Bartolo Colon pitched in his first Championship Series in nearly 20 years … and got the win
Before entering the game in the fifth inning of the Mets' 8-3 victory in Wednesday's NLCS Game 4 against the Cubs, the last time Bartolo Colon pitched in a Championship Series was Oct. 9, 1998, when he pitched a complete game against the Yankees as a member of the Indians. That's a total of 6,221 days, or, to frame it another way, his last CS appearance was before "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" came out. During that time, Colon has pitched for nine teams, never getting the chance to pitch that deep into the season.
With the Mets holding a 6-1 lead and the Cubs threatening with two on and two out, the powerful and finely cheekboned Kris Bryant came to the plate in the bottom of the fifth. With no reason to save the bullpen if the team could close out the series, Terry Collins made his call for the veteran right-hander. Oh, by the way, Bryant was 6 years old the last time Colon pitched this deep into the postseason.
Collins didn't care that Colon hadn't pitched since Game 4 of the NLDS, or that Colon primarily throws a variety of subtly different fastballs, with Bryant hitting 15 of his 26 regular-season home runs off of four-seamers, sinkers or cutters.
Naturally, that meant that the 42-year-old hurler threw only fastballs to Bryant in the six-pitch at-bat, spotting the balls low and away like he was both playing Operation and was good at it.
With the count full and perhaps the Cubs' last best chance to get back into the game presented to Bryant, Colon did what he does best: He threw his fastball.
With the Mets now awaiting the winner of the Royals-Blue Jays ALCS to see who they'll play in the World Series, Colon could be set to make a brand new career first: That's right, after over 3,000 career innings including the postseason, Colon has yet to pitch in the World Series. So, here's to Bartolo taking the mound (and hopefully picking up some lumber), when the Fall Classic begins on Tuesday on FOX.