Joba Chamberlain was just about every bit of the ace the Yankees think he will be last night. He torched the Red Sox for 12 strike outs in only 5.2 innings including a stretch with 8 consecutive outs recording by strike out to end his start. But as good as he was after the first inning was surpassed by how bad he was in the first. The first five Red Sox reached base and the first four of them scored. Joba is 23 and will have games like this as he matures. He'll dazzle you and then crush you. The same can be said for Phil Hughes. This is the normal maturation process for young pitchers. Look at Zack Grienke who is finally fulfilling his potential at age 25. It's just that Yankee fans aren't used to these growing pains because it has been so long since young players, especially pitchers, have been allowed to grow and develop for them. The Yankees lost last night, but Joba showed why he belongs in the rotation and how great he can be. As a Yankee fan you can take solace in that.
It's amazing how close the Yankees have been to winning about four of their five match ups with the Sox. Last night they let yet another game slide through their fingers as they had numerous opportunities to tie or go ahead of the Red Sox but in each instance the lack of depth shined brightly and reserve players failed to come through.
Injuries have hurt the Yankees badly, but it's their lack of depth that has killed them in these games. You can't blame Ramiro Pena or Jose Molina for not getting the big hit against Beckett last night because the fact of the matter is neither should even be hitting in that situation. The Yankees had no choice. With Nady, Posada and A-Rod on the DL they've been forced to dive into a well that is just about empty in terms of bats they can bring up.
Cashman has done a good job with drafting pitchers as we have seen with Chamberlain and Hughes. There are talented arms down on the farm. Where they have failed so far is position players. They have next to nothing in terms of impact bats down in the minors. And right now that lack of depth is why they are 0-5 vs. the Sox.