Bartolo Colon pitched seven innings and allowed one earned run and seven hits during Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.
Colon, 43, has thrown at least six innings in six of his last eight starts, during which he is 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 15 of his last 19 starts.
"That's what he does," manager Terry Collins said after the win. "He just goes out and does his job. As we've said so many times here in the past two weeks with all of our pitching issues, he's the one constant. He takes it every five days. The guy's 43 years old. I brought him back on short rest. He never says a word, just took the ball and did his job."
Colon said in Spring Training that he expected to be pitching in the bullpen by late summer, when Zack Wheeler was scheduled to be back from Tommy John surgery. However, Wheeler suffered multiple setbacks and is most likely out for the rest of this season, leaving Colon starting every fifth day for Collins.
"I'm very happy and pleased to be doing good work," Colon said Wednesday. "I'm very thankful for the opportunity to still be starting. ... I'm very glad to be able to help out, not just with the starters, but of course be able to help the bullpen and go several innings so that they can get a break as well."
It's pretty remarkable, when you think about it. It was five months ago we were all fawning over the team's young, dominant starting pitching, labeled 'The Fab Five,' all with a ton of potential.
Then, Matt Harvey and Wheeler ended their seasons, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard developed bone spurs -- with Matz maybe done for the year now that he also has a shoulder issue. Jacob deGrom is seemingly healthy, but missing starts to get extra rest and regain form.
Meanwhile, it's Colon, the All Star, the oldest pitcher in baseball, 'Big Sexy,' who just keeps trucking along, smiling, never complaining, having fun and doing his thing day after day after day.
In August, Colon said he wants to reach 243 career wins, which would top Juan Marichal for the most ever by a Dominican-born pitcher in the major leagues. He has 230 wins today.
He signed a one-year, $7,2 million deal to return to the Mets last winter. And, it wouldn't surprise me to see them do the same again for 2017.
He'll be 44 years old, but based on what he's doing this season, it's hard to imagine he can't repeat the performance and get his 10 or so wins next year, to hit 244, while again being versatile enough to adjust -- if needed -- to pitching in the bullpen.
I bet he's back in Queens, where he's developed an enormous following, legendary status and a special place in the heart of the clubhouse.