The large crowd at Citi Field on Saturday night rallied behind 42-year-old-right-hander Bartolo Colon against the Philadelphia Phillies. Colon received the largest ovation of any player from the Opening Week festivities.
Colon had the chance to reach a significant milestone in his native country. He will soon match Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez for second on the all-time list for wins among the Dominican-born pitches. Colon has downplayed this potential achievement in having 467 career starts with Martinez’s 409.
“I am very proud to have him mentioned along with me and Juan. It is an honor that there is another Dominican that was able to maintain the health and consistency necessary to play so many years in the big leagues and perform well, too. Bartolo is a great human being. He’s a great competitor. Very humble. And if I could wish someone to have his name mentioned next to us, I would say Bartolo is one of the first.” Martinez encountered in Spanish to ESPN. “It is still a great achievement, especially for all of us Latin American players,”
As he re-signed to a one-year contract last December, he began his career with 1 1-3 scoreless innings in Sunday’s opening game against the Kansas City Royals. Colon has moved to the bullpen permanently for the first time in career and is capable of going multiple innings. In the last season, he has thrown fast balls with an 83.8 percent of his pitches were also fastballs more than half were his two-seamer.
As for the Phillies trying to elude this dubious achievement, Colon is making history in the 42-year-old’s first start of 2016. In the last season, he induced a soft contact about 17.2 percent of the time as Matt Harvey. He sure will be practicing and experiencing a moment of a lifetime. On Saturday Colon tossed six innings allowed just five hits and struck out six with his only blemish a Ryan Howard solo shot in the fifth inning. While the Mets veteran will have to wait at least another start to reach a monumental baseball achievement, the Amazin's can only marvel at his longevity and success.