On this day in 2015, when the speculation was whether Jacob deGrom or Matt Harvey would get the Opening Day start in Washington, manager Terry Collins went with 41-year-old Bartolo Colon, which was at the time, and what proved to be the right choice.
COLON: Has proved to be invaluable. (Getty)
Colon became the oldest Met pitcher to start an Opening Day and he responded by giving up one run on three hits in the 3-1 victory over the Nationals, beating Max Scherzer in the process.
The Mets signed Colon to a two-year, $20-million contract during the winter of 2013 as a stopgap after Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery. Colon won 15 games and worked 202.1 innings in 2014. Last year he won 14 more with 194.2 innings, however, in the wake of Noah Syndergaard and Steve Matz being promoted he was sent to the bullpen.
Colon, 218-154 lifetime, pitched well during the playoffs in relief and was rewarded with a $7.25 million extension. Colon will work as the fifth starter until Zack Wheeler is brought up sometime in July.
ON DECK: Don’t Write Off Wright
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Here are the starting pitchers for this weekend’s Mets-Nationals series at Citi Field:
Thursday: RHP Jacob deGrom (2-2, 2.96) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-2, 4.88), 7:10 p.m. ET
Friday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 3.04) vs. RHP Max Scherzer (1-2, 1.26), 7:10 p.m. ET
Saturday: LHP Jon Niese (2-1, 2.74) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-2, 5.01), 7:10 p.m. ET
Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 4.26) vs. RHP Doug Fister (1-1, 3.28), 1:10 p.m. ET
SCORE: Mets 3, Washington 1.
GAME SUMMARY: Bartolo Colon threw six sterling innings and the Mets scored three unearned runs against Max Scherzer. All the Mets’ runs were set up by a pair of errors from Ian Desmond.
PITCHING: Colon gave up one run (Bryce Harper’s homer in the fourth and struck out eight. The bullpen, which is under scrutiny, threw three perfect innings behind Carlos Torres, Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins and Buddy Carlyle, who earned his first career save at age 37.
HITTING: Lucas Duda drove in two runs with a single and Travis d’Arnaud the final run with a triple. The Mets only had five hits. … Curtis Granderson walked twice.
NOTES: Closer Jenrry Mejia complained of elbow soreness and was unable to pitch the ninth. … Lefty reliever Blevins got Harper on a fly to right to lead off the ninth. … With the victory, the Mets improved their major league best Opening Day record to 35-19. And, they are a team that won a World Series before winning on Opening Day.
UP NEXT: The Mets are off Tuesday, but play the Nationals Wednesday with Jacob deGrom getting the start.
ON DECK: Colon Proves Worth
The Mets got to Max Scherzer for two runs in the sixth. Scherzer retired the first two hitters, and then walked Curtis Granderson for the second time. After shortstop Ian Desmond dropped David Wright’s pop-up in short right-center, Lucas Duda ripped a two-run single for the lead.
Colon continued to deal in the sixth. He gave up a single to Bryce Harper (who had also homered in the fourth) and walked Ryan Zimmerman, but got Wilson Ramos for his eighth strikeout to end the inning.
Score: Mets 2, Nationals 1.
Bartolo Colon has pulled it together to retire the last nine hitters he faced. Max Scherzer has been just as sharp for the Nationals. Mets still looking for their first hit.
Score: Mets 0, Nationals 0, 4th inning