Dec 17, 2015

Mets Resign Bartolo Colon - Looking Back at His 2015 NL Championship Season

On December 17th 2015, the NL Champion New York Mets gave Bartolo Colon a one year $7 million deal. The popular 42 year old Mets pitcher will be greeted very kindly again at Citi Field in 2016. Colon has one 14 or more games three straight years with the Mets. Here's a look at his 2015 season for the NL Champions.

There was some slight trade talk about Bartolo Colon in the 2014-2015 off season but nothing came of it. He was slated to be the Opening Day starter for 2015, the veteran in a young pitching staff. Colon earned the right for the Opening Day nod with his 15 wins. It was also a chance for the Mets to have Jacob deGrom start the home Opener & to add some rest for Matt Harvey in the three slot.

Colon started out 2015 excellent. On Opening Day in Washington, Colon gave the Mets six solid innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out seven. 

On April 12th in Atlanta his next outing, Colon went seven innings, giving up three runs earning the 4-3 win over the Braves. In the Mets 4th inning, Wilmer Flores doubled & with one out Colon singled, driving him in with his first RBI. 

On April 17th, he had another strong performance, in seven innings of work he allowed one run on six hits, striking out five. In the bottom of the 5th, Colon added a sac fly to tie the game up. Colon now had two RBIs in his last two games & he became even more popular with Mets fans.

On April 23rd, in a game centerfieldmaz attended, Colon helped the Mets tie a franchise record by recording the clubs 11th straight win. It wasn't pretty as he gave up three runs on seven hits but he did benefit from six Mets runs, in a 6-3 win over the Atlanta Braves. 

This got Colon to 4-0, something no one saw coming. He is the first pitcher in the past 80 years to start out at 4-0 aged forty or older.
On April 29th he earned his first loss of the season.

On May 5th at Citi Field in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, he rebounded well enough to pitch into the 8th inning, allow one run, strike out a season high nine batters, and walk no one. Colon earned his 5th win in the 5-1 Mets victory.

On Mothers Day in Philadelphia, Colon became the majors first six game winner (6-1), as he  beat the Phillies in another outing where he did not allow a walk. Colon extended his streak back to the first game of the season & had not allowed a walk in 40 1/3 innings.

Colon suffered two straight losses including a nine run, eleven hit debacle against the Cardinals on May 20th. The Mets lost that one 9-0. He rebounded beating the Philadelphia Phillies & Miami Marlins in back to back outings at Citi Field.

He went into June at 8-3 but then went into a terrible six game losing streak as he went O for July. Not all those outings were that bad, but he did allow six or more runs three times & saw his ERA got just under five.

On July 1st, he shut out the Chicago Cubs for seven innings at Citi but Jon Lester also shut out the Mets for seven &  got help from his bullpen in the 2-0 win. He took another tough loss in Los Angeles as Clayton Kershaw shut out the Mets 3-0. Colon pitched 8 innings giving up just one run.

On July 29th he had his worst outing getting knocked out of the game in the 3rd inning, after giving up six runs on ten hits.

On August 3rd in Miami he threw 8 innings of one run ball, as the Mets beat up on the fish 12-1 as Colon got to .500 at 10-10. He then had two no decision, in one he allowed just one run in five innings & the other seven runs in 3.2 innings at Philadelphia.

2015 was an up & down year for Bartolo Colon, he began the year at 4-0 and got as good as 6-1 with a 3.30 ERA by mid May. By mid June he was at 9-4 until he hit a snag and lost his next six decisions.

As August began he finally earned a win in Miami, allowing just one run in seven innings. His next starts were up & down as he was 10-11 with an ERA near five by late August, then the ageless wonder went on a record setting roll.

August 26th: On this night Bartolo Colon took the mound for the first place Mets (70-56) in Philadelphia, against Pete Mackanin's last place Phillies (50-77).

The Mets gave Colon a quick 3-0 lead as they jumped on starter Jerad Eickhoff in the 1st inning.

Curtis Granderson reached on an error, Yoenis Cespedes then reached on an infield single. As Daniel Murphy grounded out, Grandy scored making 1-0. Michael Cuddyer doubled down the left field line scoring Cespedes & Cuddyer would score on a Micahel Conforto base hit.

On the mound Colom shut out the Phillies for seven innings, allowing just five hits & two walks. He struck out eight and went on to earn the win putting him at .500 (11-11) on the year. It was the first time since his July 1st start that he did not allow a run.

The Mets went on to win it 9-4, Cuddyer added a solo HR in the 8th inning & Murph drove in his second run of the game. Yoenis Cespedes tripled home a run, Conforto & Juan Uribe added RBI hits as well. At the plate Colon went 0-3.

August 29th: In a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox, Manager Terry Collins used Colon in a rare relief appearance to help a depleted bullpen. The ageless wonder Colon, came on & pitched a scoreless, 9th inning striking out two.

August 31st: The Philadelphia Phillies came to New York as the Mets were riding a 5 1/2 game first place lead over the Washington Nationals.

