The key weapon in Colon’s arsenal tonight was the four-seam fastball. Colon threw a whopping 71 of those (compared to just 8 two-seamers), 51 of them for strikes, with 9 of those being swinging strikes. Interestingly, Colon’s primary secondary pitch was his slider, of which he threw 18, and he also mixed in a very effective changeup (threw it 7 times, 6 of them for strikes). But the fastball was Colon’s bread and butter on this night, and the Rays just couldn’t do much with it for ~6 innings.
Ultimately the Yankees lost the game, but it’s hard to expect much else when you only score 2 runs against an A.L. East opponent. But Colon certainly gave the Yankees a quality start on this night, absolutely giving them a chance to win, with strong peripherals as well. Hopefully it’s a sign that Colon’s last start in Toronto was just a minor hiccup, because if the Yankees can get this kind of performance from Colon the rest of the way through 2011, they’ll be in pretty good shape for the stretch run and the postseason. And if he stays healthy and keeps throwing a fastball this good, I really can’t see any reason he won’t be able to keep it going.
Who’d have thunk it, it’s July 19th, 2011 and I have faith in Bartolo Colon. You just can’t predict baseball, can you Suzyn?