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Posts Tagged ‘Bartolo Colon’

(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)

Entering the season, many Yankee fans probably anticipated that Bartolo Colon would have his fair share of blowups. However, after such a strong first half, his effort in the Yankees’ 16-7 loss to the Blue Jays was more than just a little disconcerting. Expectations for Colon have certainly shifted over the course of the year, but now the team has to hope they aren’t about to spring back.

Not only did Colon turn in the shortest outing of his career, but it was only the fourth time since 1919 that a Yankees’ starter surrendered eight or more runs in less than one inning. Over his last two starts, Colon has allowed 13 runs (eight earned) in only 6 1/3 innings, which has to make you wonder if the right hander’s Cinderella story is coming to an end.

Yankees’ Starters Who Have Allowed Eight-Plus Runs in Less than One Inning, Since 1919

Player Date Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB Pit GSc
Orlando Hernandez 6/18/00 CHW L 4-17 0.2 6 9 9 3 49 2
Bartolo Colon 7/14/11 TOR L 7-16 0.2 6 8 3 2 42 16
Andy Hawkins 9/26/89 BOS L 5-9 0.1 5 8 8 3 44 6
Allen Russell 7/5/19 WSH L 5-11 0.2 6 8 3 0 NA  18

Source: baseball-reference.com

Even though Colon’s final line was ugly, he didn’t really pitch that poorly in last night’s game. Included among his six hits allowed were two infield singles, a fly ball lost in the lights, and two seeing-eye grounders that found their way to the outfield. He was also the victim of another Eduardo Nunez error (although, pitching around a Nunez error has become a requirement for Yankee pitchers). With any luck, Colon could have escaped the inning without allowing a run, but as things turned out, he wound up having the earliest shower of his career.

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By holding the Oakland Athletics scoreless over nine innings, Bartolo Colon became the first Yankees’ pitcher to throw a shutout since C.C. Sabathia accomplished the feat in 2009 against the Baltimore Orioles. Colon also became the Yankees’ first right hander to throw a shutout since Chien-Ming Wang blanked the Devil Rays in 2006, as well as the oldest since a 40-year old Roger Clemens shut down the Anaheim Angels in 2003. Although the relevance of the complete game shutout has been greatly diminished over the years, the 5-0 victory was also only the fifteenth recorded by a Yankees’ pitcher over the last 10 seasons.

Yankees’ CG Shutouts Since 2002

Player Date Opp Rslt IP H BB SO Pit GSc
Bartolo Colon 5/30/2011 OAK W 5-0 9 4 0 6 103 85
CC Sabathia 5/8/2009 BAL W 4-0 9 4 1 8 112 86
Chien-Ming Wang 7/28/2006 TBD W 6-0 9 2 2 1 104 82
Aaron Small 9/3/2005 OAK W 7-0 9 5 2 3 112 78
Mike Mussina 6/14/2005 PIT W 9-0 9 5 1 6 109 82
Carl Pavano 5/17/2005 SEA W 6-0 9 5 0 7 133 84
Mike Mussina 5/7/2005 OAK W 5-0 9 4 2 3 131 80
Mike Mussina 8/17/2003 BAL W 8-0 9 3 0 9 121 90
Roger Clemens 7/30/2003 ANA W 8-0 9 5 1 5 115 81
David Wells 4/10/2003 MIN W 2-0 9 3 0 6 96 87
Mike Mussina 9/24/2002 TBD W 6-0 9 2 2 12 120 93
Mike Mussina 8/28/2002 BOS W 7-0 9 3 1 9 103 89
Andy Pettitte 6/30/2002 NYM W 8-0 9 3 2 8 120 87
Ted Lilly 6/22/2002 SDP W 1-0 9 3 2 11 113 90
David Wells 5/16/2002 TBD W 13-0 9 3 0 6 112 87

Source: Baseball-Reference.com

On a personal level, Colon’s shutout of the Athletics was the ninth in his career and first since July 5, 2006 against the Mariners. Colon has also now thrown a complete game shutout with four different teams. Of them all, however, none compare to his domination of the Yankees on September 18, 2000. While a member of the Indians, Colon not only shutout the Bronx Bombers on one hit, but also struck out 13 batters in the process. The resultant game score of 97 was by far the highest in his career.

Colon’s Prior CG Shutouts

Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H BB SO Pit GSc
7/5/2006 LAA SEA W 4-0 9 4 0 2 91 81
8/19/2002 MON SDP W 4-0 9 2 2 6 95 87
5/31/2002 CLE CHW W 7-0 9 8 2 4 122 73
3/31/2002 CLE ANA W 6-0 9 5 2 5 98 80
9/18/2000 CLE NYY W 2-0 9 1 1 13 114 97
8/9/1999 CLE ANA W 4-0 9 7 0 5 128 78
6/8/1998 CLE PIT W 8-0 9 4 1 3 96 81
4/4/1998 CLE ANA W 11-0 9 4 3 10 131 86

Source: Baseball-Reference.com

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(In addition to appearing at The Captain’s Blog, this post is also being syndicated at TheYankeeAnalysts.)

