YANKEES 3, WHITE SOX 1
When Bartolo Colon was told he would pitch in the bullpen for the team Tony Pena managed this winter he asked Pena to give him just one start. On the basis of that start Colon turned in so many good outings he made the New York Yankees this spring.
And on the basis of three good outings out of the bullpen Colon has now turned in two quality starts for the Yankees.
Colon scattered seven hits, gave up only one run, walked one and struck out six over eight innings and Robinson Cano provided all Colon needed with a two-out, three-run, first-inning homer as New York finally beat Chicago on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Colon (2-1) used a moving two-seam fastball to draw four strikeouts looking and registered as high as 96 miles per hour on the stadium radar gun to harken back to his days as the American Cy Young Award winner of 2005.
White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (1-3) settled in after giving up the home run to Cano and pitched seven innings. He gave up six hits and two walks and struck out five.
Mariano Rivera, who blew his last two save opportunities, pitched a perfect ninth to earn his eighth save of the season and 568th of his career. He has won or saved all of the Yankee’ home victories this season.
With the victory the Yankees improved their season record to 13-8 and they are 2 1/2 games up on second-place Tampa Bay in the A.L. East. The White Sox fell to 10-15.
- Colon was sensational and he now has completed a stretch for Yankee starters that began with CC Sabathia on April 23 in which the starters have pitched 36 1/3 innings, gave up only six runs on 24 hits and eight walks and they have fanned 25 batters. That is an ERA of 1.49. The Yankees began the season with what was termed suspect pitching. What suspect pitching?
- Cano’s homer was the sixth of the season and his third in his last four games. He also took over the team lead in RBIs and he is tied for third in the AL in RBIs with 18.
- Andruw Jones started in left field in place of Brett Gardner against his former team and he was 2-for-3 in the game. He raised his season average to .316 in limited play.
- Rivera erased any doubt of a sudden loss of ability by closing out the White Sox in the ninth. Rumors of his demise are greatly exaggerated. He is 8-for-10 in save chances and he has 2.31 ERA. No problem here.
- Once again the the Yankee offense took a long siesta after Cano’s home run. They managed just three hits the rest of the game. In the series against the White Sox they are batting .149 (13 for 87) and scored a total of five runs. All of the runs have scored on home runs.
- Colon figured out a great way to avoid having Rafael Soriano blow a lead for him in the eighth inning. Colon entered the eighth having thrown only 91 pitches. He needed only eight pitches to retire the Chisox in order in the eighth. In his last two outings, Soriano has given up three runs on four hits, two walks, one hit batter and his ERA has risen to 8.68.
- Nick Swisher is in one of the worst slumps of his career. Swisher was 0-for-3 with a walk and fanned once. His average has dropped .208 and he still does not have a home run. Swisher’s last hit was a single in the fifth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 20. He has not had a hit in his last 18 at-bats.
- The bottom three batters had not a lick of luck against Buehrle. Jorge Posada, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson were a combined 0-for-9 with one strikeout.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen got in an early shower when he was ejected from the game after the bottom of the first inning for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor. Tichenor called Paul Konerko out on a knee-high pitch to end the first inning. Guillen immediately started yelling at Tichenor until he was ejected. Guillen then left the White Sox dugout and threw another tirade at Tichenor. It was Guillen’s first ejection of the season and the 26th of his career. . . . Francisco Cervelli, who is on a rehab assignment for a broken right foot he sustained in spring training, was 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI as the designated hitter for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday. Cervelli will catch a game for Scranton on Thursday and he could be activated by the Yankees on Friday.
The Yankees will go for a series split with the White Sox on Thursday.
They will pitch their ace, CC Sabathia (1-1, 2.73 ERA). Sabathia threw eight innings of three-run baseball as the Yankees thrashed the Orioles 15-3 on Saturday. In his career he is 16-4 with a 3.82 ERA against the White Sox.
The White Sox will counter with right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-2, 4.88 ERA). Jackson was on the losing end of a 9-0 shellacking by the Detroit Tigers last week and has given up 23 hits in his last two starts. He is 2-5 with a 4.83 ERA lifetime against the Yankees.
Game-time will be at 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be telecast nationally by the MLB Network with Bob Costas and Jim Kaat at the mike. The game will also be telecast locally by the YES Network.