Obviously winning is the most important thing, and the Yankees didn’t do that this afternoon, but they did come away encouraged by Bartolo Colon. No big-picture issue is more pressing heading into the final month of the season, and Colon eased some concerns with a vintage start.
“It’s real encouraging for us,” Joe Girardi said. “He had struggled a little bit and hadn’t been as sharp. I thought he was real sharp today. Maybe the extra rest helped him recharge a little bit and got him going.”
Larry Rothschild had talked to Colon about trusting his two-seamer, and that pitch was a weapon again tonight (of course, Colon it was a backdoor two-seamer that Vladimir Guerrero hit for an RBI single that put the Orioles on the board). Big picture, Colon eased some concerns about his workload and his ability to maintain velocity and effectiveness this late in the season.
“I really don’t feel tired,” Colon said. “Every time I pitch, I won’t pitch the same. Sometimes I’m going to get hit, and some days I’m going to pitch the way I pitched today.”
Here’s Colon, with Roman Rodriguez translating.
• Girardi made it clear that he plans to cut to a five-man rotation after the upcoming Boston series. Colon made it clear that he feels ready to remain a starter down the stretch. “I’m a little bit older now, but that’s the way I always pitched, every five days,” he said. “I feel better that way.”
• Derek Jeter fouled a ball off his right leg just above the knee. No surprise, he said it was a non-issue. Didn’t even have it wrapped… Nick Swisher seemed bothered after a play in the outfield, but he also said it was no big deal. “Just rolled around a little out there,” he said… Francisco Cervelli had his left leg wrapped after taking a foul ball while catching. He said he’s fine. “Just a bruise,” he said.
• Zach Britton was a mess the last time he faced the Yankees. This time he pitched seven scoreless with just four hits and one walk. “We expect a lot out of this lineup,” Swisher said. “And when something like that happens to us, we take that to heart. I’m really excited to see how we bounce back today.
• When Girardi went to the mound for the first time in the eighth inning, it was strictly to discuss strategy and what the Orioles might do. He had no thoughts of taking Colon out at that point.
• Girardi said no one did anything wrong on the hit by Jeter that turned into a fielder’s choice when Cervelli was thrown out at second. Cervelli had to wait to decide whether the right fielder would catch it, and was stuck in no-man’s land. “It’s just a tough play that you see once in a while,” Girardi said. “There’s nothing Cervy can do there.”
• Curtis Granderson said he simply didn’t get there in time on the bloop single that feel kind of between him and Robinson Cano. He didn’t think Cano ever had a real shot at the ball either.
• Cano struck out twice today, only the 13th time he’s done that this season. He hasn’t struck out three times in a game this year.
• Cano’s team-leading 17-game hitting streak came to an end.
• This was Colon’s first loss in a day game this season. He is now 6-1 with a 1.88 ERA in day games. “I have no idea (why),” he said. “I never pay attention to that.”
• Girardi said he still wasn’t sure who would start the second game. He needed to check with all of his guys. Not sure when we’ll get a lineup.
Associated Press photos