Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Little Bit Of Everything

Last night's 15-inning marathon was one of the stranger Yankee games in recent memory.  Just to recap:

- A 38-year-old fat slob who hadn't pitched in the Majors in 2 years and underwent stem cell treatment this offseason to try to improve his shoulder strength threw 8 shutout innings on just 87 pitches, striking out 7 batters and inducing 10 groundball outs.

- The G.O.A.T. managed to blow a save and pitch a complete inning on just 9 pitches.

- A rookie pitcher made his MLB debut in the 12th inning and threw 4 shutout innings to pick up the win, all while giving up 4 runs and 4 walks over his 4 innings of work.

- But in those 4 innings, this rookie threw 66 total pitches and got a swing and miss on 10 of them.

- And he actually managed to get a critical out in the bottom of the 15th via the rare "runner gets hit by a batted ball" play.

- A Yankee got hit by a pitch in the head, had to leave the game, and was pinch run for by A.J. Burnett in the 15th inning.

- When the final out was recorded, the Yankees had the guy who started the game at SS in right field and their everyday SS, who had spent the previous 14 innings as the DH, back at his normal position.

(The Horse loves him some winning.  Courtesy of The AP)

Yes indeed, last night was a certifiable carnival on the diamond.  Bartolo Colon was absolutely masterful, commanding his fastball all night to both sides of the plate, and adding velocity as the game went along.  With just 87 pitches in the book, it would have made sense to me to send him out to finish the thing in the 9th inning, but Joe, ever a slave to his predetermined bullpen roles, went to Mo and Mo couldn't get it done.  I know Mo hasn't been overworked lately, but he did pitch the previous night, he is 41 years old, and Colon was straight up dealing.  Why wouldn't you send Colon out to finish what he started, a right he earned through the first 8 innings, and have Mo ready in case of trouble?

The other noteworthy pitcher was Hector Noesi, who finally got in a game as a Yankee after rotting away in the bullpen since his earlier call ups.  The 8 baserunners allowed doesn't look great, but Noesi pitched well and made big pitches when he had to.  His stuff looked good (10 swinging strikes) and he never seemed rattled despite every baserunner he allowed being the potential winning run.  It was a hell of a debut in my book, and even though he'll probably get sent down for a fresh arm today, I think Noesi opened some eyes and could earn himself some more burn the next time he gets called up.

It wasn't pretty, it wasn't easy, and it had to be pretty damn tiring, but it was another win, and that's all that matters.

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