This is the number of games the Yankees have blown in the 8th inning since Joba’s conversion to a starter began. You can look it up.

I point this out because the specific lament regarding Joba’s switch was the theoretical hole it created in the 8th inning. Furthermore, the general concern was that the Yankees’ bullpen would suffer as a whole because it pushes Farnsworth into the 8th, and and assorted flotsam into the 7th.

Since and including the day of Joba’s first start, the Yankees bullpen has put up the following line:

  • 30.1 IP, 24 H, 11 ER, 35 K, 13 BB, 2 HR
  • 3.28 ERA, 1.23 WHIP

The 3.28 ERA would be good for 7th in baseball and the 1.23 WHIP tied for 5th among bullpens. The 2.69 K/BB would be 2nd.

Of course, I’m going to attach the requisite small sample-size warning to these numbers. I have no idea if this will continue or not. But in fairness to those of us who did not see Joba’s switch as a death knell, I think the doom-sayers would do well to acknowledge these numbers. When a reliever not named Joba blows a lead in the 8th – and it will happen – I hope these people remember the times that Edwar Ramirez, Ross Ohlendorf, Jose Veras or Kyle Farnsworth gets the job done before beating their chests about their clairvoyant abilities.

Watch the Yankee bullpen get creamed over the next week.


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