Once again Bartolo Colon gave us another night for us to cherish all he gives us. The 43-year-old Colon backed seven strong innings with his offensive prowess, getting two hits and scoring a couple of runs to help the Mets roll the Phillies Friday night.
As he usually does, Colon picked up the Mets when they needed him most. He’s 6-1 starting after a loss. But after Jon Niese left after getting just one out this week in St. Louis, and Steven Matz on the DL and the Mets about to push back or skip Jacob deGrom for his next start Monday, the Mets needed Colon to preserve the bullpen.
“The bullpen needed a blow,” manager Terry Collins said.
The season started for the Mets with the storyline of those young arms and Colon until Zack Wheeler could come off the disabled list. Then Colon, as he did last year, would enter the bullpen. As it has turned out, Colon is the ace of this staff. With the 9-4 victory, Colon won his team-high 12th game and 230th of his career to lead active pitchers. It was also his 20th win in his four years with the Mets.
Not bad for somebody the Mets signed in the winter of 2013 as a stopgap when Matt Harvey was injured. His next start is Wednesday against Miami.
Colon was the Mets’ top storyline on the night, followed by their mashing and the continued struggles of Jay Bruce.
The homer was Reyes’ 415th as a Met to tie him for fourth on the franchise list with Mike Piazza.
Wilmer Flores broke the game, 6-1, with a grand slam in the fifth. Cabrera hit his second homer – a two-run drive – that made it 9-1 in the sixth.
With right-handers scheduled to start the next two games for the Phillies, there’s no reason to believe Collins will deviate and start him. Flores has 14 homers and 44 RBI this season.
But, Flores will never learn to get comfortable against right-handed pitching until he faces more of it. The numbers indicate Flores has more at-bats against right-handers, but that stands to reason as there are far more right-handed pitchers.
STILL LIKE BRUCE TRADE: Bruce – dropped to sixth in the order – continued his horrid play, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.
In 22 games since coming over to the Mets from Cincinnati, Bruce is 13-for-81 (.160) with two homers and six RBI.
Even so, I still like the trade for several reasons, the first being the Mets are trying to reach the playoffs, and at the time of the deal Yoenis Cespedes was gimpy and Curtis Granderson in a terrible slump (he still is).
Also part of their reasoning was to be a safety net if Cespedes opts out. Cespedes said this week he wants to stay with the Mets but isn’t sure.
Although he’s not hitting now, he has 34 games remaining to catch fire. Nobody knows what will happen next year, but as long as the Mets are in it, Bruce can eventually help them. He’s too good a hitter (27 homers and 86 RBI) not to.