Yankees win the game, but lose Colon

Heredia, Turley strong at the lower levels
The poor man's Beltran

The Yankees can’t have anything nice. Friday night’s blowout win over the Indians was clouded by the official announcement of Joba Chamberlain‘s upcoming Tommy John surgery. Saturday afternoon’s shutout win cost the Yankees their number two starter, as Bartolo Colon suffered a strained hamstring covering first base in the seventh inning. The win counts in the standings, but the net result of the day was a loss for New York.

Few things in baseball are more fun to watch than that called strike three.

RIP Bartolo

As great as he’s been this season, there’s always been an elephant in the room when Colon pitches. This could be the last start, the last batter, the last pitch … he could blow up at any moment. He did blow up today, but not in the way we all figured. Bartolo’s right arm is fine (thankfully), it was a bum hammy that took him down. That’s like a rhino going down because it stepped on a thumb tack while the hunter was loading his rifle.

Colon was again masterful on Saturday, carving up his former team with his usual diet of four and two-seamers to both sides of the plate. He struck out the first two he faced and retired 14 of the first 16 men he faced on a measly 59 pitches. Bartolo threw ten pitches in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings, and only one batter made it as far as second base against him. Colon’s day ended at just 83 pitches with two outs in the seventh, when the hamstring gave out as he covered first base on a ground ball by Shin-Soo Choo. He had struck out six, walked one, allowed two hits, and gotten seven ground ball outs to that point. I feel like a broken record because we say this after every start, but Colon was brilliant. Unfortunately this day had a tragic ending.

Just a flick of the wrists.

All They Needed

It’s pretty cool when a guy has a dozen homers through a third of the season and it feels like we’re waiting for him to heat up. That’s kinda the situation with Alex Rodriguez, who seems to be victimized by his own greatness more than anyone in his the history of the universe. Homers like the one he hit today, a fourth inning solo shot that broke a scoreless tie, go underappreciated because he’s so damn good. Less than 24 hours after hitting a ball into the left field bleachers, Alex connected on a 1-0 fastball and drove it through the wind into the Indians’ bullpen. It wasn’t as majestic as Friday’s homer, but it gave the Yankees a lead on a day when their starter was cruising and their core relievers were rested. We’ll forget about it in a week, but it’s just a gentle reminder that A-Rod is always capable of changing the complexion of a game with one swing.

Mitch Talbot appreciates Alex’s greatness, so much so that he hit him with a pitch the next time he came to plate. Aside from Fausto Carmona’s shot at Mark Teixeira on Friday, I think this one was the most obviously intentional out of all the recent hit-by-pitches. Curtis Granderson had just taken Talbot deep (more on that in a second), Tex hit a ball to the track, and of course A-Rod hit the homer last time up. It was a first pitch fastball right to the hip, pretty much where these intentional plunkings tend to happen. There were two outs in the inning and none on, and yeah it was raining, but Talbot didn’t appear to slip in any of the replays.

I’m not one of those guys who thinks you have to retaliate for every hit-by-pitch, but this is getting ridiculous. If you can’t control your 90 mph fastball, then you don’t get to pitch inside. Colon couldn’t retaliate because both benches had been warned, but it’s time to push back a bit and send a message because this is going on too frequently. “We’re the Yankees, we’ll hit your guys back and win the game too.” Sounds good to me.

How About Some More?

Would have been more impressive if he actually caught it with the parka over his head.

A-Rod’s homer was the only run the Yankees would ultimately need, but that didn’t stop them from tacking a few more on. Granderson hit a solo shot of his own in the sixth, a golf shot more than anything else. I didn’t think it was a bad pitch at all. A Choo misplay in right allowed Nick Swisher to score from first on a Jorge Posada single an inning later, and Tex capped it all off with a solo homer in the eighth. He’s gotta keep pace with Curtis, you know? Grandy is tied with Jose Bautista for the MLB lead with 20 homers while Tex is second with 19. At what point do we start talking about these two being the Yankees’ most dangerous 1-2 punch since … I guess A-Rod and Gary Sheffield in 2005?

No LOLpen

The bullpen is in a world of trouble at the moment, so 2-0 wasn’t exactly a comfortable lead when Colon exited. David Robertson came in to replace him and immediately allowed a single before getting the final out of the seventh. Jack Hannahan and Lou Marson opened the eight with singles, but Robertson escaped the inning by striking out Michael Brantley (looking), Asdrubal Cabrera (looking), and Grady Sizemore (swinging). There was also a balk mixed in there, and you can make a case that those three are the Indians’ three best hitters. David let out an Eight Inning Guy™ caliber fist pump after Sizemore swung over top of that curveball, which is always fun. Boone Logan (of all people) threw a flawless ninth to close things out. He even struck out the only lefty he faced. Go figure.

