NEW YORK -- Even dressed in camouflage, there was no disguising Bartolo Colon's dominance on the mound for the scouts in attendance ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. In what could have been his final start as a Met, the right-hander allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings and struck out six in the New York Mets’ 7-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
New York Mets
The Mets still have ground to catch up to the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves in the wild-card standings, but Colon’s résum&233; over the years shows that he has helped teams in the push for the playoffs.
Colon registered six wins after the All-Star break in 2013 to help the Oakland Athletics clinch the American League West.
Manager Terry Collins sees Colon’s value for a playoff contender as one of the “true veteran” players on his roster.
“This guy is down-to-earth. He’s calm. He’s not rattled by anything. He’s an inning-eating machine,” Collins said. “This guy brings something to the clubhouse and I think that our young Latin relief pitchers can attest to that. I think he’s helped them be better.”
Colon tied a season high with 121 pitches. With an off-day on Thursday, Collins felt no reason to limit the pitch count.
“You can stretch him for another five or 10, because they’re going to have that extra day,” Collins said. “I wasn’t concerned with his pitch count as I normally would be. He would’ve been out of the game if he was coming back in four days.”
Colon suggested he pays no mind nowadays to trade rumors. He said he learned to tune out the speculation and talks when he was dealt along with Tim Drew to the Montreal Expos in exchange for Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, Grady Sizemore and Lee Stevens in 2002.
“When they traded me to Montreal, that’s when I really noticed that this is a business,” Colon said in Spanish. “Really, after that, that’s when I quit paying attention.”
Tears were shed upon his departure from Cleveland, but not by him.
“I remember that my little boy started crying because he didn’t want to leave Cleveland,” Colon said. “He really liked his room there.”
Wherever he’s pitching next, Colon will be bidding for his 200th victory. Assuming he's not traded, which is the likelihood, that start would be Sunday as he faces the San Francisco Giants. Juan Marichal (243) and former Met Pedro Martinez (219) are the only two other Dominican-born pitchers to achieve that plateau.
Colon joined an exclusive club on Monday. He became the third Met age 41 or older to record double-digit wins, joining Tom Glavine (2007) and Orel Hershiser (1999), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Colon has not allowed a homer in his past four starts, a season high. One scout in attendance told ESPNNewYork.com that a West Coast team with a pitchers’ ballpark could make sense as a possible trade destination.
Yet general manager Sandy Alderson may opt to hold on to the former Cy Young Award winner. The logic: His value could increase after the season.
“There will be lots of teams looking for pitching in the offseason,” Alderson said before the game. “And there will be lots of teams thinking about giving a veteran pitcher three or four years at $50 million, $60 million. At that point, an $11 million deal for one year for someone of his ability looks pretty attractive. I’m not sure it looks quite as attractive today as it would then.”