Colon pitches Yankees to another win in return

Jeter rehabs on a night of walk-offs
Midseason offensive walk and strikeout rates

The only thing that can stop the Yankees right now is Sergio Mitre. Saturday’s win over the Mets was about as flawless as a win can be in this league … until Mitre issued the first walk of the day (by a Yankees’ pitcher) and ruined the shutout. The Yankees held on for the win anyway, their seventh in a row.

Hung it just enough.

Third Time Through The Order

For the first five innings, the Yankees couldn’t do anything about Dillon Gee. Other than a pair of Eduardo Nunez doubles, anyway. He had the Yankees off balance with his changeup, throwing it for both called strikes and swings and misses out of the zone. The Yankees had struck out seven times already, including all three outs in the fifth. Then it went south for the Mets’ right-hander.

Brett Gardner led off the sixth with a fly out, but Curtis Granderson adjusted to Gee’s changeup and yanked a 1-2 pitch into the Mets’ bullpen for the game’s first run. Wasn’t a horrible pitch, Grandy just sat back on it. Mark Teixeira singled on a first pitch fastball, Alex Rodriguez singled on a 0-2 fastball, then Robinson Cano tripled them both in on a 1-0 changeup. Nick Swisher plated the fourth run with a sacrifice fly to complete the floodgate opening. The third out of the inning came on a great diving stop by Justin Turner on what would have been Nunez’s seventh hit in his last seven plate appearances.

We’ve seen the Yankees do this to pitchers before, numerous times. Alexi Ogando and Juan Nicasio are two recent examples. If you’re going to come at them with the same pitching plan the third time through the order, they’re going to make you pay. Grandy and Cano sat back on the same changeup Gee had been throwing when ahead in the count all day and Tex jumped on a fastball. The kid got a little too predictable, and the Yankees went into attack mode.

Bitch please ... strike three.

Bartolomania Returns

Joe Girardi said he was looking for 80-85 pitches from Bartolo Colon today, and that’s exactly what he got. Twenty-two days after injuring his hamstring, Bartolo returned the mound with six shutout innings, striking out six and walking none on exactly 80 pitches. It wasn’t the nine innings he said he could pitch before the game, but it was more than enough.

Jose Reyes started the game with an infield single (after taking what should have been strike three), but Colon then retired the next 13 men in a row before allowing another infield single, this one to Jason Bay. In between, just four Mets hit the ball out of the infield. Bay’s single was followed by legit singles from Lucas Duda and Josh Thole to load the bases with one out in the fifth, the first real rally of the day.

Thanks to those NL rules, Gee was batter. Given the way he was pitching, there was no way Terry Collins could pinch-hit for him, but for whatever reason they didn’t try to pull off the squeeze play. Colon fell behind in the count 2-0, but recovered to get Gee to ground the ball weakly to third. A-Rod stepped on the base and threw over to first for the inning-ending double play. Love those NL rules. (nope)

Seriously though, it looked like Colon had never gotten hurt in the first place. He had his velocity and the batters were staring at that two-seamer all day long (five of the six strikeouts were looking). It was the same guy we saw in April and May. Welcome back, Bart.

He's earned the smirk.

Everyday Eduardo

Someone doesn’t want to give Derek Jeter his job back next week, eh? One day after going 4-for-4, Nunez went 3-for-4 with two doubles and his third homer of the year, a legit blast over the big wall in left-center. The one out he made was on that great catch by Turner. Eduardo now has one more homer and one fewer extra base hit than Jeter this season despite having 167 fewer plate appearances. Yeah, his defense can be (very) erratic, but overall the kid has done a fine job holding the position down. Well done, Eddie.

Leftovers

Cory Wade threw two fine innings of relief (two hits, no runs) only to be followed by Mitre’s awfulness. Maybe he was … uh … rusty after having not pitched in ten days. Yeah, that must be it. (nope)

The Yankees had a chance to score a run in the second inning after Colon bunted Nunez over to third with one out. Gardner grounded the ball to the right side, but Duda threw home and cut Nunez down trying to score. It was definitely a risky call by Collins since the middle of the order was due up; if that ground ball finds a hole, all of a sudden the Yankees are looking at a big inning.

Aside from the Nunez tack-on homer, all of the Yankees’ offense came in that sixth inning. Brett Gardner took a big fat 0-for-5 from the leadoff spot, but Granderson had the homer and a walk, Tex and Cano each had one hit, A-Rod had two, Nick Swisher and Russell Martin drew walks, and Nunez did his thing. In his last eight plate appearances, Cano has seen a total of 19 pitches, and four of those came as part of an intentional walk. So really it’s 15 pitches in his last seven plate appearances, or 2.14 per. Yikes, Robbie.

Here’s a fun fact courtesy of Kevin Davidoff: 36 of Granderson’s 148 career homeruns have come since he worked with Kevin Long last August. That’s 24.3% of his career homers in 13.1% of his career plate appearances. In-frickin-sane.

For the second straight day the Yankees helped set a new CitiField attendance record. They topped Friday’s mark by 22 fans, so 42,042 were in the house for this one.

The Yankees have officially won all six of their interleague series this year, going 14-4 against the so-called senior circuit with one more to play. They’re on a season-high seven game winning streak and are a season-high 19 games over .500. No team is within 30 runs of their +122 run differential, and they’ve outscored their opponents 32-5 over the last five games. When you’re hot, you’re hot.

WPA Graph & Box Score

This one had all the feel of a classic pitcher’s duel, but then the Yankees had to Yankee. MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs everything else.

Up Next

The Yankees will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon when Freddy Garcia gives it a go against the knuckleballing R.A. Dickey. That’s a regular old 1pm ET game. RAB Tickets can get still get you there, even on short notice.

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Jeter rehabs on a night of walk-offs
Midseason offensive walk and strikeout rates
  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Bartolo was awesome. If he didn’t get hurt, he’d be very worthy of being an All Star. There’s been times when he’s been the best pitcher on the staff.

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

      Before the injury Bartolo had the lowest ERA and WHIP of anyone on the Yankees starting staff.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        Wow. Now that I think about it, he probably was better than CC in April/May. Hard to beleive. Kinda easy to forget, though, with CC as beast as he is now.

  • mbonzo

    So happy to see Colon return throwing like his old self. It makes the Yankees so much more dangerous again. If Hughes returns like his 2010 self the Yankees may have a rotation stronger than the Red Sox. The 2 guys we regarded as jokes pre-season, Colon and Garcia, have combined for a 3.08 ERA through 25 starts. I’m just speachless.

    Mitre was very chummy with the pitchers during BP. He also spent a lot of time around our section not only throwing balls to us but through in a couple words. Haven’t been to BP in a while, so that was nostalgic.

    • Nuke Ladoosh

      How about our General Manager?

    • forensic

      Is it Hughes from April-May 2010 or June-Sept 2010? If it’s after May, he actually makes the rotation worse and is a downgrade from whoever he would be replacing.

      I’m really not sure why everyone is so excited about his return and seemingly expects it to be a sure thing…

      • mbonzo

        Hughes has the potential to be an Ace one day. Why wouldn’t it be exciting to get that kind of player back after his best season starting in the majors?

        • forensic

          Because, he has a nearly 5 ERA in his career as a starter. His ‘best season’ last year was still barely above average, thanks to a month and a half which can be termed however you want it to (I’ll say crazy lucky).

          I don’t see the potential in him at this point, since I see him going backwards in his ‘development’. Yeah, he’s 25, but he’s become absurdly dependent on one pitch which he seemingly makes more mistakes with than good pitches, his curveball isn’t what it had been, and his changeup is still a rumor, not even mentioning the 4th pitch that he could use to become an actual ace (which many need) that doesn’t even exist right now.

          I know people still cling to him as almost the future savior of the rotation, but that’s been 7 years in the making and in my eyes it’s gone backwards.

          • Mojo

            I believe I’m in agreement with you. Maybe he’s a bit of a head case but I don’t find Hughes to be a sure thing whatsoever. Honestly, I liked him better in the set-up role. If the Yankees are great at anything with regards to developing prospects, it’s their ability to build a young and dominant bullpen. Otherwise . . .

  • Brian S.

    I’m pretty sure this game didn’t count because Nunez did well in it. So double-header tomorrow?

  • Nuke Ladoosh

    Why do you say “so called senior circuit”? They’re just words, and a historical nickname for the first league. The nickname is Not in any way a mocking of our beloved A.L.

  • duzzi23

    We are just on fire now. Great to see big bart look like he never went on the DL at all. Also nunez wow. I wish jeters rehab could last till august nunez is young fast hungry n if he works on his D can be a real piece on this team now and in the future.

  • Brian S.

    “Eduardo now has one more homer and one fewer extra base hit than Jeter this season despite having 167 fewer plate appearances.”

    Oh.

    • pat

      Yeah.

  • duzzi23

    Also how bout all the players dying laughing at colons at bats that was hysterical. Also buck n mccarver sounded like they were at a funeral.

    • Regis

      They love the Yanks!

  • Nuke Ladoosh

    Like it or not, Derek Jeter is our SS. Nova and Nunez may be offering the best “sell high” opportunity ever. If a legit 2/3 starter comes available they (+ a prospect) might get it done.

    • http://none Favrest

      For Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier I’d give up Montero, Nova & Nunez.

      That said, if the best we see if Wandy Rodriguez, I wouldn’t offer them more than DJ Mitchell.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        I don’t really want any part of Wandy. I just can’t see him being effective in the AL East.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          His xFIP has been consistently at the 3.5 mark for the past 3 years. That’s a solid postseason starter. And someone is going to say it’s the NL so add a full 7 runs to his xFIP because they suck so much but it’s already park and league adjusted.

          If you want to go by ERA-, FIP-, and xFIP- it goes on further to say he’s been on apr with CC Sabathia this year.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            Yeah scratch that, Wandy was as good as CC last year. Looked at 2010 by mistake.

            • mbonzo

              Wandy was far from CC last year. Look at the divisions and stadiums they played in, and CC still put up better numbers.

      • Nuke Ladoosh

        Throw in Betances and Sanchez and the Dodgers may not hang up

        • http://twitter.com/buckfunts buckfunts

          [Brian Cashman’s cell phone rings. He answers it]

          Operator: Hello. You have a collect call from kershawandethierformonteronovanunezbetancesandsanchez. To accept, say yes or press 1.

      • Sean C

        “For Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier I’d give up Montero, Nova & Nunez.”

        Speaking of things from the “Not Gonna Happen” department…

        • http://none Favrest

          Is it likely? No, but isn’t Eithier a free agent?

          If he is, the Yanks might take on a Ted Lllly or another costly contract
          to encourage the broke Dodgers. What’s the sense in keeping Kershaw if you’re years away
          from getting him help?

          • The BIG 3

            What’s the sense in them giving him away for your proposed package when other teams would offer 3x more?

            Montero, Nova & Nunez wouldn’t bring Ethier or Kershaw, alone, never mind both.

  • tom

    Having Mitre on the roster feels almost like a bowling league handicap — to give lesser teams the sense they have more of a chance.

    • Nuke Ladoosh

      I don’t get Cash/Girardi’s Mitre obsession. He must have pictures on them.

    • pat

      There is no such thing as a good mopup man.

      Get over it.

      • tom

        Problem is Girardi seems inexorably drawn into using Mitre in non-mop-up situations. Sooner or later, he’ll bring him into pitch in extra innings on the road, then act surprised when he gives up the run that loses the game.

        And I’d argue that there are at least degrees of badness among mop-up men, and Mitre has an unacceptable level for a team with pretensions to a championship.

      • CMP

        That’s bullshit. Mitre is fucking horrible and doesn’t belong on the roster.

        • pat

          Is Brian Gordon any better? The team needs a longman. Would you rather pigeon hole a prospect into that role? Noesi is on pace to throw a grand total of 80 innings this year. Do you not realize how terrible that would be? Please suggest a viable alternative to Sergio Mitre right now.

          • CMP

            When Hughes and Soriano come back, Ayala could fill that role. At least he’s been decent this year. Either DJ Mitchell or Kontos would be bchoice too. At least maybe they could develop into a decent middle reliever someday until Meat shit.

            • pat

              That role becomes a lot easier to fill when you’re adding two more pitchers to the roster. Nice way to sidestep the question. Ayala and Kontos aren’t stretched out, and Mitchell needs to be starting in AAA. You need someone to take the body blows in a blowout if need be and can be readily expendable.Warren, Phelps and Mitchell aren’t on the 40 man and are more valuable as trade chips if they don’t have any options used yet.

              • CMP

                Where is it written that you need a shitty pitcher at the end of the pen? If all had gone as planned, the yankee bullpen would have been Mo, Joba, Soriano, Robertson,Felciano, Logan and Colon.

                • pat

                  Except that half of that didn’t happen and Sergio Mitre is the result. Again, I’m asking you, Who is currently a better option to pitch the innings Sergio Mitre is going to pitch?

                  • CMP

                    Wait about 2 weeks and you’ll find out.

          • forensic

            Just to play devil’s advocate, do you really think THIS organization will be in a position to need to and/or want to rely on Hector Noesi for 180-200 innings?

            They’ve signed no less than 5 older/nothing pitchers this year already to avoid using any of their prospects, and that doesn’t even include their failed attempts at signing several other older pitchers during the offseason just so they could avoid starting Nova.

            To each their own, but I have no idea why anyone concerns themselves with the innings limits of anyone in this organization short of the couple guys every 5-10 years they actually seem to want to work on.

            • pat

              I hear you, but just because they aren’t likely to be used by the big league club doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat them that way. Imo Hector Noesi the stretched out starter in AAA is more valuable than Hector Noesi the MLB garbage time pitcher. Would he be better than Mitre? Most likely. Then again, there aren’t many high leverage long relief scenarios throughout the course of a season where it would be beneficial to have a better long man. Yes, every win counts, but the team needs to have a long term plan as well.

              • forensic

                Long-term plans are all well and good (though I don’t think this organization has quite gotten that yet), but you even basically just said that he’s not likely going to be used by the MLB team.

                How are wins in AAA more important than better innings in an MLB bullpen? What does a stretched out starter matter if you’re going to sign Kevin Millwood, Carlos Silva, and (the straw that broke the camel’s back) Brian Gordon before calling them up?

                The long-term plans of this organization clearly do not include pitchers like Noesi (or Nova if they had their way) so why worry overly much about it? Being stretched out isn’t suddenly going to change their trade value to another organization not afraid to try someone under 30.

                As I said, I agree on certain pitchers following your parameters, but Noesi isn’t one of them.

                • pat

                  He might not be used by the MLB team to actually pitch, but I’m sure he has value to them as a trade chip, moreso than a longman. Plus, it doesn’t seem as though Cashman and Girardi are using Nova against their wishes like you’re hinting at. You mentioned that they signed all of these retreads, but none of them have come close to realistically challenging Nova for a rotation spot despite the fact he’s looked justifiably send-down-able on a couple occasions. I think he has a lot more rope with the organization than the fans seem to think.

                  Either way it’s a pretty good problem to have. Between Nova, Noesi, Mitchell, Phelps and Warren at least one of them should be able to permanently stick as a 4th or 5th starter.

                  • forensic

                    As I said in my last comment, I don’t believe whether or not he’s stretched out in our organization will have any effect on another teams determination of his trade value. I know you’re smart enough to realize that other teams aren’t going to base their evaluations of young pitchers on what the Yankees think they are.

                    I agree, Nova has more rope than the typical Yankees pitching prospect, but it’s not like they didn’t try their damnedest to replace him. Garcia, Colon, Lee, Pettitte, etc…

                    The funny part is that he doesn’t even seem like the kind of guy they should put the ‘extra’ faith in, even if he’s seemingly developed more pitches than even Hughes.

