Interleague play can be a drag for many reasons, but pitchers hitting isn't one of them. In fact, as your resident pitching junkie I relish watching pitchers, normally so graceful and in command, flail around like newborn calves when handed a bat and told to stand in the box.
With few exceptions (Josh looks as skilled and surly with a bat in his hands as he does on the mound), American League pitcher + hitting = funny. Even if he does strand two men in scoring position, like Bartolo Colon did tonight in the fourth inning.
Because, you see, for the squandered scoring opportunities, Bartolo paid us back in entertainment, swinging so wildly and blindly on Cole Hamels' second pitch that his helmet came flying off. Steve had just gotten done telling me how ridiculous Bartolo had looked last time he'd seen him hitting, but this was something new. "His helmet never came off before!"
Even Hamels put his glove over his face for a few seconds at one point during Bartolo's at-bat to laugh before he could deliver the next pitch. As for us, it was two passes back over Bartolo's at-bat on the TiVo before we calmed down enough to hear what Remy and Orsillo were saying. Which was a classic moment in itself:
Remy: Well, we'll see if Bartolo Colon, now with two men in scoring position, cuts down on his swing a little bit. I don't think he will. I just have a feeling it's kinda like, I'm gonna let it fly and if I hit it, hopefully it'll go somewhere.
Orsillo: This...is my swing. He struck out swinging first time up. Did he go, they check, no. He's able to hold off on that big swing this time Brian Knight says, first base umpire.
Remy: How about the misfortune for the Yankees? Chien-Ming Wang.
Remy: Running the bases.
Orsillo: Could be four to six weeks they say today.
Colon takes a Mirabelli-sized rip at the changeup. (It doesn't...! Get...! Old...!)
Remy and Orsillo together: WOW.
Orsillo: Everything leaving that time including the helmet. That's some kind of cut.
Remy: Well, he was fooled on the changeup. He is geared up for every fastball you could possibly be geared up for. And just a tad off balance on that changeup.
Orsillo: Swing and a miss, one and two. He's gonna hurt himself.What if he connects on one of these?The one two.
Orsillo: Colon strikes out. Everything was leaving and so was he.
Remy: That was ugly.
And thank goodness for that comic relief, because otherwise this game has been a disaster. Currently it's the seventh inning, it's 8-2, and Oki is warming up because he's the bottom of the barrel now in this brave new world of 2008, where up is down, left is right, and JD Drew is the big Sox slugger...