Bartolo Colon aiming to put himself in select company

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Before a public health disaster at O.co Coliseum sent players scrambling, Athletics starter Bartolo Colon pitched well against the Mariners, holding the opposition to two runs over seven innings on eight hits and zero walks. Colon lowered his ERA to 2.89 on the season and improved to 9-2.

If, somehow, Colon manages to keep his ERA below 3.00 by the end of the season (Sabermetric statistics indicate he won’t), he would join a select group of pitchers to toss enough innings to qualify for the ERA title and post a sub-3.00 ERA at the age of 40 or older. The last to do it was Roger Clemens in 2005, who put up a 1.87 ERA in 211.1 innings with the Astros. Both Clemens and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2004. Prior to those two, Nolan Ryan did it with the Rangers in 1991.

The full list:

Player Year ERA Age Tm Lg IP
Bartolo Colon 2013 2.92 40 OAK AL 83.1
Roger Clemens 2005 1.87 42 HOU NL 211.1
Randy Johnson 2004 2.60 40 ARI NL 245.2
Roger Clemens 2004 2.98 41 HOU NL 214.1
Nolan Ryan 1991 2.91 44 TEX AL 173.0
Rick Reuschel 1989 2.94 40 SFG NL 208.1
Nolan Ryan 1987 2.76 40 HOU NL 211.2
Warren Spahn 1963 2.60 42 MLN NL 259.2
Connie Marrero 1952 2.88 41 WSH AL 184.1
Johnny Niggeling 1944 2.32 40 WSH AL 206.0
Ted Lyons 1942 2.10 41 CHW AL 180.1
Jack Quinn 1928 2.90 44 PHA AL 211.1
Pete Alexander 1927 2.52 40 STL NL 268.0
Eddie Plank 1916 2.33 40 SLB AL 235.2
Cy Young 1910 2.53 43 CLE AL 163.1
Cy Young 1909 2.26 42 CLE AL 294.1
Cy Young 1908 1.26 41 BOS AL 299.0
Cy Young 1907 1.99 40 BOS AL 343.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/16/2013.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cardinals 5, Dodgers 3: The Cards had a 3-0 lead that the Dodgers erased by the seventh inning. It remained tied until the ninth when Dave Roberts called on his just-activated closer, Kenley Jansen. Jansen said he was healthy before he came in and he said he felt fine after he came out but in between he gave up ninth inning homers to Jedd Gyorko — a pinch hit number — and Matt Carpenter to take the L. Los Angeles stranded 14 baserunners. The Cardinals won their 15th game in the month of August, the most in all of baseball.

Giants 2, Mets 1: Derek Holland allowed a Wilmer Flores RBI double in the first inning and then he and six relievers shut the Mets out for the game’s final 12 frames. Zack Wheeler allowed only one run over seven innings while striking out 10, and relievers continued that fine work until the 13th. Some fine work can be undone, however, in the blink of an eye:

That allowed Andrew McCutchen to score what turned out to be the winning run. His comment about it after the game:

“Laughed all the way to the dugout. Everybody’s eyes were about as big as that big-eyed emoji. It was pretty crazy. Everyone was pretty stunned, but everyone was going to be stunned when something like that happens.”

It was the Mets, though, so is “stunned” really the right word here?

Athletics 9, Rangers 0: Mike Fiers allowed only one hit in seven shutout innings and the Rangers were the third team shut out overall on Monday night. Ramon Laureano hit two homers for Oakland. Khris Davis hit one, but it was a special one. Before the game Davis met with some kids from the Make a Wish Foundation, and one of them — Anthony Slocumb — autographed Davis’ jersey. Davis, still wearing the jersey in the game, launched a monster home run with Anthony’s name on the back:

Davis, after the game:

“I thought about him around the bases. There’s not a better feeling than hitting a home run, so hopefully he got some excitement and joy from watching that.”

And, I presume, he got the jersey too.

Mariners 7, Astros 4: Seattle helped Oakland back in to a first place tie in the West by beating the Astros thanks to a three-run homer from Robinson Cano in the eighth which broke a 4-4 tie. Felix Hernandez made his return to the rotation after a brief foray into relief work. He wasn’t great — he allowed four runs in five innings — but the M’s got to Houston’s pen, tying things up on a sixth inning and taking him off the hook for a loss when Mitch Haniger singled in a run, setting the stage for Cano’s heroics.

Braves 1, Pirates 0: When you have a 20 year-old rookie pitcher making his big league debut you don’t want to have him make one first inning run hold up, but that’s what the Braves did to Bryse Wilson. Wilson responded, however, tossing five shutout innings with five relievers keeping up the goose eggs the rest of the way. The Pirates, meanwhile, have allowed a single run in five straight games . . . and they’ve lost three of those games. When the opposition makes defensive plays like this one made by Ender Inciarte, however, stuff like that is going to happen:

Indians 5, Red Sox 4: Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in this potential playoff preview, but homers from Melky Cabrera and Michael Brantley in the fifth and six tied it up and a two-run homer from Greg Allen in the seventh put Cleveland up 5-3. Rick Porcello surrendered all of those bombs. Just before the Allen bomb he had been hit in the gut with a comebacker, which knocked the wind out of him. He said he was fine and no one blamed the blast on the effects of that comebacker. Porcello just said he hung a crappy pitch. Corey Kluber pitched in the seventh inning for Cleveland and got his 16th win on the year, tying him for the league lead.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 3: Kendrys Morales smacked two homers, accounting for four of the Jays’ five runs. Toronto has taken 10 of 11 games against Baltimore this year and all eight at home.

White Sox 8, Twins 5: White Sox manager Rick Renteria was taken to a hospital before the game due to lightheadedness and stayed overnight for observation. If there was a TV in his room he observed Matt Davidson hit a homer and drove in three runs, Jose Abreu get two hits and two RBI and Lucas Giolito allow three runs and five hits in his second straight win. He also observed the Sox win their fourth game in five outings. Here’s hoping that, and whatever medical care he needed, got him feeling better and that he’s back with the club today.

Rays 1, Royals 0: The Rays bullpenned it up once again and saw four pitchers combine on the shutout, with second pitcher Ryan Yarbrough working the most innings. Willy Adames third inning RBI single was the game’s only scoring. Eight pitchers were used in all in this 1-0 game. I wonder if there were any nine-inning, no-rain-dealy 1-0 games that involved this many pitchers in all of baseball history before, say, 1990. I bet there wasn’t.

Brewers 5, Reds 2: Chase Anderson gave up early solo homers to Reds batters — he does that — but Travis Shaw and Christian Yelich homered — Shaw’s was a two-run shot — to give the Brewers a 3-2 lead by the sixth inning and they just added from there.