New York Mets RHP Bartolo Colon held the Milwaukee Brewers to one run over seven innings as the Mets opened a four-game series with a 5-2 win at Miller Park on Thursday.
"I've been doing the same stuff since the season began," Colon, who had two strikeouts and no walks, said through his interpreter. "Sometimes you have bad periods and good periods, and, right now, I'm going through a good one."
Colon, 43, has a 1.80 ERA over his last four starts.
"He's irreplaceable, to be honest," manager Terry Collins said. "He just takes the ball every five days, nothing shakes him up. I know the young guys will all be there like that one day. I don't know if they'll all play 19 years, but this guy's a pro. To have him in that rotation just really settles things down. He'll take the ball, he's good enough to know that there are going to be nights when he won't be sharp, but the bullpen's tired, and he'll stay out there, because he knows that's what the team needs. Those kinds of guys, they're hard to find."
Colon has thrown at least seven innings and given up one or fewer runs in three of his last eight starts. He is 5-3 with a 3.08 ERA this season and has the fourth-best BB/9 rate (1.60) in baseball.
"When you're 43, you're using your experience to your advantage," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "I also think he's got a very simple approach to what he does. He's really good with the fastball, he's really good at controlling the movement on the fastball. He changes speeds on the fastball, but he throws, almost as much as any pitcher in the big leagues, exclusively fastballs. It's a very simple approach, but he's very good at it."
Thanks, Craig, because that basically sums it up. He was vintage Colon last night, plain and simple. Aside from the occasional slider and changeup, Colon threw nothing but fastballs in multiple quadrants -- and almost all of them for strikes. Interestingly enough, Kirk Nieuwenhuis was the only Brewer to hit a ball with any kind of authority.
By the way, regardless of his age, he fields his position as well as any one on the pitching staff. He twice started double plays on balls hit back to the mound, picked off a runner at first base and he hustled hard to cover first base on a grounder hit to the left of James Loney.