Bartolo Colon Hit Tracker: The quest for three hits (April)
Every Aaron Sorkin character ever would insist that if you haven't had the pleasure of watching Bartolo Colon in the batter's box, then you've never seen Shakespeare the way it was meant to be done.
The thrashing, the contorting, the facial expressions. It isn't just baseball; it's fine performance art.
In 2014, Colon dazzled Mets fans with his prowess at the plate, completing a bonafide two-game hit streak that included this spectacular double.
For an encore, Mets hitting coach Kevin Long has asked Colon to increase his production at the plate by 50 percent. That's right: Bartolo Colon has a hits quota in 2015 and it's three.
Throughout the 2015 season, we'll track Colon on his ascent to Mets immortality because our refined baseball palates allow us to enjoy the finer things in life.
Inning: Top 2
Grade: D -
Analysis: He saw three pitches and left the batter's box on a called strike. Even though he fouled one off, this was a pretty disappointing at-bat. We would like at least six pitches worth of Colon attempting to complete a full pirouette while holding a baseball bat.
Inning: Top 4
Analysis: Apparently someone read our review of that last at-bat, because Colon saw double the pitches he did in the second inning. He even took two balls, giving us hope that one day soon he'll collect his first career (intentional, we hope) walk. But, alas, he struck out looking for the second time.
Inning: Top 7
Grade: C -
Analysis: This time Colon fouled off three pitches, but yet again, he struck out looking. At least he kept his helmet on the whole time, though we're not sure if we're happy or sad about this.
Inning: Bottom 2
Analysis: Though he struck out, Colon got his hacks in, giving two gorgeous twirls along the way. Just imagine if he was hula hooping during this at-bat. Think of how perfectly that hoop would stay ... I dunno, hula-ing?
Inning: Bottom 4
Result: Sacrifice Bunt:
Analysis: With a runner on first, Colon squared around and laid down a sacrifice bunt. While it was still beautiful (even Picasso's bunts were works of art), we wish he pulled back and hacked one for a double. Maybe next time.
Inning: Bottom 3
Analysis: Though Bartolo's bunt forced the runner on second, he did remember to leave his bat behind on the way to first base. We think that shows improvement.
Inning: Bottom 5
Result: Sac fly
Grade: A -
Analysis: The bases were loaded when Bartolo came up to the dish, so in a kinder, better world, this would have been his first grand slam. But he still sent it out toward the left-center gap and tied the game for the Mets. It's not quite a hit, but it does feature the broadcast calling him a "hitting cult hero."
Inning: Top 2
Analysis: Colon took a fastball looking, fouled off a fastball and then took a third fastball looking for the strikeout. Not exactly the most inspired at-bat.
Inning: Top 4
Result: RBI single
Analysis: A first-pitch swinging, bat-splintering, helmet-doffing RBI single. It was his first RBI in a decade, it broke the Mets' 2-2 tie with the Braves and he is now one-third of the way to reaching his 2015 goal. Simply magnificent. Let's watch it again:
It's all there in the smile on Colon's face: In the realm of Bartolo at-bats, this might be the piece de resistance.
Inning: Top 6
Analysis: Still reeling with elation from his first hit of the season, Bartolo came out swinging for his third at-bat. While he fouled-off two pitches before taking a third strike looking, we have to give him credit for effort and enthusiasm with his first two swings.
Inning: Top 3
Analysis: He got under this one a bit and it was off the end of the bat, but Colon still managed to smoke* this baseball out to center field.
*It's all relative when we're talking about Bartolo Colon
Inning: Top 6
Analysis: This is the Bartolo we know and love. Off balance, stepping out toward third base and flailing enough that his helmet became slightly dislodged. This is classic Bartolo Colon.
Total No. of At-Bats in 2015: 5
Total hits in 2015: 1