Jays, Halladay ruin Chamberlain’s debut
NEW YORK — The 53,629 Yankee partisans were on their feet and cheering before Joba Chamberlain finished his warm-up pitches.
And when Chamberlain threw a 101-mile-an-hour fastball to leadoff hitter Shannon Stewart, and Stewart swung so hard that his helmet flew off, a deafening roar filled Yankee Stadium.
The fans would have approved if Chamberlain paused right there to pose for his Hall of Fame plaque.
That was, however, only the fourth pitch Chamberlain threw against the Toronto Blue Jays in his debut as a Yankee starter. It was a seismic event for the Gotham City media, never known for their sense of proportion. And when they dissect it yesterday, they will have to acknowledge that the 22-year-old Joba (given name Justin) has feet of clay.
They might even make a passing reference to Roy Halladay.
In a 9-3 Toronto victory, Halladay won his fourth consecutive decision, yielding two runs in six innings. He struck out only three and allowed baserunners in five innings, but with typical aplomb managed to keep the Yankees off the scoreboard after the first inning and nursed a one-run lead into the seventh.
In contrast, Chamberlain lasted 2 1⁄3 innings before reaching his pitch limit, which manager Joe Girardi decided was 62, perhaps because only 32 were strikes. The Jays managed just one hit against Chamberlain, but he allowed two runs and issued four walks.
By the seventh, the sellout crowd was booing as only a snarly Bronx crowd can. With considerable help from the Yankee bullpen, Toronto turned a tight game into a rout.
The Jays sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs in that inning. Yankee pitchers issued four walks, including one with the bases loaded. Rod Barajas and David Eckstein delivered two-run doubles.
L.A. Angels 5, Seattle 4
SEATTLE — Joe Saunders pitched seven strong innings and Maicer Izturis drove in three runs to lead the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to the win over the Seattle Mariners. Saunders (9-2) surrendered four runs — one earned — and six hits while striking out five and walking one to notch his American Leagueleading ninth win.