Behind-the-back play will Bartolo your mind
Pitcher, 42, makes flip toss during complete game; oldest to throw shutout since Moyer in 2010
MIAMI -- Mets starter Bartolo Colon wasn't just smooth on the mound Saturday night at Marlins Park, tossing a complete-game nine-hitter for a 7-0 win while extending his scoreless-inning streak to a career-high 25 frames. The 42-year-old right-hander was slick in fielding his position, as well.
With two outs and a runner on first in the bottom of the sixth inning, Marlins first basemen Justin Bour hit a soft grounder up the first-base line. After jumping off the mound to get to the ball, Colon -- in one motion -- barehanded it and lobbed behind his back halfway down the line to first baseman Eric Campbell to retire Bour.
The play wowed the crowd and capped the 22nd consecutive scoreless inning for the righty -- who became the oldest player in the Majors to toss a shutout since Jamie Moyer did so in 2010 at 47 years old.
"I know it was a good play and I got my job done," said Colon, who claimed he practices behind-the-back flips during pregame warmups. "People in the bullpen were really impressed because they only see my size, but they don't see I'm the best fielder on the mound that the team has."
Manager Terry Collins was certainly impressed, as well.
"He's a pretty athletic guy, and I've never seen anything like it," Collins said. "He better be the No. 1 play on SportsCenter tonight, I'll tell ya."
Not to be overshadowed by Colon's highlight-reel play, he now hasn't allowed a run since Aug. 21, when he surrendered seven in Colorado. While the domination stretches over four appearances, three of them have been starts, marking the first time in his career that he hasn't allowed a run over that long of a stretch.
"Mainly my secondary pitch and my breaking ball," Colon said of the key to his run. "I'm using it more and controlling my breaking ball more so I can make my fastball better."
It took Colon 100 pitches (74 strikes) to finish off the Marlins on Saturday. He allowed nine hits and struck out two while continuing to work his way into the possible playoff rotation should the National League East-leading Mets get in.
"Right now, you have to take a good hard look at the best four guys when you're talking about the end of the season," Collins said. "His name's got to be in the middle of it somewhere."
In the meantime, expect Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud to take a few more looks at Colon's savvy behind-the-back toss.
"I still can't believe I saw that," d'Arnaud said. "I can't believe that happened. ... That was incredible."