Colon went up against Jerad Eickhoff once again. This time Colon pitched eight shut out innings, allowing just four hits & one walk. He struck out nine to match his season high, earning his 12th win (12-11). His scoreless innings streak was now up to 16.

In the 5th inning he even got a base hit & scored on Curtis Granderson's  23rd HR of the year. Michael Conforto added a solo shot to contribute to the Mets 3-1 win.

That week Bartolo Colon won the NL Player of the Week Award.

September 5th: The first place Mets, now 15 games over .500 (75-60) visited South Florida for a matchup between Dan Jennings' third place Miami Marlins (56-80).

Colon may have had his best outing to date for the year as he pitched a complete game shut out, without walking any one. He gave up nine hits & struck out just two. The win was easy as the Mets gave him seven runs to play with.

Colon now leading the Mets staff with 13 wins, became the first Mets pitcher to throw a complete game in the 2015 season. He also became the oldest Mets pitcher to throw a shut out at age 42. Colon gave the bullpen a much needed rest and extended his scoreless streak to 25 innings.

With his glove he made one of the most outstanding plays of the year as he fielded a slow grounder along the first base line, he then tossed the ball behind his back right on target to first baseman Daniel Murphy's glove for the amazing out. Everyone had a smile on their face as he entered the dugout being congratulated by his team mates.

The Mets hit three HRs that night, a three run shot from Travis d'Arnaud, a two run shot from Juan Lagares & a solo shot from Wilmer Flores.

September 10th: The first place Mets (79-61) were fresh off a sweep of the second place Nationals in D.C. The Met lead was now seven games & a magic number was set at 17 to clinch the Division.

Colon took the mound trying to extend his streak in Atlanta against the struggling Braves (56-85) Freddi Gonzalez's Braves trailed the Mets by 22 1/2 games in the standings.

Colon came on and threw six more scoreless innings, not giving up a run until a Jace Peterson triple scored Nick Swisher to end the streak at 31 innings. Colon fell just shy of the Mets franchise record of 32 2/3 scoreless innings set by R.A. Dickey. 

When Colon  reached the 28 inning mark, he made history passing Cy Young & Warren Spahn as pitchers 42 years of age or older to not allow a run in that many innings.

The Mets rolled along to a 7-2 win, as Colon bested his record to 14-11 with a 4.13 ERA, 129 strike outs & just 22 walks in 176 innings pitched (29 starts). Colon has the best walks per nine innings ratio in the NL.

The Mets starting the scoring in the 4th on a Kevin Plawecki double that brought in two runs. And then yes, the man himself; Bartolo Colon added his own RBI base to make it 3-0 Mets.

For Colon it was his 8th hit of the year & his fourth RBI, both career highs. He raised his batting average to .148 on the season as well.

Plawecki added another RBI later on, and Juan Uribe had a big three hit three RBI night to contribute.

Colon would get three more starts allowing three runs in each game, pitching five or more innings in each outing as well. He took two more losses with a no decision & made a relief appearance in the Mets 1-0 win, in the final game of the regular season coming against the Washington Nats.

Colon finished the year at 14-13, tied with Jacob deGrom for most wins on the Mets staff. His 14 wins were also 7th most wins in the NL. He  posted a 4.16 ERA, struck out 136 batters while walking just 24 in 194 innings of work (most innings pitched on the Met staff). His 1.110 walks per nine innings was the best in the league & his strike outs per walk ratio of 5.667 fourth best. He also allowed the most hits in the league (217) & 25 HRs in 33 games (31 starts which was most on the Met staff).

Post Season: Colon got to his fifth post season with the Mets & his first World Series. He saw action in three games of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, pitching four innings all in relief. He gave up two run on two hits while striking out three.

In the Mets NLCS Game #4 at Wrigley Field, he pitched 1.1 innings & earned the victory, helping the Mets to the 8-3 game winner to complete the series sweep that got them the World Series.

In the World Series Game #1 he took the 14th inning loss, after pitching three innings of relief. Eric Hosmer's sac fly scored Ben Zobrist with the walk off game winner. He also saw some relief work in Games #4 & Game #5.

On December 17th he signed a one year $7 million deal to stay with the New York Mets.

In his 18 year career, Colon has 218 wins(79 most wins all time) with 154 losses (148th all time) with 2237 strike outs (53 all time), 856 walks (194th all time) in 2982 innings (138th all time) in 475 games, 467 starts (70th all time) & a 3.97 ERA.

His 13 shut outs are first among active pitchers & he is the second oldest player in the game. All time his 2.613 strike outs to walk ratio in 91st all time. His walks per nine innings (2.585) is 26th best all time.

He has played with the Cleveland Indians (1997-2002),  Montreal Expos (2002) Chicago White Sox (2003/ 2009), Los Angeles Angles (2004-2007) Boston Red Sox (2008) A.L. NY Team (2011) Oakland A's (2012-2013) & New York Mets (2014-2016).

He has made three All Star teams, won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award, four monthly & four weekly Player Awards as well.

Family: Colon & his wife live in Clifton, New Jersey with their three children. In September of 2014 he & his wife were officially named United States citizens.

No comments: