Mets starter Bartolo Colon won the 200th game of his 17-year career with a strong performance in Philadelphia against the Phillies on Friday night. The right-hander allowed just one run on six hits over eight innings, out-dueling Phillies starter A.J. Burnett. Colon had a chance to win #200 last Sunday, but struggled against the Giants.
The Mets bullpen put Colon’s 200th win in jeopardy with a shaky ninth inning. Lefty Dana Eveland started the inning, allowing a lead-off double to Chase Utley followed by a walk to Ryan Howard. Manager Terry Collins brought in closer Jenrry Mejia, dealing with a calf issue lately, but he was greeted with a Marlon Byrd single to load the bases. Grady Sizemore knocked in a pair with a double off of the right field wall — nearly a game-tying grand slam — to make it 5-3. Carlos Ruiz weakly lined out to right field for the first out, then Cody Asche grounded out to the right side, knocking in a run in the process. Mejia was finally able to get pinch-hitter Reid Brignac to strike out looking to end the game, preserving Colon’s win.
Colon, 41, is the 92nd pitcher to accrue 200 wins over his career. Giants starter Tim Hudson and CC Sabathia of the Yankees are the only other active members of the 200-win club. Blue Jays lefty Mark Buehrle, with 197 wins, will be the next to get his credential into the club, perhaps by the end of this month.
Colon has dominated the Phillies this season. He has gone at least seven innings and gotten the win in all three starts, allowing only four runs in total. On the season, he has an 11-9 record with a 3.97 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and a 117/20 K/BB ratio in 154 1/3 innings.
Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has played in exactly one Grapefruit league game this year, and that was way back on March 2. Since then he has been totally absent from the Nats’ big league spring games, playing instead on the back fields in sim games and in minor league contests.
While that’s not an unusual course of action for an injured or rehabbing player, both Zimmerman and the Nationals insist that there is nothing wrong with him. Per this report from MASN’s Mark Zuckerman, they’re saying that Zimmerman “simply prefers to get his work done in the more controlled environment of minor league games, where the rules are lax.” He doesn’t have to dive for balls, he can lead off every inning, etc. Manager Dave Martinez says Zimmerman simply doesn’t like the usual spring training grind and that this is working for him so he’s fine with it too.
Are you buyin’ that? Not sure I’m buyin’ that.
I suppose weirder things have happened. The Minnesota Twins once let Jack Morris go back to his farm in between starts rather than stay with the club. Other accommodations have been made for veterans, especially in spring training. But this is way more in keeping with a team hiding an injury. Though I have no idea why the Nats would choose to hide an injury to Zimmerman. They’ve talked at length about Daniel Murphy‘s knees and Adam Eaton‘s seemingly never-ending rehab. If Zimmerman has some aches and pains, you’d think they’d talk about it.
On the other hand, if this is a legit story and it is simply an accommodation for a veteran who doesn’t like the normal spring training grind, look for Zimmerman to be a trailblazer, because there are a LOT of dudes who hate spring training too and would love to change things up like this.