Bartolo Colon gave the Yankees their second solid pitching performance in a row during their 5-0 victory over the Athletics, on Memorial Day.
Mark Teixeira’s two run home run that drove in Derek Jeter gave the Yankees all the offense that they would need in the first inning. Robinson Cano would record an RBI double in the first inning and Derek Jeter hit a sac fly to score Jeter in the seventh to give the Yankees their fourth run. This run total is impressive because the last time that Trevor Cahill allowed four earned runs during a start was on April 12th.
Colon had another stellar pitching performance, limiting the Athletics to only four hits over nine innings, while continuing to display pinpoint control. He did not allow any walks and on the season has only allowed 15 free passes. He only allowed one extra base hit the whole game while striking out six Athletics. Colon has been a revelation for the Yankees and is pitching like he did during his CY Young season of 2005, when he was pitching for the Angels. Colon’s performance so far this season has to be the most surprising in all of baseball and he has been so valuable stepping in for Phil Hughes.
To help give the Yankees a valuable insurance run in the seventh, Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli were able to execute a successful double steal. After Gardner was easily safe at third after Kurt Suzuki tried to throw out the slower Cervelli at second, Gardner was able to score on a sacrifice fly to center by Derek Jeter in the next at bat.
The only negative out of this game was that Curtis Granderson’s streak of eight straight games with a run scored was snapped. He has zero hits in four at bats, while leaving three runners on base, but he did go three for five in the previous game against the Mariners.
Tonight, Freddy Garcia (3-4, 3.26, 1.29 WHIP), who is also having a throw-back type of season, will try for his third quality start in a row. He will face another pitcher who is having a dominating season for the Athletics, Brett Anderson (3-4, 2.84, 1.18 WHIP). Garcia has allowed less than four runs in three of his last four starts, while Anderson has only given up four runs combined in his last three starts.
Russell Martin, who sat out Monday’s game after re-aggravating his toe injury on Sunday, will be back in the starting lineup tonight. The batting order is basically status quo except for Andruw Jones replacing Jorge Posada as the designated hitter. This makes sense because in his last three games Jones has two home runs and seven RBI.
Oakland has a weak offense while having the best team ERA in the American League. If the Yankees are able to follow the same strategy as they did in their 5-0 victory from last night they should be able to be victorious. The Athletics starter on Wednesday, Gio Gonzalez, leads the team in ERA and strikeouts, so they will need to take advantage of all scoring opportunities in these next two games.
The Yankees are 29-23 (12-10 on the road) while the fourth place Athletics are 27-28 (14-13 at home). The AL West is the most tightly contested division in baseball as the A’s are only 2.5 games out of first, while the Yankees are tied at the top of the AL East with the Red Sox.