Grieving Bartolo Colon opts to pitch Sunday

Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon throws against the Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon throws against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in Seattle. Photo Credit: AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

OAKLAND, Calif. - At his own insistence, Bartolo Colon will come off the bereavement list to start for the Mets against the Dodgers on Sunday. Colon will then return to the Dominican Republic to attend funeral services for his mother.

Colon has been away from the team since Monday, when his mother lost her battle with cancer.

"He wants to pitch on Sunday," manager Terry Collins said. "He feels terrible about what happened the other day. Of course . . . we've all explained to him, 'You did what you should have done.' "

Jonathon Niese will start the opener of a three-game set against the Dodgers on Friday. On Saturday, rookie Jacob deGrom will be activated to make his first start since he was sidelined two weeks ago with shoulder soreness.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Banged upPerhaps Thursday's scheduled off day will do some good for the Mets' banged-up bullpen. In the 8-5 win over the A's Wednesday, Collins was without lefthander Dana Eveland, closer Jenrry Mejia and Carlos Torres.

Eveland has been dealing with an elbow issue for much of the season and had a cortisone shot to quell a recent flare-up. Mejia has pitched through nagging injuries, including an aching back that acted up before Tuesday's game. Torres is bouncing back from a spot start on Monday.

All three could be available on Friday.

Mejia, who also has been pitching through a hernia, dismissed his back issue as "nothing serious." Collins did not know Mejia was unavailable until just before Wednesday's game.

"I want to be 100 percent," Mejia said. "I don't want to be in the game at like 80 percent."

Extra basesOutfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis was a late scratch with lingering stiffness in his neck . . . Daniel Murphy made two errors, giving him 15, the most among second basemen in the majors.

You also may be interested in: