One day after a most unpredictable loss, the Yankees will turn to a most unpredictable starter.
A pitching wild card if there ever was one, Bartolo Colon is moving into the rotation to fill in for Phil Hughes. He’s basically been playing this role all season, just doing it in the middle of games instead of the beginning. Every one of his appearances this season has been in relief of Hughes, so Colon is actually on turn in a weird sort of way.
“This is not a rookie,” Joe Girardi said yesterday. “This is a guy that’s had a lot of success in the big leagues. He’s pitched at a very high level. His arm strength has been really good. It’s not quite what it used to be — I mean, this is a guy that I remember facing him and he would throw 93, 94 in the seventh and eighth inning, and he’d get up to 98. He had an extra gear, and it was impressive — but this guy knows how to pitch.”
Speaking of unexpected: Before yesterday’s game, Girardi was going through a routine pregame interview, and when the topic turned to Colon, Girardi said all the usual stuff about experience and knowing how to pitch. Then he said this:
“I know I had to do a deposition because of him.”
Turns out, Girardi once broke a bat in Cleveland while trying to hit a pitch from Colon. The business end of Girardi’s bat went into the stands, hit a fan, and Girardi was asked by authorities whether he had tampered with his bat. Apparently a doctored bat might have left Girardi liable for an injury.
“They wanted to know if I doctored my bat,” Girardi said. “I said, ‘Have you seen how many home runs I hit? What do you think?’ He got in my kitchen too much.”