Newsday reports that Joba appears to be happy with the simulated bullpen session he had during his warmup for yesterday’s game, and plans to continue with the new pregame routine. They report:
The “it” was a slightly altered pregame warmup session suggested by Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland. After warming up, Chamberlain threw 10 to 12 pitches to a stand-in hitter – who essentially impersonated, though not with a bat, the first three Twins hitters – and simulated a first inning.
“I think it’s more of a mental adjustment,” Chamberlain said. “It was just a matter of getting over that hump, getting through it and getting off to a good start.”
Chamberlain hit 92, 94 and 95 mph with his first three fastballs, a dramatic improvement over his last outing, when Girardi was concerned to see him start in the high 80s. “The first two fastballs kind of dictated things, and I threw two great fastballs early,” he said. “I knew it was kind of going to be good from there.”
A few things here. First, Joba describes himself as very much a ‘tempo’ or ‘rhythm’ pitcher, meaning that he needs to get into a groove to have everything working for him. CC is similar, he attributed his April struggles to ‘trying to find his rhythm’. Sounds corny and not very technical, but that’s straight from the horse’s mouth. Joba told Suzyn Waldman during yesterday’s pregame radio broadcast that the First inning is more of an issue on the road than it is at home. At home, he warms up in the bullpen and comes into the game right away to pitch the top of the inning. On the road he has to wait until the top of the 1st is finished, so if the Yanks have an extended 1st inning he gets cold on the bench. So while the results were good yesterday, something that bears watching is how he does on the road, especially when the Yanks score and have a long 1st inning. I supect that weather may play a factor as well, so even if this problem goes away now I would keep an eye on it come September and (hopefully) October.
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