Nobody expected what the Yankees got out of Bartolo Colon in the first half of the season, nobody not even the Yankees. What they got out of him was two full months of brilliance. No he was not ace-like, but he was a phenomenal no. 2 starter.
He did that mostly with a two-seam fastball that he had perfect command with that also broke nearly a foot. It was a pitch he relied heavily on as he threw it about 40 percent of the time.
However, since coming back from the DL the pitch just hasn’t been the same. It doesn’t often break the 10-11 inches it did before he went out and when it does it seems like he can’t throw it where he wants to. Last night was a culmination of that as he almost completely abandoned the pitch throwing it just three times out of 106 pitches.
So what happens next? Well, Colon said after the game that he thought he pitched well and said that he threw less two-seamers because he had been taken deep twice on the pitch the week before (source). That is not good, a guy who throws one particular pitch 40 percent of the time should not be abandoning it suddenly because of a homer or two.
The Yankees are starting to think that a pitcher who hasn’t really pitched since 2005 is finally breaking down after a long season. Joe Girardi left open the possibility that the Yankees would skip him once through the rotation to give him some extra rest.
Hopefully the rest will help because even though last night’s game was two outs away from actually being a pretty good start and he hasn’t been overly bad since coming off the DL, he just isn’t the same pitcher he was in the first half. The Yankees need him to get back there because that pitcher in the first half could have helped them big time in the playoffs. This version doesn’t look like he can.