Today's weather: dank.

Leftovers

The Yankees made a full innings’ worth of outs on the bases, which is at least the second time they’ve done that this season. Brett Gardner got caught stealing twice, once going for second and once going for third, then Jorge Posada got picked off second later in the game. That was partially Gardner’s fault as well; he was trying to bunt Posada over to third with no outs and just flat out whiffed. Still, Jorge can’t be that far off the base. Ah the joys of bunting.

Derek Jeter took an 0-for-4 and now has five games left in the homestand to pick up the nine hits he needs for 3,000. I’m sure he’ll get it done, the baseball gods always make sure this stuff sorts itself out. Aside from the three solo homers, Swisher and Posada each had one hit while Gardner had two. Robinson Cano drew a walk to round out the offense.

Eduardo Nunez replaced A-Rod at third base in the ninth inning, and Joe Girardi said after the game that it was just a precaution because Alex’s hip stiffened up a bit following the hit-by-pitch. No, it’s not the same hip he had surgery on. A-Rod said he’ll play tomorrow, so no problem there.

The wind was especially brutal Saturday afternoon, every ball hit high in the air was an adventure for the defenders. Didn’t matter for A-Rod, Grandy, and Tex on the homers through.

WPA Graph & Box Score

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the other stuff.

Up Next

For the first time all year, the Yankees will follow up a 1pm ET Saturday game with a 1pm ET Sunday game. Every other weekend series has featured some kind of weird start time due to FOX or ESPN or west coast or whatever. Freddy Garcia gets the ball against Josh Tomlin.

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Heredia, Turley strong at the lower levels
The poor man's Beltran
  • 28 this year

    It seems like for each game we got to sacrifice a guy. If only Texeira got injured when he got hit, we would have won that game. But no, he decided to play the next day and the baseball gods were mad that they didn’t get their sacrifice so we paid the price by losing.

    It’s science.

  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    “That’s kinda the situation with Alex Rodriguez, who seems to be victimized by his own greatness more than anyone in the history of the universe.”

    Lebron James?

    • JobaWockeeZ

      LeBron was being compared to the GOAT by a player. ARod makes it as the most overrated baseball player voted by the players.

      Sure people saw 6 runs and deemed LeBron better but no one sticks up for ARod like that.

      • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

        Alex Rodriguez and Lebron James are both the greatest players of their generations. A-Rod will never get the credit he deserves because of his PED use (which I am personally indifferent to because using PED’s does not make you a better baseball player.) Lebron on the other hand is looked down upon for leaving his hometown team the Cavaliers out to dry to go play with other superstars. Something that the man Lebron is always compared to, Michael Jordan, would never have done. The difference is that Lebron is much closer to being the best ever at his craft than Alex Rodriguez is. Yet his reputation and legacy is smeared with just as much controversy.

        • Rainbow Connection

          “using PED’s does not make you a better baseball player”

          Wow.

          • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

            It doesn’t make you a better baseball player. It makes you a better athlete, but doesn’t enhance your skill set.

        • Mike M

          Look at Barry Bonds career and tell me A-rod is the best player of his generation

          • hogsmog

            Yeah 8 years of 1000+ OPS before ‘roids is teh nuts.

          • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

            I should have thought of Barry Bonds. Sue me.

        • The209

          “… because using PED’s does not make you a better baseball player”

          You really need to get this info out to all the 1000s of athletes who have been taking PEDs!

          • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

            Hey, that’s a good idea!

  • dkidd

    “there’s always been an elephant in the room when colon pitches”

    there’s a joke here somewhere…

    • 28 this year

      +1

  • Reggie C.

    Any idea how long Colon will be DL’d. 2 weeks? Longer? The home runs just dont mean much right now. Noesi, Nova, and Freddy Garcia …

    Wow.

    The ‘pen and rotation both just got worse.

  • http://www.conservationvalue.com jon g

    Apparently sanit has a bad elbow and noesi is replacing him. Not that i need a tissue over this…

    Another use for noesi could be the uber-important aceves role…

    • YankeesJunkie

      Noesi should stretch out and start. No reason to think Silva will be useful and Warren does not have enough innings in AAA. I guess they could go with Phelps, but I’d rather see Noesi .

