After 145 innings, Colon still feels strong

Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon

#40 SP
New York Yankees

2011 STATS

  • GM25
  • W8

  • L9

  • BB35

  • K122

  • ERA3.72

Bartolo Colon pitched 6 1/3 innings on Saturday, putting him at 145 for the year.

He hasn't thrown 145 innings in a single season since 2005, when he tossed 222 for Anaheim and won the American League Cy Young.

In four seasons between then and now, Colon averaged just 64 1/3 innings due in part to injury.

So 145 is certainly a big jump. But to Colon, it's no big deal.

"I feel very strong," he said after his Saturday start. "I past 140 innings now, so I don't know what else to say to you guys."

Colon can quiet the critics with strong outings in his remaining September starts. On Saturday, he was solid against Toronto, but far from the dominant pitcher the Yankees grew accustomed to earlier this season.

After a striking out the side in the first, Colon allowed a leadoff homer to Adam Lind in the second. He then gave up three hits and sacrifice fly to put the Yankees in a 2-0 hole.

Francisco Cervelli handed Colon a one-run lead with a three-run homer in the second, but he gave it right back in the third.

Dewayne Wise led off the inning with a triple and Jose Bautista drove Wise home with a sharp single to left.

Wise added a solo shot off of Colon in the fifth, forcing the veteran to walk off the field on the hook for the loss.

Fortunately for Colon and the Yankees, Robinson Cano drilled a game-winning two-run double in the seventh and the bullpen shut the Jays down in the late innings.

Colon threw a season-high 110 pitches on Saturday, his most since a 2007 start with the Angels. He underwent a heavily-scrutinized surgical procedure in the offseason in the Dominican Republic before signing a minor-league deal with the Yankees in March.

After a strong start, Colon has tailed off recently and is now 8-9 with a 3.72 ERA and winless in his last six starts.

But he feels like he's got plenty left in the tank for the stretch run in September and whatever awaits the Yankees in October.

"In general, I feel really good," he said.