SEATTLE - Oblivious to it all, Bartolo Colon stood on the rubber Wednesday afternoon, calmly tossing a baseball into the air while he waited for his catcher to report from the dugout.
From the fans in the seats, to the rival scouts jotting down notes and radar-gun readings, the focus fell solely on the Mets' 41-year-old righthander. He had arrived on the mound in the seventh inning of an eventual 3-2 win over the Mariners with perfection still within reach.
Not that he paid any mind.
"Until you get to the ninth inning," he said through a translator, "you shouldn't be thinking about that."
Robinson Cano's two-out single in the seventh broke up the bid. And in the eighth, the Mariners chased Colon with Brad Miller's run-scoring double off the rightfield fence.
But the Mets stifled the rally thanks to a 39-second video review, which wiped out Willie Bloomquist's infield single. Jeurys Familia preserved the Mets' one-run lead in the eighth and Jenrry Mejia tossed a scoreless ninth to shut the door. And the Mets (48-53) won for the second straight time on a 10-game road trip that resumes Thursday night with the first of four games against the Brewers.
With the trade deadline looming on July 31, many regarded Colon's outing as an interview for his next job. If so, he nailed it.
Said Colon: "Those are decisions for the upper management and you can't control that stuff."
Behind run-scoring hits by Daniel Murphy and David Wright, and a sacrifice fly by Juan Lagares, the Mets furnished Colon with a 3-0 lead. Almost immediately, manager Terry Collins sensed that just one run might be enough.
"You could tell by the second hitter that he was just on today," Collins said.
With Colon's fastball command on point, catcher Anthony Recker said he didn't bother calling anything else. "To me, it was just relaxing," Recker said. "It was easy to kind of sit back there and catch the ball. That's all I had to worry about doing, just catching the ball."
Anticipation built with every out, starting slowly at first, though it was unmistakable by the end of the afternoon.
After three innings, when Recker noticed the Mariners had yet to have a baserunner, it elicited an "Oh wow, look at that."
After six innings, when Recker realized that only one trip through the lineup stood in the way of history, he let himself dream. "We've got a good shot at this," said Recker, who wasn't alone in that sentiment.
Suddenly, in the Mets' dugout, company was tough to come by even for the carefree Colon. Teammates distanced themselves. "They would just walk away," he said.
Soon, all of it was moot. In the seventh, Endy Chavez popped up and James Jones struck out, bringing up Cano. To Collins, the former Yankee and the Mariners' best hitter was perhaps the final major hurdle for Colon to clear.
"There is no doubt in my mind that if he got by Cano, he ramps it up," Collins said. "You see that a lot."
True to form, Cano waited on a pitch, then ripped it the other way to leftfield. "Yeah, you're a little disappointed when they get a hit," Colon said. "But that's what they're trying to do, they're trying to break up the no-hitter."
Notes & quotes: Curtis Granderson could miss his third straight game Thursday night with lingering flu-like symptoms . . . Righthander Buddy Carlyle cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Las Vegas.