The Yankees figured heading into the season that if they could get 15 starts from Bartolo Colon, it was worth the small risk.
Perhaps it is not coincidental that Colon will reach 15 starts right before the trade deadline or that his last two starts have been disastrous.
The Yankees are left to wonder if it is a blip or if reality is setting in on a pitcher who had not pitched in two years and who had not pitched consistently well since winning the Cy Young Award six years ago.
If it is not a blip, then the question is where do the Yankees go from here.
“He didn’t have his good fastball. He didn’t have the command he usually has,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after Colon’s first bad start. “He just wasn’t sharp tonight and you’re going to run through starts like that.”
While the Yankees were awful defensively as Toronto scored eight runs — five unearned — in the first inning, Colon would be best served to deliver something similar to what most of his first 11 starts looked like.
Colon frequently pumped in 95 mph fastballs, even in the late innings, during the first half.
In his second start off the DL, his 16 four-seam fastballs averaged 92 mph and his 16 two-seam fastballs averaged 90.3 mph.
Manager Joe Girardi said he didn’t want to play the what-if game with reporters asking about a trade for starting pitching.
Instead of the what-ifs, the Yankees would like to say they can count on the good Colon.