Bartolo impresses with bat, on mound
42-year-old righty notches second hit, seventh win as he continues entertaining
NEW YORK -- Before Bartolo Colon's right arm rediscovered its command and kept a Memorial Day crowd of 30, 946 standing, it was Colon's bat and legs that got them on their feet.
With Colon standing on second base after collecting his second hit of the season in the fifth inning of the Mets' 6-3 win, Phillies pitching coach Bob McClure visited Severino Gonzalez on the mound. Curtis Granderson, who had singled to advance Colon to second, took it as a chance to visit Colon.
"Don't forget to tag up on a deep fly ball," Granderson told Colon with a wink. "Or just steal third."
Don't blame the next batter, Juan Lagares, for not giving Colon a chance to go. Lagares took two balls then swung and missed at a fastball before launching a curveball to deep center.
Colon tagged up and went to third, advancing him to the closest he's been to a run scored all year. The mad dash to third from the always-comical Colon once again added levity to another Colon victory.
"He's always entertaining," catcher Anthony Recker said.
"Must-see TV," is what Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer called it.
With seven wins, the recently-turned 42-year-old Colon again holds a share of the Major League lead.
"I'm really happy and surprised that I'm pitching the way I'm pitching," said Colon, who struck out six and allowed three runs over six innings.
Colon surprised many by starting the year 4-0, but he has come back to Earth recently. His past three starts entering Monday in particular have not been good, with Colon allowing 17 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings. Monday represented a return to form. He allowed six hits but walked just two to keep New York in it until Wilmer Flores' go-ahead homer in the sixth.
Along the way, Colon inched closer to the offensive quest for three hits he made a priority this spring. He's making his way to his career high of six, set in 2002.
"I just love to hit it," Colon said with a grin.
"We know he hates to hit," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "We also know he hates to run. So it's a bad combo when he's out there."
Collins thought running the bases affected Colon negatively during his last start, when he allowed eight earned runs. Monday's particular baserunning adventure didn't appear to harm Colon, who said he played with his mind on his mother, who would have been 64. Colon's mother passed away in 2014.
"That was extra motivation," he said. "But the most important part was getting the team win."