The Yankees, not to be outdone by the Rangers, have filed their ALCS rotation. Bryan Hoch of MLB.com has the goods on Twitter.
CC Sabathia will start Game 1 in Texas on Saturday night. The American League Cy Young Award candidate registered a 21-7 record, a 3.18 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over 34 starts during the regular season, fanning 197 batters over 237-plus innings and walking just 74. He surrendered three runs in six innings during his lone ALDS start against the Twins, but the big man remains one of the most dominant pitchers in the game.
Phil Hughes will start Game 2, also in Texas. He turned in seven scoreless innings in the Yanks’ series-clinching Game 3 victory over the Twins in the ALDS and has enjoyed great success in the Rangers’ home park throughout his short career.
Andy Pettitte, the veteran left-hander, will take on Texas in the first game back at Yankee Stadium. He was 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 21 starts during the regular season and held the Twins to two earned runs over seven innings in his one ALDS start. He will face Rangers ace Cliff Lee.
A.J. Burnett will go in Game 4. His involvement in the semifinal series is unfortunate, but he is New York’s best option and might just have a dominant outing left in his bag of tricks. The 33-year-old righty hasn’t pitched in a major league game since October 2, when he allowed four runs in a six-inning start against the Red Sox. Maybe the freshness will help.
If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.
Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.
The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.
At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.
Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.
Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.
Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.
Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.