The Yankees rounded out their rotation this morning by naming Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia as the team’s fourth and fifth starters, respectively. It was also announced that Bartolo Colon would serves as a swing man in the bullpen, similar to the role Alfredo Aceves performed when healthy over the past three seasons.

Is Ivan Nova ready for the bright lights of being a major league starter?

Although the spring battle for the rotation was billed as an open competition, the decision to go with Garcia over Colon wasn’t really surprising. Heading into camp, it seemed as if the Yankees preferred Nova and Garcia in the rotation, so it wouldn’t have made much sense to change plans based on 15 exhibition innings. As previously noted, however, the Yankees rotation will remain very fluid throughout the year, so by no means are these assignments set in stone, especially with Kevin Millwood now in the fold.

During March, a lot of attention was paid to the Yankees’ cavalcade of veteran starters, which collectively resembled more of an Old Timer’s Day All Star team than an opening day roster, but the real story that emerged from camp was the performance of Ivan Nova.  In addition to posting a 1.80 ERA in 20 spring innings, Nova also impressed observers by quickly learning how to throw a new pitch. Under the tutelage of Billy Connors last October, Nova adjusted the grip on his slider, effectively turning the pitch into a cutter.

During the spring, Nova used his new pitch to great effect, but it remains to be seen if he’ll enjoy the same amount of success once the games start to count. Combined with his already impressive fastball, above average curve and functional changeup, however, the addition of cutter makes Nova a much more dynamic pitcher, and perhaps one worthy of lofty expectation. After all, Connors has a pretty good track record teaching the cutter. Just ask Greg Maddux and Andy Pettitte.

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The Yankees off season additions of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia probably would have elicited a passionate reaction back in 1999, when both pitchers finished in the top-10 for the A.L. Cy Young award. However, with each hurler well past his prime and only signed to a minor league deal, both announcements were met with deserved indifference…that is, everywhere except for an isolated portion of an exclusive enclave in Miami where Alex Rodriguez calls home.

Over the years, one of Arod’s favorite sights has been Bartolo Colon in an opposition uniform. This year, he may be wearing pinstripes.

When the Yankees signed Colon, you couldn’t have blamed Arod if he shed a tear or two. In 57 career plate appearances against the rotund righty, Rodriquez had belted eight homers (including three in one game) and compiled an OPS of 1.515. Perhaps not surprisingly, since the last time he faced Colon in 2007, Arod’s offensive numbers have gradually declined. Coincidence? Pinstripes might be slimming to Colon’s waistline, but Arod’s offensive production could suffer the greatest reduction.

Just when Arod had the appropriate time to grieve over the loss of potential at bats against Colon, the Yankees added insult to injury by coming to terms with Garcia. If Colon has been the pitcher against whom Rodriguez has feasted the most, then Garcia has been his favorite appetizer. In 47 career plate appearances against the Chief, Arod has hit five long balls and posted an OPS of 1.449.

Losing the chance to hit against two prime targets would be bad enough, but both signings coming on the heels of Gil Meche’s decision to retire has only compounded Arod’s offseason of discontent. So, where does he go from here? He could always hope that neither Colon nor Garcia make the team, but rooting against the Yankees’ collective best interest would be a tad unseemly. With so many of his other favorite pitchers either in the National League or retired, it seems as if the Yankees slugger really has been backed into a corner. Call it a hunch, but if Arod opens the Spring by demanding a trade, remember that you heard it hear first.

Arod’s Hit List

vs. Pitcher PA HR RBI BA OBP SLG OPS
Jeff Suppan 36 6 10 0.433 0.528 1.067 1.594
Bartolo Colon 57 8 17 0.431 0.456 1.059 1.515
Gil Meche 38 5 10 0.419 0.447 1.032 1.480
Freddy Garcia 47 5 9 0.389 0.532 0.917 1.449
Steve Sparks 40 5 10 0.421 0.450 0.868 1.318
Ramon Ortiz 66 8 14 0.320 0.455 0.800 1.255
Daniel Cabrera 45 4 9 0.371 0.467 0.771 1.238
Ted Lilly 50 5 8 0.333 0.440 0.786 1.226
Kelvim Escobar 39 4 8 0.364 0.462 0.758 1.219
Jamie Moyer 62 6 12 0.375 0.435 0.750 1.185

Note: Based on a minimum of 30 plate appearances, including postseason.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

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