What the heck is going on with Bartolo Colon? His incredible run of success continued last night, as he fired eight innings of one-run ball in a 6-1 victory over the Cardinals at O.Co Coliseum. He has wins in each of his last eight starts and is the first pitcher to win seven in a row since turning 40 years old.
Colon scattered six hits and walked just one batter while striking out five. In his typical efficient fashion, he threw 70 out of 101 pitches for strikes and first-pitch strikes to 22 out of 29 batters faced. The veteran right-hander is now 11-2 on the season to go along with a 2.79 ERA and 61/13 K/BB ratio in 106 1/3 innings over 16 starts.
As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle points out, the last time Colon had 11 wins prior to the All-Star break was in 2005 as a member of the Angels. While Johan Santana was the more deserving candidate, he eventually went on to win the American League Cy Young Award that year.
Your Friday box scores:
Indians 19, White Sox 10; Indians 9, White Sox 8
Brewers 3, Pirates 10
Yankees 3, Orioles 4
Nationals 6, Mets 4
Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 7
Padres 9, Marlins 2
Diamondbacks 0, Braves 3
Tigers 6, Rays 3
Royals 9, Twins 3
Giants 1, Rockies 4
Phillies 16, Dodgers 1
Angels 4, Astros 2
Reds 0, Rangers 4
Cubs 4, Mariners 5 (10 innings)
On Sunday, it was reported that second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets were discussing a potential three-year contract extension worth “north of $40 million.” Those discussions took a turn for the worse. The Mets feel extension talks are “probably dead,” according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Walker underwent a lumbar microdisectomy in September, ending his 2016 season during which he hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI over 458 plate appearances.
The Mets may not necessarily need to keep Walker around as it has some potential options up the middle waiting in the minor leagues. Though Amed Rosario is expected to stick at shortstop, Gavin Cecchini — the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline — could shift over to second base.
The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.
It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:
On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:
“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”
Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.