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Well, if anyone out there was confident that Kyle Farnsworth would hold a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth, please raise your hand. That's what it came down to for the Yanks tonight in Houston, Joba went six strong (more on this later), Veras dominated for the 7th and 8th, and then Farnsworthless came in and held the lead. Unbelievable.

The Yankee offense, what there was of it, was provided by a two-out RBI single from A-Rod in the first and a solo shot from Jeter in the 8th. Otherwise, Shawn Chacon and a host of relievers blanked the Yanks, which is kind of pitiful.

Anyway, back to Joba. If you had never seen Joba pitch before, and you caught the game tonight, you'd probably say something like, "What's all the hype about?" It was one of those days for the big kid, he couldn't get his slider over, he couldn't spot his fastball, he completely abandoned his curve, his change was non-existent and he was having trouble putting away just about everyone.

Now, if you're like all of us, you know what Joba's stuff usually looks like, you saw him pitch tonight, and you realize that he held a tough lineup to 1 run on 6 hits in 6 innings without anything close to his best stuff, well, then you have to be excited. Games like this were my main concern with Joba as a starter. How would he reacted when he didn't have it? Could he find a way to get batters out when the slider wasn't sharp, or he didn't have his usual pinpoint control? For tonight, at least, the answer was a resounding yes.

Here's Joba's pitch breakdown, inning by inning. Notice how he finished the game throwing nothing but fastballs.

1st Inning (6 total)
  • 5 fastballs
  • 1 change
2nd Inning (13 total)
  • 8 fastballs
  • 1 curve
  • 4 sliders
3rd Inning (16 total)
  • 7 fastballs
  • 1 curve
  • 8 sliders
4th Inning (24 total)
  • 20 fastballs
  • 4 sliders
5th Inning (16 total)
  • 10 fastballs
  • 1 curve
  • 3 sliders
  • 2 changes
6th Inning (14 total)
  • 14 fastballs
88 pitches total, on a night when he was scheduled to throw 95. The alarming stat from the box score is the 4 walks, but two of them were intentional, once to get to the pitcher, once to get around Lance Berkman. All told, this was an impressive outing for Joba because of what he didn't have, and what he did with what he did have. He's going to be an ace.

Player of The Game: Jose Veras
Team Record: 35-33
Damon: Pending.
by Brian on Jun 14 2008
Tags: Astros | Jose Veras |