Bartolo Colon pitches six strong innings to lead Mets after his trying week
LOS ANGELES - After the fact, Bartolo Colon admitted he had reached his limit.
He had spent the last week in the Dominican Republic, comforting family in the wake of his mother's passing. Mentally, he insisted he was prepared. But he had been sleeping only at odd hours, and physically, it took a toll.
Which is why he felt some relief in his final inning of an 11-3 win over the Dodgers Sunday, which ended when Yasiel Puig's baserunning bailed the pitcher out of a jam.
"That was right at the crucial moment," Colon said through a translator. "It came at the right time."
That the 41-year-old Colon pitched at all counted as a victory. But in what might have been an audition -- the pitcher is believed to be on waivers so he can ultimately be traded -- Colon allowed two runs in six innings while striking out five and walking only one.
"After he came off in the sixth, I think that's the first time ever in his career he said, 'I'm done,' " Mets manager Terry Collins said.
The Mets tied a season high with four homers, two by Lucas Duda. Travis d'Arnaud and Ruben Tejada also homered off Dodgers righthander Kevin Correia, who was chased after three innings in which the Mets battered him for seven runs (five earned) on seven hits.
It was more than enough for Colon (12-10), who made the most of the 7-1 lead he was given in the third inning.
"We all tried to kind of rally around him and give him as much support as we can," said Duda, who finished with a career-high five RBIs.
In his first outing since going on bereavement leave, and his first start since Aug. 13, Colon allowed a run in the first inning when Matt Kemp ripped a single just out of the reach of a leaping Ruben Tejada at shortstop. Adrian Gonzalez scored from second, his reward for extending the inning with a two-out double to shallow leftfield against the shift.
The Mets responded by battering Correia, before bailing out Colon by turning what should have been a sixth-inning double play into a bizarre triple play.
With runners on first and second, Kemp hit a hard grounder to third, where Campbell started a typical double play. But instead of stopping at third base, Puig turned for home trying to score.
At first base, Duda noticed in time to throw home, easily getting Puig to end the inning. It was the Mets' first triple play since May 19, 2010, against the Nationals and 11th in franchise history. "We were just happy to have a double play," Collins said. "The extra out was extra special for us."
After the game, Colon readied himself for the flight back to the Dominican Republic, where he will join his family in a period of mourning for his mother. Her funeral is scheduled for Thursday.
He walked out of the Mets clubhouse, perhaps for the final time, with the possibility of a trade looming over his head.
"If that's the case, he's exactly what everybody told me he was going to be, and that is a tremendous pro," Collins said. "To do what he does at his age, and not get down with what he's gone through this week, I wish him all the luck in the world. But I hope he's still here."