Joba Chamberlain insisted his pitches were terrible. Mariano Rivera insisted his last two outings were just failures at the office.

The setup man and future Hall of Fame closer have lacked their usual finishing touches this week for the Yankees. The bridge to Mo is shaky, and old Mr. Reliable himself just looks plain old.

“It was one of those days where I couldn’t feel for the strike zone and they made me pay for it,” Chamberlain said after allowing four runs in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s 7-6 loss to Boston.


Chamberlain’s complete implosion turned out to be the worst of his 69 career relief appearances. Since striking out the side for the win on Friday, the righty has allowed seven runs and six hits in his last two outings.

“It all comes down to location,” manager Joe Girardi said before last night’s late game with the Rays. “A pitcher once told me he didn’t have a Nintendo controller in his back pocket. So they’re not always going to be perfect.”

Rivera actually was perfect in his first 12 appearances before giving up four runs in his last two.

“I had a chance to get those guys out, and nothing would have happened,” Rivera said of defensive miscues while he was on the mound. “That’s part of the game. You still have to do your job [to do].”

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