Bartolo Colon did him Wednesday night, as he does. At this point in his career, why should he do anything different?
Colon shut out the Mets over six innings in his return to Citi Field. Six innings after he left, Mets reliever Rafael Montero served up a tiebreaking two-run double to Matt Kemp that gave the Braves a 3-1 win.
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But forget about Montero (Mets fans want to, after watching him stumble his way to a loss); the night was all about Big Sexy.
Mets fans let Colon know they still love him for it. And Bartolo let ‘em know he loves them, too.
"To be honest, I do feel at home here. We had a great relationship," Colon said through a translator, per The Associated Press. "I definitely wanted to show my appreciation."
But not too much appreciation, because there was a ballgame to win. Colon did his part, of course,by carving up the Mets’ hitters.
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He dared them to hit his assortment of fastballs, and they couldn't. New York managed just two hits, one a wall-scraping solo homer by Jay Bruce, and one walk. Colon fanned six during his 80-pitch stint.
"He is what he is. We sat there in about the fourth inning and we said, 'Well, this is vintage Bartolo,'" Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters, per the AP.
Bartolo Colon greets Yoenis Cespedes. (Getty Images)
“Vintage” is about the perfect word for Big Bart. Now in his age 44 season, he still looks like the Bart who saved the Mets' rotation last year when the studs not named Syndergaard were hurt or bad or both. Colon led New York with 33 starts and 191 2/3 innings in 2016.
The Mets had the pitching depth to let Colon walk in the offseason, and he strolled straight into a division rival’s dugout. Wednesday, he began earning the $12.5 million on his one-year contract.
The Braves are counting on Colon, R.A. Dickey (another former Met) and Jaime Garcia to help them get through at least the first half of the season. At this point, would it shock anyone if Colon is the last man standing?
After what Colon did the past three seasons in New York (44 wins, 588 2/3 innings) and again Wednesday night there, it’s almost to be expected.