  • Mickey Scheister

    It was great to see Tex lose it yesterday when he was hit and even better today to see someone tossed when A-Rod was nailed. Tallot, “It wasn’t on purpose” (Bullshit) The ump, “I don’t care.”, Priceless! Who cares? The result was the same, I didn’t mean to speed…still get a ticket. Didn’t mean to steal…still go to jail. You plunk a guy after he goes deep…you get tossed! There are consequences for actions and behaviors. You pitch inside, it gives you an advantage, but you should be aware of the consequences if you miss.

    • mbonzo

      Was at the game and didn’t catch the indepth stuff, but it seemed pretty obvious to me that Tallot had no control that inning. The ball was getting creamed by Jeter, Granderson, and Tex. The pitches were slipping from the wet, and he clearly slipped on his delivery. The ball just got too much of Arod though, and I don’t blame the umpire one bit for throwing him out. If it was the first inning, you’d have to think about it, but Tallot was done and after yesterday, the umps don’t want any trouble on their resume. I was very worried about Arod after that. He walked to first base, but during the break he went into the dugout while all the other players stayed on the field. Thought he’d be pulled. At least we didn’t lose Arod.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Granderson has been straight up beastly this year. His wOBA when pulls the ball in .700 and Bautista is surprisingly 50 points lower. It will be interesting to see Granderson and Tex mash home runs this summer and see who can come out with a higher total. Also, since they are hitting in front of A-Rod who has been the best third basemen in baseball they should continue to get their hits.

    • jim p

      Coincidentally, on this date in 1961 Maris had 20, Mantle 19. Though in six less games.

      Projections: Maris 58, Mantle 55, Grandy 52, Tex, 50.

      I can hardly wait to see how this turns out.

      • mbonzo

        I won’t spoil it for you

      • Louis

        They’ll both get injured and end up with 26 and 24.

      • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

        I don’t think it’s fair to expect either of them to hit 50, but 40 isn’t unreasonable at this point. And two guys on the team with 40 home runs would be pretty freaking awesome.

  • Rainbow Connection

    I guess CC is smart to not bother covering 1B. All this time I thought he was fat, studid and lady.

    • Len S.

      I guess these are misspellings here?

      • hogsmog

        No. What a fat, studid, and lady person you must be to think that.

        • mbonzo

          With your ponytail and your Richard Simmons DVDs.

          • hogsmog

            It’s your fault that we lost Matsui and Damon.

  • Nico

    I’m surprised people think Noesi is much better than Nova..he has the same number of Ks and BBs and its his first time round, just lime Nova’s first starts last year where he looked amazing and even struck out 8!!

    • Nico

      His k/bb is basically 1*

  • Monteroisdinero

    Gettin’ a little nervous about our pitchers running the bases in interleague play.

  • Pasqua

    This HBP fiasco tells you all you need to know about the Indians. Childish. Insecure. I can’t imagine this team can survive a season-long run to the playoffs when their starting pitchers can’t even handle getting hit hard in a single game.

  • the tenth inning stretch

    When Kay said that line about the weather being dank, I was just walking into the room and thought he said “Danks” and I got really excited for a second.

  • CMP

    You gotta think if he strained his hammy he’s gonna miss 4-6 weeks. Noesi would be my first choice to take his spot.

    They also really need AJ to step up his game though we all know that’s not gonna happen.

    This HBP thing is out of control too. I’d decide who the Indians best player is and drill him his first time up today.

    • first time lawng time

      They also really need AJ to step up his game though we all know that’s not gonna happen.

      The thing is,though, that it actually will.

      • CMP

        I wouldn’t lay down any hard earned money on that if I were you.

        • first time lawng time

          But he actually will have a nice year, though. I have hard evidence supporting that.

          • CMP

            Check your sources.

            • first time lawng time

              That won’t be necessary, because AJ will have a great year .

  • Bpdelia

    Jesus, colonstarts had become cant miss affairs for me.

    Bright side here folks. This will keep barts ip in check and it’s not his arm.

    I expect an ml return on july 18thish. So he will be back for the stretch.

    The funniest thing is that arod is now actually WAY underated. Ive said before. I expect alex to remain productive until he is 40. He has become my favorite player. Watching him day in and out no yankee of my life does so many things well. Only winfield is even close.

    Alex doesnt get credit for being probably the smartest, hardest working player with near perfect instincts and a bball iq through the roof. Enjoy younger fans and take it from someone who has been a fan since the late 70s.

    Arods are REALLY f’ing rare. None of us will see his equal on the nyy again