I know Curtis Granderson is getting a lot of well-deserved ink and talk as a Most Valuable Player candidate, but I would like to cast my vote for two guys on the New York Yankees whose best years were supposed to be behind them: Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia.
The starting rotation was supposed to be the Achilles’ heel of the Yankees, even before Phil Hughes went down with an injury. But Colon and Garcia have done a remarkable job of not only keeping the Yankees in games, but really dominating other baseball teams on the field. Colon’s stunning, manhandling of the Oakland Athletics yesterday was just the latest example of Colon and Garcia pitching the Yankees to the top of the American League East division.
The only reason they don’t have better win-loss records is that the Yankees offense has disappeared on them several times over the course of the 2011 baseball season. Case in point: Garcia’s fantastic start against the Mets should have ended up in the win column, but the hitters could not scrounge up enough runs to send him home with a victory.
But check out the way the team plays behind them, the confidence the Yankees have in both Colon and Garcia. The Yankees feel like they have a genuine chance to win each game that these guys start, no matter who the opponent is.
Colon and Garcia might not end up with as good ERA numbers as they have right now, but in the end all that will matter is that the true MVPs of the New York Yankees carried the team through a very rough patch early in their season on their way to a title.