Lynn on Colon's first hit in over nine years: 'That at-bat was the game'
JUN 18, 2014 6:29p ET
ST. LOUIS -- Sure, the double that Bartolo Colon hit Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium was a fluke. But the way he dominated the Cardinals on the mound was not.
Either way you want to look at the work of the 41-year-old rotund right-hander, he was the difference in the Mets' 3-2 victory that ended the Cardinals' season-best winning streak at five games.
First, his offense. Colon had not had a hit in more than nine years -- a stretch covering 44 at-bats during which he struck out 29 times -- when he came up in the sixth with Lance Lynn holding a 1-0 lead.
"No way I thought he was going to swing," said Lynn, who delivered an 88-mph fastball over the plate that Colon promptly pulled down the left-field line for the first double of his 17-year career. "You throw him a first-pitch ball, you don't expect them to give him the green light there. It was a pitch that found his barrel."
Eric Young Jr. followed with a double to put the Mets on the scoreboard and give Colon the second run of his career, the first since he was a member of the now-extinct Montreal Expos. David Wright followed with a one-out, run-scoring single to tie the game, but that wasn't what bothered Lynn.
"That (Colon) at-bat was the game," Lynn said. "He was due, I guess. It was a good swing, honestly."
Fortunately for Colon, who is listed at 5-foot-11 and 283 pounds, he did not have to expend much energy going around the bases. In fact, there are some people who could walk around them faster than he jogged. But on a day with the temperature at 91 degrees for first pitch, he was able to conserve his energy for his real job.
He pitched even better than he hit, too. Throwing strictly fastballs that didn't touch 90 mph, Colon worked eight innings and gave up only four hits to win his fifth straight decision and the 196th game of his career. Colon gave up a leadoff homer to Matt Carpenter and that was about it. In one stretch, he retired 13 consecutive Cardinals. He struck out only one but didn't walk anyone and allowed multiple baserunners in only one inning.
"He stays down, he stays in the corners. He makes you get yourself out," said Kolten Wong, who went 0 for 3. "You don't really get mistakes that he leaves in the middle of the plate.
"He's got a lot of movement," added Allen Craig, who also went 0 for 3 off Colon before lining a two-out RBI single in the ninth off Jenrry Mejia. "He does a good job of changing speeds on his fastball. No two pitches are the same."
Being frustrated by Colon wasn't anything new for the Cardinals. He beat them 4-1 at Citi Field in April by working seven innings and giving up four hits and handled them last June when he was pitching for the A's, with an eight-inning, one-run outing.
"We've had trouble with him a couple of times now," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's smart. He's a guy who had overpowering stuff for a long time, but now he's learned how to mix speeds, add some movement, and he knows how to expand the plate."
Colon improved to 4-0 in six career outings against St. Louis, the first of which he made 17 years ago. He served a home run to John Mabry, now the Cardinals' batting coach, but the Cardinals lost then, too.
-- Adam Wainwright. The Cardinals' ace said before the game that he is ready to pitch on Saturday, which will have allowed him an 11-day break between starts. Wainwright said he felt no pain at all in his right elbow during a 35-pitch bullpen session, and while he didn't throw with max effort, he typically doesn't even when he hasn't been slowed by tendinitis.
"Have you ever seen my bullpens? You can catch them with a Kleenex," said Wainwright, not completely joking. He added that he put a little more effort into this one just to make sure he tested the elbow. He also said he probably could have made his scheduled start Monday but "missed one to stay on top of things for the rest of the season."
-- Outfield arms. With two assists, the Cardinals nearly equaled their total of outfield assists coming into the game (3). Jon Jay, not known for his arm, bobbled a hit from Daniel Murphy but still was able to throw him out at second. Instead of a runner in scoring position, the Mets had one out and no one on. Allen Craig's assist the next inning was even bigger. He cut down David Wright at second after he had driven in the Mets' second run, helping thwart what could have been bigger than a two-run inning.
-- Matt Carpenter. Taking off Tuesday night must have done him some good. In his first at-bat after sitting out Tuesday night, Carpenter smacked the third pitch from Colon into the right-field bullpen for his third home run. Carpenter also doubled and scored the Cardinals' other run in the ninth.
-- Double plays. They grounded into three, and two of them snuffed potential rallies on a day when the Cardinals had no rallies. On both of those, the Cardinals had runners on first and second with no outs and the middle of the lineup up. Craig was the rally-snuffer in the fourth and Matt Holliday was in the ninth, with both hitting into a routine 6-4-3.
-- Matt Adams. It could be time to call his pops for another visit. Adams went 0 for 4 and didn't have a hit for the first game since coming off the disabled list last Friday. Adams had homered in his first three games off the DL last weekend when his dad, Jamie, was visiting, and he went 3 for 5 in the first two games after Jamie returned home to Pennsylvania. But the hot streak ended Wednesday when he had a runner on third with two outs in the fourth and did not bring him in. Adams also made the last out of the game when he grounded to short with a runner on.
-- Seth Maness. Taking over in the seventh for Lynn, Maness gave up a single, a double and a big insurance run for the Mets while facing only four batters. The hits were the 39th and 40th Maness has allowed this season as opponents upped their batting average to .325 against him.