Bartolo Colon couldn’t make it through the first Thursday, giving up eight runs — three earned — in two-thirds of an inning against the Blue Jays.
Colon should have been out of the inning with the Yankees down 3-0, but third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who is expected to be an everyday player while Alex Rodriguez spends the next month rehabbing, committed his 11th error in the equivalent of 36 full games this season to extend the frame.
Colon went on to give up three more hits before being pulled in favor of Luis Ayala in a 7-0 game. Ayala committed a run-scoring balk to make it 8-0 before retiring Jose Bautista to end the inning.
It was the first time this season that the Jays had scored eight runs in an inning.
The start matched the shortest of Colon’s career: he also lasted just two-thirds of an inning against the Mariners on April 9, 1997. Colon gave up five runs in 5 2/3 innings versus the Rays in his final start before the break, so his ERA has jumped from 2.88 to 3.47 in the past 10 days.
On Monday, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras showed he was very confident heading into the 2018 season, saying, “I know that I’m going to be better than [Yadier Molina and Buster Posey].” Contreras explained that his goal is to become “the best catcher in the game for a long time — like it was with Yadier Molina, like it is with Buster Posey.”
Apparently, Contreras ruffled Molina’s feathers as the Cardinals’ veteran backstop took to Instagram to respond. Posting a picture of himself with Buster Posey and Salvador Perez, Molina wrote, “Respeten los rangos NOVATOS!! aqui con los q si han probao que son los duros!!” That loosely translates to “respect the ranks,” referring to Contreras as a novice.
Molina is no stranger to using Instagram to air his grievances. He apparently used the social media app to take a swipe or two at manager Mike Matheny last year.
Of course, Molina seems to be misreading the intent of Contreras. Contreras seems to think highly of Molina, having referred to him as being one of the best catchers in the game — even if it was in the past tense. Molina should know, being someone who also competes at the highest level, that having confidence is an important part of the recipe for success. Perhaps this will make for some interesting games during the season, breathing new life into the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry.