Saturday, April 18, 2015

Swing Hard!

Bartolo Colon defies any particular description as far as his exploits as a baseball player. I recall, in my younger days, watching this sleek young fireballer throwing darts all over the place for those great Cleveland Indians teams in the late 90s. But, the years piled on and the pounds piled on and the arm wore down...and yet he's still here, which I know is mystifying to pretty much everyone who looks at him every time he sets foot on a baseball field. He can still pitch, which is perfectly logical; like most of his era, as he got older, he got wiser and better at knowing how to pitch in situations when he was no longer able to dial up the rising stink.

Then, there's his hitting.

To call Bartolo Colon's offense "interesting" might be putting it kindly. Bartolo Colon seems to adhere to the Jason Isringhausen style of hitting, which was "swing hard, you just might make contact." Izzy, in his time, was a decent hitter as pitchers go. Bartolo Colon, after spending so many years in the American League where he didn't have to hit is significantly less so.

But he still goes up there and swings hard. Most of the time, he knocks himself over or whacks the helmet off of his head. Every once in a while, though, he makes contact. Usually the ball doesn't go very far, but sometimes it falls in where nobody is and he has himself a hit, which sends everyone into an uproar. Last season, he got a hit against Oakland at Citi Field and the crowd responded with a standing ovation. Last Sunday, his RBI single was poked over a drawn-in Infield and marked the first time he'd done such a thing since 2005, and when he was announced the next day at the Home Opener, Howie Rose referred to him as "Pitcher...and Hitter." And Last night, he netted himself another RBI by connecting on a 5th inning Sacrifice Fly that tied the game at 1-1.

This was the showstopping moment of the night, although of far greater value was the 7 innings of 1-run ball he pitched, allowing Giancarlo Stanton's daily Home Run in the 1st and not much else as the Mets eventually tied, passed and beat the Marlin-poos for the second game in a row, 4-1, to net themselves their 6th win in a row and their 5th win in as many tries at Citi Field. This could have been my 3rd game of the year, but for an unavoidable work commitment that prevented me from attending, prevented me from my first Free Shirt Friday (or as my other half refers to it "Horrible Shirt Friday") of the season and basically prevented me from seeing any part of the game at all. But who needs to see the game to know that Bartolo Colon was the story of the night?

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