Joba feels fine despite wildness
Righty attributes four-walk outing vs. Canada to mechanical flaw
TAMPA, Fla. -- Joba Chamberlain placed the ball in the hand of pitching coach Dave Eiland on Thursday and headed for the Yankees' dugout, saying that he felt "awesome."
You wouldn't have guessed it by the results. At the moment Chamberlain was rescued, it was still the top of the first inning -- the 23-year-old right-hander had faced five Team Canada batters and retired none of them.
All eventually scored, setting the tone for Canada's 6-0 victory over the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Yet Chamberlain was upbeat after the outing, saying that he had just identified a delivery flaw to hammer out.
"That's the best I've felt physically all year," Chamberlain said. "It's part of Spring Training, it's part of the process. It's just, mechanically, [I'm] not consistently getting over my front side. As far as the ball coming out of my hand and depth on my pitches, it was great."
The 28-pitch, four-walk performance -- which included bases-loaded free passes to Justin Morneau and Jason Bay -- certainly was not pretty to watch. Yankees manager Joe Girardi acknowledged that fact but said he was relieved to hear that nothing was physically awry with Chamberlain.
"He went through this a little bit last year," Girardi said. "If this continues, what we saw today, then you have some concerns. He said he felt great. Joba is a guy that we talked about slowly building him up."
Chamberlain allowed two runs and three hits in his first Grapefruit League outing, against the Twins on Sunday, throwing almost exclusively four-seam fastballs. He said that he would work on his form during dry sessions in the bullpen before his next scheduled start, on Tuesday against the Reds.
"It's going to happen during the year," Chamberlain said. "You're going to have a couple of rough outings when you get hit around or the command isn't there. That's part of it. That's why you have four days in between -- to fix what's going on."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.