          • http://none Favrest

            Why is it terrible if the Yankees use Noesi for 80 MLB innings? He’s not a fragile piece of glass. Treating your arms like they are doesn’t guarantee anything, except that you’re management team is over cautious. If a guy has an arm that will break down, the Yankees aren’t going to prevent it with their “you have to be in bee by 8″ mindset.

            It’s July, Joba is done, and Hughes is first going to see if he can be an MLB pitcher again.

            Your farm system is here to help you win a championship. Not to slowly develop like children in grammar school. No one is saying pitch anyone until their arm falls off, but dammit, cut the crap with this innings limit.

        • Will

          Eh, he’s better than Hughes.

  • David N

    I didn’t realize how much I’d missed seeing Bartolo’s two-seamer. That pitch is a thing of beauty, and it’s great to have it back.

  • Evan3457

    13-4 vs. the NL. If they beat Dickey tomorrow, then it’s 14-4.

    If not for the Yanks, the NL would be leading interleague 113-108.

  • FIPster Doofus

    It’s safe to say the Yankees have two aces.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Only?

      (Can’t believe no one said that yet.)

  • BigBlueAL

    If the Yankees played in the NL they would win 120 games.

    • http://twitter.com/buckfunts buckfunts

      You’re forgetting that the NL is full of GUYS THEY NEVER FACED BEFORE!

      Yanks go 40-120 and Randy Levine eventually finds a way to give up the first overall pick.

      This place becomes Amazin’ Avenue Blues.

      Somebody wake me from this nightmare.

      • Thomas Cassidy

        What about the other two games you’re missing?

        • http://twitter.com/buckfunts buckfunts

          Inclement weather postponed those games. With the unbalanced schedule being the bear that it is, they have to make up those games in a day/night doubleheader at the end of the season. They’ll fly to one stadium and play, then they’ll fly to another stadium and play.

          That should do it. Now they’re… 40-122?! Mother#^@*&%!

  • Dela G

    Great fucking win

    • mbonzo

      Horrible lose for the Mets, with Reyes out. He’s been the MVP of the NL through the first half.

      I read through some of Amazing Ave’s posts, and that is one of the most bitter group of Met fans I’ve ever seen. There wasn’t a single positive post from the Mets or Yanks side up until I read the Game thread today and someone basically said “WTF? 95 from Colon.” Followed up by 3 clowns saying steroids. Most of my friends are Met fans, and I probably go to about 20 Met games a year, but that is the most bitter group of baseball fans I’ve ever seen.

  • CMP

    I’m starting to think Nunez can be an above average starting SS if he can improve his defense. All the tools are there, range, a strong arm, speed and he hasn’t been getting cheap hits, he’s been hitting ropes. I know it’s only small sample but he’s been impressive.

    • Will

      Nunez can hit, no one is questioning that. But he is terrible in the field.

      Plus, you also think Burnett is the worst SP in the league, that Mitre sucks, and that Hughes is an ace (basing this on other posts I’ve read), so you don’t really have any idea what you’re talking about.

      • hogsmog

        I think he’s allowed to think Mitre sucks. This is a reasonable opinion.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Mitre does suck.

      • http://none Favrest

        Are you telling us that you don’t think Mitre sucks? I’m looking forward to the day when he doesn’t.

        If you don’t trust yourself against this Met line up with a 5 run lead in the 9th inning, it sure as sh*t isn’t going to happen against the AL East.

      • first time lawng time

        I’m tired of all of the bashing of AJ this year. “oh he unreliable.” “He hasn’t beenuch better than hr was last year.” “He hasn’t been good for ye Yankees at all this year.”

        People here and people in the media. You know what? It’s crap. He’s been limiting the damage, avoiding potential meltdowns when he’s having an off night, and he’s been stellar when he’s been on. He is also keeping his team in the game, as seen by his 8 wins. He wasn’t like this last year. Sobthe hole “AJ really isn’t that much better than he was last year” is inaccurate. In fact, it’s almost as if he’s improving as the year goes on.

