Bartolo Colon beats Cardinals with his arm -- and his bat!
ST. LOUIS -- Bartolo Colon, the beer keg-shaped owner of a .000 batting average, was walking through the clubhouse Wednesday morning when he was stopped by someone with a prediction.
The time had come for Colon's first hit of the year, Mets bench coach Bob Geren insisted, to which the pitcher responded with an emphatic shake of his head.
"No chance," he said.
Yet there he stood at second base a few hours later, moments after rifling a double down the leftfield line. With one swing -- the most important one in the Mets' 3-2 win over the Cardinals -- Colon ignited a rally and lifted the spirits of a team in a tailspin.
"Everybody was happy about the whole situation," Colon said through a translator.
With his team badly needing to avoid a three-game sweep, the 41-year-old staged the Mets' most impressive one-man show of the season.
He pitched eight dominant innings, holding the Cardinals to zeros after Matt Carpenter led off the bottom of the first with a home run. He fielded his position with the grace of a centerfielder, charging to take a bunt hit away from Kolten Wong.
But his most memorable work came at the plate, where he hadn't recorded a hit since 2005.
Typically, the loudest contact Colon makes is in the clubhouse before his starts. He's made a habit of taking an exercise roller made of foam and slamming it onto a table. The loud bang often startles teammates and gives him a reason to chuckle.
But with the Mets trailing 1-0, Colon hammered a Lance Lynn fastball down the line. As the ball rattled around the leftfield corner, the Mets dugout exploded with cries of "Go three!" Colon stopped at second, but moments later he shuffled home on a double by Eric Young Jr.
Colon was greeted in the dugout by teammates fanning him with towels. "It made everybody laugh, I can say that much," said Young, the speedy outfielder. "Sometimes, laughter gets everything going."
David Wright blooped a run- scoring single later in the inning. In the seventh, Young added another RBI double to make it 3-1. It was enough for Colon, who held the Cardinals to four hits in eight innings.
He struck out one, walked none and retired 13 in a row. He did it despite the mercury rising to a sweltering 91 degrees, a number that failed to capture how the air felt like chowder.
Nevertheless, Colon (7-5) gave the Mets only their fourth victory in their last 15 games and ended their eight-game losing streak on the road.
Of course, it didn't come without a scare.
In the ninth, the laughter nearly turned to tears, thanks to a pair of questionable decisions by Terry Collins. First, he pulled Colon after only 86 pitches for Jenrry Mejia, who allowed the Cardinals to score. Then he yanked the closer for journeyman lefty Dana Eveland, who ended it by getting lefthanded-hitting Matt Adams on a weak grounder.
But even those misadventures couldn't spoil Colon's one-man show.
It had been nine years since Eveland recorded a save and nine years since Colon recorded a hit. And although it had been only three days since the Mets won a game, there were moments when that drought felt like years.
"We needed a win," Wright said. "That was the most important thing. Anytime you can win and laugh at the same time, that's always a good day."