the pen. 

However, there is good news as Chamberlain hit 100 mph on the radar gun five times.

After a slow start in the first, Chamberlain settled down and had a 1-2-3 second inning but lasted just two batters in the third.  When he was pulled, Chamberlain threw his glove against the wall in the dugout. 

So is this a blessing in disguise?

If Chamberlain doesn't excel soon as a starter, will the Yanks put him back in the bullpen?  That could spell relief for sure as there is no one stepping up as the new set-up man. 

The thing that gave the Yankees a chance was Chamberlain pitching in the set-up roll and handing the ball off to Mariano Rivera to close out the game.

A great reliever can pitch multiple days of the week but a starter can only go every four or five days.  Without that they have, at least for now, no shot to hand the ball off to Rivera in the ninth, which in turn could put too much pressure on their offense to fill that void. 

Chamberlain didn't factor in the decision and this loss puts the Bronx Bombers two games under .500 and seven games out of first place.

Chamberlain's next start is expected to be against the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, June 8.