The last time Bartolo Colon pitched more than 100 innings he was a Cy Young Award winner.

That was back in 2005.

 

Since being a 21-game winner for the Angels, he has not exceeded 100 innings and as he sits around 130 now, reality might be setting in for Colon.

 

In last night’s 6-5 loss to the Athletics, Colon raised more concerns by allowing five runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings.

 

The Yankees rallied in the eighth and ninth innings, scoring five runs, but Nick Swisher left the based loaded in the ninth on a fly ball to the warning track.

 

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“He made a couple of mistakes with his slider,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I thought he threw the ball OK tonight.”

“To me, I think I pitched well,” Colon said through an interpreter.

It was not a good night for Colon. The right-hander gave up several hard hits, including a spectacular solo home run by rookie Brandon Allen with one out in the second.

Allen’s home run came on a 3-1 slider and landed 416 feet away in the lower rows of the upper deck.

Colon gave up two home runs for the fifth time in his 21 starts and the second was the softest hit of the night. That was a flyball from Eric Sogard’s bat that barely cleared the fence in the right field corner, giving the .176 hitter his first career home run.

Colon went to his slider in those situations as opposed to the two-seam fastball that created the initial buzz earlier this year. He said he avoided using the two-seamer because it led to two home runs last week in Kansas City, but added he was not lacking confidence in the same pitch he threw 34 times in a four-hitter in Oakland on May 30.

“I feel comfortable with my pitch,” Colon said. “That’s my best pitch, today I didn’t use it.”

Colon’s effectiveness has been among the better stories for these Yankees but recent trends seem to indicate it might be ending. Last night’s performance gave him a 5.20 ERA in his last nine starts since July 7 and his ERA in four August starts now sits at 5.72 (22 IP, 14 ER).

The beginning of Colon’s downward trend was a start against Tampa Bay on July 7, occurring five days after he returned from the DL and shut the Mets out for six innings. That shutout performance in the Subway Series put Colon at 84 1/3 innings, a mark last reached in 2007 when he made 19 appearances in 99 1/3 innings for the Angels.

“We talked about it this when we left spring training,” Girardi said. “We had some innings concerns with him and how he would respond to it. We’ve just been in some situations where we didn’t get him any runs early, but I thought he threw the ball OK.”

“I feel really healthy,” Colon said. “All I have to do is work hard and see what happens.”

While Oakland was getting several hard hits off Colon, the Yankees had next to nothing off Brandon McCarthy, whom they last faced two years ago. That night McCarthy lasted four innings and gave up six runs. Last night, the Yankees mustered one extra-base hit, until Swisher hit a three-run home run with two outs in the eighth.



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