Five scoreless innings, and then - fanfare - Joba Chamberlain made it to the sixth, but only retired one bater (Chris Dickerson strikeout). He gave up two wlks, and RBI hits to Jay Bruce and Ramon Hernandez, and he was done - 86 pitches.
There's work to be done, but he was better. Better velocity on the fastball. Good slider. Worked on the change. If he has to be removed before the sixth inning in the regular season, "I'm going to look 'em in the eye and say I don't like it,'' he said, but he understands - innings limits and all. Maybe 160?
You still wouldn't be surprised to see him in the pen come August or September if the pitch counts get too unruly.
Anyway, other stuff: Brett Tomko said he would've adapted to a short role if that's what the Yanks wanted, but understands that Jon Albaladejo pitched his way onto the club - which is essentially what Cashman said later in the morning.
Ramiro Pena, playing second base, made a diving stop to start a DP for Joba in the fourth. He's legitimately in the mix, Cash repeated, but wouldn't the Yanks benefit more from Berroa's bat (in A-Rod's absence) -- and wouldn't Pena benefit more by playing every day at Class AAA?
But Pena's speed is a great weapon, and he is batting .305. Berroa (2-for-4, 1 RBI, double) is up to .379. He was also picked off today.
Melky Cabrera dropped a fly in right for an error, and made an ill-advised dive on a double by speedy Chris Dickerson, but he had a double and three RBI and is now hitting .351, with just two Ks this year in 59 ABs. His trade value is inching upward.