Bartolo Colon Hit Tracker Part II: The Quest for More Hits
Bartolo Colon is a pitcher. Bartolo Colon is a pitcher who hits. Bartolo Colon is the patron saint of pitchers who hit.
According to Commissioner Rob Manfred, he's the literal manifestation of the argument against implementing the DH in the National League. Entering the 2015 season, the 40-year-old Mets hurler had 12 hits to his name (he played 16 seasons in the American League).
After Colon gracefully chopped his way to all of two hits last season, Mets hitting coach Kevin Long set a lofty goal for Colon's 2015 season at the plate: three hits. Rather than limbo under that bar, Colon stormed out of the gate (and onto the basepaths), meeting that quota in just the first two months of the season.
Career highs in hits, doubles and RBIs are all within reach and there's still four months of baseball left to play. We clearly underestimated Colon, but that doesn't mean we're about to stop putting his offensive mechanics under a microscope. Welcome to 2 Bartolo 2 Hit Tracker: The Reckoning (A Quest for More Hits).
Inning: Bottom 3
Result: Pop out
Especially in his early-innings at-bats, Colon's been making a habit of taking some pitches to work the count and find his pitch. Here he left the bat on his shoulder for the first offering, but took an ill-advised cut at No. 2, popping up into foul territory. This is not the kind of offensive production we've come to expect from Bartolo.
Inning: Bottom 4
Result: Fly out
Colon saw a few more pitches than in his first at-bat and put good wood on the ball with two men on and two outs. Gotta take a solid cut to try to help yourself out and -- while the result wasn't spectacular -- the effort was there.
Inning: Top 3
I ... I don't -- what is this? Whether he was making contact or not, Colon could always be counted on to be a symbol of beauty. A symbol of man's effort in the face of impossible odds. He was John McClane, thrust into a building full of terrorists on Christmas Eve. He was Horatio Hornblower, pulling up his bootstraps for the American dream. And we loved him.
But on Saturday night, Colon was ... not. He was empty. Was he depressed? Did he accidentally walk to the plate to Joy Division? Was he taken over by an alien force?
What is the American populace supposed to do when the personification of our id gives in? Do we give in? Give up? I don't want to give a failing grade, but what choice do I have?
Inning: Top 5
Oh, you are good, Mr. Colon. You are very good. Like a crafty spy, you lulled the opposition into a false sense of security. Not only did Colon reveal that he is a fan of the Paper Moon-style long con, but it also extended his hitting streak to three games. Only seven other pitchers have pulled that off this season and none have reached four.
Will Colon be able to do it in his next start? We'll have to wait and see.
Inning: Top 7
With a rare third at-bat, pulling it off for the first time since May 10, what new treat or wrinkle would Bartolo unveil for us? Never one to disappoint, Colon once again gave a massive swing and sent a grounder back to the third base hole. This time a fielder was positioned there, but Colon played the classic hit: carrying the bat to first base.
Never change, Bartolo.