Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Today Bartolo Colon started for la Republica Dominicana in the World Baseball Classic. I wanted to see how The Fat Man would look coming off of his October injury, so I did what any responsible American would: I watched the game live on my computer at work.

Bartolo pitched three innings to gain the win, striking out two, walking one, and allowing three hits -- and zero runs. He got out of a tiny jam with a double play ball in the first, and induced a couple infield popups to escape a first-and-second, one-out jam in the third.

His velocity was okay, around 93 or 94, and he mixed his pitches pretty well, getting guys to swing and miss at his off-speed offerings, which I subjectively thought he may have leaned on a bit more than usual.

His command was good, but not as good as he is at his best. He wasn't helped by the home plate ump having a tight zone, though 32 of his 50 pitches were strikes. (Johan Santana, who drew the loss for Venezuela, only managed 37 strikes in his 61 pitches.)

Bartolo's mechanics looked on-track; he would occasionally do that thing where he throws so hard that his right foot swings all the way around, facing his torso toward the first base dugout. You know what I'm talking about? Anyway, that's something he does fairly frequently, so I wasn't bothered.

All in all, it was encouraging outing for our (possible) ace.


Two other Halos played in the game: Ruben Juan Rivera and Edgardo Alfonzo.

Rivera did a whole lot of nothing, going 0-4 with two strikeouts.

But The Fonz was a part of several bits of action. He committed an error on a two-out grounder in the second, where he wheeled around and threw to second to record an inning-ending force.

Unfortunately, Omar Vizquel was under the impression that Fonzie was going to first with the throw, and wasn't covering the bag.

Alfonzo got the error, which led to an unearned run, but there was enough fault for both guys on the play.

Alfonzo made up for it later with a bloop RBI single; he had already singled up the middle on a squirting groundball off of Colon (Alfonso Soriano dove and missed, and Colon must have been a bit confused -- his second baseman would have made the play with ease).

Edgardo later homered off of Miguel Batista, and ended the day 3-4.

Glad to hear a few Halos acquitted themselves well. Their teammates back in Tempe stunk.
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