– *THE STARTER*
Since his first start on the mound, the “Joba debate” has been swirling around the league like a 3rd grade rumor.
“Should he start?” asks Guy Number 1.
“No way! He was electric in the pen!” shouts Guy Number 2.
“But what if he can carry that fire through 9 innings?” asks Guy Number 3.
“Doesn’t matter! Keep ’em where he got the job done!” snaps Guy Number 4.
In the end, we can write a 20 minute song about Joba’s current role in the rotation – but Girardi’s decision to let Chamberlain ‘go the distance’ is out of our hands. We can judge the man by every little run he allows – or we can go with our gut and see what he has to offer on a larger scale.
– *KEEP IN MIND*
1. Wang fell off, big time. The debate would be just if Joba was the worst in the rotation, but with Chien-Ming Wang taking half a season to catch fire – we needed Joba to stay put.
2. He’s honestly not doing that awful. Here’s how he matches up against pitchers that ‘should be superior‘ by fan standards:
CHAMBERLAIN: (4-2) 4.25 ERA 78 K’s 89 IP
*All jokes aside, he has 6 decisions in 17 games. I’m not going leave out the gossip that can stir up… but let’s point out the finer things he brings to the table. With 78 strikeouts in 89 IP, he’s nearly whiffing batters once an inning. His 4.25 ERA right now is lower than Tim Wakefield’s, Gil Meche’s, and even Barry Zito’s to name a few.
Now I know that Tim Wakefield has 11 wins this season, but think about it: if your ERA is high, than what’s the source of the wins at hand? RUN SUPPORT. I won’t go as far as saying that Joba has none, but sometimes we confuse ‘awful starts’ with ‘awful luck.’ I’ve seen the games where he’s been plucked in the 2nd, 3rd, etc… but he’s NOT the first starter to do so.
– *SO WHAT NOW?*
Luckily for Joba, we have a void in the rotation with Wang on the DL right now – and it seems as though his spot is sealed for the time being. Quit jumping the gun people. Joba has what it takes to perform as well as anybody – and he’s more trustworthy at the moment than anyone else we can turn to.
Even if we scoop Halladay, (which I’m dieing to see,) – we still need Chamberlain to complete the 5 man rotation. Everyone’s insisting that ‘Joba to Hughes’ would be the perfect solution… but the perfect solution to what!? We have Sabathia, Burnett, Pettitte…
And then blanks. Are we forgetting that Aceves is amazing in the pen? Are we forgetting that Bruney’s excellent in the pen as well? If we can give Wang 800 chances to get his act together… Why can’t Joba gain his experience when he’s allowing far less runs?
*That’s all I’m saying.