Bartolo Colon pitched six scoreless innings and gave up five hits during Monday's 5-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ballpark.
Colon flew ahead of his teammates and arrived in Cincinnati around 3 pm Sunday for Monday's 1 pm start. The rest of the team got in to their hotel around 3 am Monday, after leaving New York following a Sunday night game.
"Colon was really rolling good. He really was," Reds manager Bryan Price said after the game. "We saw a real masterful pitcher pitch a great game."
Colon twice stranded a runner at third base, while holding the Reds hitless with runners on base.
"They had second and third, I looked at [bench coach Dick Scott] and said, 'Well they might get one, but they're not going to get two," Terry Collins told reporters. "He just makes pitches and you look at some of the counts, he had 3-2 counts on some guys, but he made a pitch he has to make."
In 29 appearances this season, Colon is 13-7 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP.
"He's been the mainstay," Terry Collins said about Colon. "He's the guy that every fifth day takes the baseball. We don't have to worry about pitch counts, we don't have to worry about innings, he just goes out there and does it. He's had two starts where our bullpen was tired and we needed him to get deep in the game, and you looked up and he was in the eighth inning. He's been a tremendous addition to the staff."
In his last seven starts, during which the Mets are 5-2, Colon has a 2.25 ERA and has lasted at least six innings in six of the seven starts.
"We are so lucky we re-signed him, because we had him going to the bullpen the first of July," Collins added. "Here he is, 13 wins."
Colon would like to return to the Mets in 2017, he recently said through an interpreter, according to ESPN.com's Adam Rubin.
"If they gave me the opportunity, I would be delighted to come back," Colon said.
In August, he told reporters - before he retires - 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. Colon has 231 wins today.
Colon 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, though he has probably earned a two-year commitment (at the same rate).
He'll be 44-years-old, but based on what he's doing this season, it's hard to imagine he can't repeat this performance and get his 10 or so wins next season, which will let him hit 244, while again being versatile enough to adjust -- if needed -- to pitching in the bullpen.
In regards to his ability, it's pretty remarkable. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler ended their seasons with set backs and injuries, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard developed bone spurs -- with Matz missing starts. And, now Jacob deGrom is a question mark, missing at least two starts with arm pain. Meanwhile, it's Colon, the All-Star, the oldest pitcher in baseball, 'Big Sexy,' who keeps trucking along, smiling, never complaining, having fun and doing his thing day after day after day. I shudder to think where this team would be this season without him...