Friday, March 5, 2010

Joba struggles, Phil OK in 5th spot battle

Blame it on the flu. Joba Chamberlain struggled today in his first time pitching for the fifth starter slot, giving up a couple of hard-hit triples and three runs. The outing could have been worse if he hadn't been saved by a great Robinson Cano throw to nail a runner at second from foul territory. But New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi seemed unconcerned, not wanting to blame the flu bug that felled Joba for two days this week, but pledging he would be stronger next time out.

Phil Hughes was merely OK in his first outing, giving up a home run in the first inning, but settling down in the second. Girardi was pleased he worked on his changeup, a pitch he is going to need if he wins the fifth starter battle.

While some pitchers have an ego and want to start, Hughes said he doesn't have a preference in being a starter or a reliever. He also said the fifth starter fight with Joba would not get ugly, something I wondered about just a few days ago.

"If we were boxers I guess it would, but we'll just go out and do our thing," Hughes said with a laugh in a post-game interview with Mike Francesa.

While expressing disappointment about his personal struggles in the playoffs last year, Hughes didn't give any sense that they would be a problem this year, particularly because the Yankees came out on top. "Thankfully, we won so I can sleep at night," he said.

Thanks to BubbaFan via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

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