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 Chroniclepoints 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.
Baseball is a young man’s game. Whereas, a few short years ago, teams went into battle with a lot of guys with ten or twelve years of experience under their belt, these days such veterans are a dying breed. Whether you chalk it up to teams favoring youth because youth is less expensive, the game simply favoring younger, more athletic players, the decline in PED use among ballplayers or some combination of all three, the fact is that it’s better to be 23 in Major League Baseball these days than 33.
Turner is 33 — he turns 34 in November — yet he remains at or near the top of his game. It’s been a shorter season than usual for him due to an injury that cost him all of April and part of May, but his production when healthy remains at a near-MVP level. He’s hitting .318/.413/.525 on the year, and his return coincided with the Dodgers shaking off their early-season doldrums. Now, with his help, they are on the verge of yet another NL West title.
Not only that, but he’s doing that while holding down a second job!