        It hasn’t been “Good AJ” and “Bad AJ”; it’s been “Great AJ” and “I don’t have my best stuff today, but I’ll do my best to limit the damage an keep my team in the game just like any other starter would get credit for doing.” AJ hasn’t gotten enough credit. And I think other teams, such as the Mets, wouldn’t mind having him.

        • CMP

          Maybe at half his salary. No one would take him at $16.5 million per year considering he’s on pace for a little over 3 WAR for 2010 and 2011 COMBINED!

      • CMP

        First of all, Mitre DOES suck.
        Second I never said AJ is the worst pitch in the league. For more than a year, he’s been a number 4 starter and he’s pretty unreliable not only from game to game but from inning to inning.
        Those facts are pretty much indisputable.

        As for Hughes, to write off a 25 year old starter with plenty of ability who has already had success at the major league level is short sited and completely premature and illogical . In your world, i guess if you dont come up throwing shutouts, you’re a bust. don’t think he’ll become an ace but I think he can still become a number 2 level starter.

        If anyone doesn’t know what they’re talking about it’s you..

  • Will

    Great win. Bartolo Colon is the most fun player to watch in all of MLB right now.

    …And if the Yankees pull him from the rotation in favor of Phil Hughes (which I am terrified they will do), I will seriously stop watching this team until they renege on that.

    • hogsmog

      I don’t know, I feel like his position is safe. I’d be worried if he was doing really well stats/peripheral-wise but had a record of like 2-8 and was perceived as ‘not knowing how to win’. But he’s tearing up the gun and has the lowest ERA on the team, something I think the management can recognize as important.

    • steve (different one)

      Come on, there is no chance of that happening. I can’t even imagine why anyone would think that.

    • The BIG 3

      Ar you nuts? Even if this rotation featured 5 Colon’s, not one of them would sit for Hughes. Bart is one of the best starters in baseball right now.

  • David Brown

    The Met Fans are a miserable bunch, having an unhealthy obsession about the Yankees (ex: A couple of years ago saying “Yankees Suck” while playing the Cardinals). They are even worried about something that will likely NOT happen…. Reyes to the Yankees. Funny thing is, there is a worse alternative……. Reyes to the PHILLIES! (Especially since Rollins contract is up after this year).

    • http://none Favrest

      Reyes to the Philies is really possible. They could free up money with Rollins, Blanton and maybe even Oswalt.

    • http://none Favrest

      When was the last time the Yankees picked up a player this good off the hunk heap? I can think of few quality spring training invitees that contributed, but this, i believe is unchartered territory.

      • David N

        Kerry Wood comes to mind. Not that he was that deep in the scrap heap, but the Yankees did take a chance on him and the returns were pretty damn good.

        But Colon was absolutely buried in the scrap heap, and has he ever performed. Unless he has some big drop-off, I’d say he deserves a spot in the rotation next year.

        • http://none Favrest

          Wood was exceptional last year. Too bad he loves the Northside more than winning.

      • steve (different one)

        Jose Bautista and Davis Ortiz come to mind as the only comparables. Only difference is that Colon’s age limits the long-term similarity. Although all 3 did use PEDs in some form (just kidding…well, except for Ortiz)

      • The BIG 3

        Thames, just last year?

        Granted he was a part-time player, but he did accumulate as many AB for the year as Bart has IP.

  • pete

    42,042? Anybody else feel like there’s something very Whitman-esque in that number?

    Forty-two, O Forty-two! our fearful trip is done;
    The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
    The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
    But O heart! heart! heart!
    O the bleeding drops of red,
    Where on the deck my Captain lies,
    Fallen cold and dead.

    well maybe not the last bit…

  • bonestock94

    Man, Bartolo looked ridiculous yesterday. It looked like 6 inches of movement on some of his pitches. Filthy, what a good sIgning.

  • bonestock94

    Oh and Nunez might be a hot commodity this trade season.

    • pollo

      why would we trade away our only competent shortstop

  • first time lawng time

    Dickey will be tough. Yankees have had trouble against knuckleballers this year.