Joba Chamberlain’s highly anticipated first start as a New York Yankee did not go as most expected on Tuesday, as the young starter struggled with control issues early, and the Toronto Blue Jays capitalized on his mistakes. The Jays worked Joba for 38 pitches in the first inning, putting him halfway through the desired pitch count that the Yanks had planned. Chamberlain walked three batters in the first, advanced Shannon Stewart to third on a balk and a passed ball, allowing him to score on a groundout by Alex Rios. Joba settled down in the second, retiring the side in order, but was pulled after walking the first batter of the third.
Roy Halladay didn’t do much to help the young starter’s debut. He allowed two runs in the first, but pitched shutout baseball over the next five. The Jays broke out in the seventh, scoring six runs off three Yankee pitchers. Edwar Ramirez faced four batters and gave up four runs on one hit and three walks without recording a single out.
Chamberlain’s first outing was clearly not what most were looking for, but his early control issues were most likely the result of the hype and media attention that has centered around his move from the bullpen. His perfect second inning and the fact that his pitch count will grow over his next few starts should be enough to quell the fears of Yankee fans, for now.