After tonight’s game, Joe Girardi compared Bartolo Colon to Derek Jeter. Both have a hard time admitting when they’re hurt.
Colon has told the Yankees that he has recovered from a strained left hamstring, and he’s told them he’s healthy enough to pitch, but tonight he admitted that he doesn’t trust the muscle to hold up on every movement and every pitch. He’s tentative making plays off the mound, and he’s less aggressive throwing pitches over the plate.
“It’s affecting me a little bit because I’m not pitching the same way I’m pitching (when I’m) aggressive,” Colon said. “I have been a little bit afraid. I’ve been thinking about it… I think it’s why my sinker is not sinking the way it’s supposed to is because I’ve been thinking about my leg too much.”
Colon’s hesitation was most noticeable when he went to cover first base on a ground ball to the right side. He admitted to being “unsure” on that play. He didn’t want to blow out his hamstring again, just like he did about this time last month.
“That’s something that I’m going to have to talk to him about, see how he’s really doing,” Girardi said. “Bart always says that he’s okay. That’s something I’m going to have to sort through in the next day or two.”
Colon said he’ll wait to see how he feels in the morning, but right now he anticipates telling Girardi that he feels healthy and ready to pitch. He said there’s no pain, but there’s also no mistaking his past two starts. They’ve been bad. Bad defense and bad luck certainly played a role tonight, but this was not Colon at his best.
“I don’t blame anybody,” Colon said. “That was my fault. I don’t pitch good, and they hit me, and I lost the game.’
And here’s Colon, with Roman Rodriguez as interpreter.
• Girardi said he didn’t think Colon was pitching particularly poorly in the first inning, but once he topped 40 pitches, there was no chance Girardi was going to leave him out there. “You start to worry about the pitch count and him hurting his arm,” Girardi said. “When you’re over 40 pitches, how far are you going to let him go? Are you going to let him throw 60 in one inning? That’s just not what a starter does. For Bartolo, who is always extremely efficient, he’s not built to do that.”
• Eight runs was the most the Yankees had allowed in the first inning since June 18, 2000. It was the most allowed in any inning since 2009. The 16 runs allowed all night was the highest total allowed by the Yankees since April 25, 2009 (also 16).
• The first inning might have been different had Brett Gardner caught that shallow fly ball that slipped underneath his glove for a double. Gardner said he thought he was going to catch it, but as he got ready to dive, he lost the ball in the lights. From the moment he dove, he no longer saw the ball. “I thought I could have caught it if I had seen it the whole way,” he said.
• The first inning also would have been a lot different had Eduardo Nunez properly fielded a sharp bouncer to third. That error opened the door for five more runs. “That’s my first time, I think, playing third base on this field,” he said. “I’ve never played in a game at third base, and it’s a little hard to read very early how the ball comes. High chopper. Slow chopper. They gave me in between chopper.”
• Actually, what Nunez said is incorrect. His point still stands, but Nunez did play third base here twice last season. There’s a solid chance he never had an in between hop like that — and I don’t doubt that the surface makes a difference — but he’d certainly played that spot before.
• For just a little while, the Yankees were back in the game. Andruw Jones hit his two home runs, and the Yankees had pulled within 9-7 in the sixth inning. That’s when the bullpen let them down. “We were back in the game and we had a chance, but we weren’t able to close the door,” Girardi said. “They just kept tacking on runs to where it got out of hand.”
• Jones had his second multi-homer game of the season and now has six homers for the year. With 42 career multi-homer games, Jones is tied with Vladimir Guerrero for the third most among active players. He’s hit three of his six home runs this season off Jo-Joe Reyes.
• Curtis Granderson hit his eighth triple of the season, surpassing last year’s total.
• The Yankees used four different relievers, but Girardi said the team might not need to make a move for extra pitching before tomorrow’s game.
• Juan Bautista left tonight’s game with a twisted right ankle. He’s considered day-to-day.
• Bottom line is this: “You don’t make too much of one game, but it was not a good game on our part,” Girardi said. “Offensively, we swung the bats good. Defensively and pitching, we didn’t play that well.”
Associated Press photos