Colon Gets Important Win For Himself As Well As His Team
Veteran pitcher Bartolo Colon made headlines last year when, after twenty seasons in the Big Leagues, he finally hit his first home run. His blast came against James Shields of the San Diego Padres on May 7 in the top of the second inning, while Colon was pitching for the New York Mets.
It would take even longer than twenty years for Colon to accomplish another feat, one much rarer than hitting a home run. Nevertheless, the burly right hander finally beat the only team against which he had gone winless in his career.
Pitching for the Minnesota Twins in the heat of a late August pennant race, Colon dispatched the Arizona Diamondbacks. In five career starts against Arizona, Colon had been winless until Sunday’s game.
His offense certainly helped Colon in his attempt to cross the Diamondbacks off of his bucket list, as the Twins hitters batted around in the first inning. Thus, when Colon stepped onto the pitching mound in the top of the second, his teammates had given him a lead of nine runs to none.
In spite of the all of the early run support, the chances of Colon hanging around the required five innings to notch the victory were in jeopardy. He yielded three runs in the fourth inning, and then Arizona hitters threatened him with several hits before settling for an additional run in the fifth.
The 44 year old veteran lasted six innings, as he and the Twins went on to beat the Diamondbacks by a score of twelve to five. They were the thirtieth club to lose to Colon since he started his career in 1997, just three years after the Diamondbacks became a team.
That victory marked not only a mile stone for Colon, but it also kept the Twins in the top spot for the second Wild Card in the American League. Should Minnesota manage to stay there and advance in the postseason, Colon may have a chance to accomplish another milestone.
Since his victory Sunday came at Target Field in the Twin Cities, Colon has obviously yet to win a game in Arizona. The only other two ballparks where Colon has not recorded victories are Wrigley Field in Chicago and Citizen Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Given that the Phillies are near the bottom of the standings in the National League East, Colon’s chances of getting a win in their home park in the post season is highly unlikely. However, if the Twins get hot in October he could get a shot at winning in either Arizona’s Chase Field or in Wrigley, since both the Diamondbacks and the Cubs are currently in position to reach the playoffs.