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.
The Cardinals went from winning 100 games last season to 82 entering Wednesday evening’s game, and they might not even make the playoffs. Still, the organization will bring back manager Mike Matheny for the 2017 season, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. said, “Mike’s done a really good job for us. There’s no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”
GM John Mozeliak also expressed his support, saying, “Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to. I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.”
Mozeliak continued, “I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”
Matheny has received criticism for his bullpen usage, but the Cardinals have only 15 blown saves as a team, the fourth-lowest total in baseball this season.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.