ST. LOUIS - The images have become Bartolo Colon's accidental signature. They depict a portly man, hacking wildly at pitches, his batting helmet flying off mid-swing. It has become the stuff of Internet memes.
But yesterday, in a 3-2 win over the Cardinals, Colon triggered the most improbable rally of the season.
He had entered the game hitless in nine years, a stretch that reached 43 at-bats. He hadn't recorded a hit in a big league game since June 10, 2005, when as a member of the Angels, Colon singled at Shea Stadium against the Mets' Mike DeJean. It had been so long that it escaped his memory.
"I don't remember," Colon said through a translator.
But Wednesday, with his team down a run, Colon smoked a double down the leftfield line off Lance Lynn. It was the first blow in a two-run rally in the sixth inning that the Mets used to seize control of the game.
"Just sitting fastball the whole time," said Colon, who had taken only 17 at-bats while in the American League from 2006-13.
The Mets had batted the pitcher in the eighth spot for two consecutive games, though manager Terry Collins laughed off the notion of doing it for a third day with Colon slated to start.
But by smashing perhaps the slowest double in baseball history, Colon raised his lifetime average from .082 to .089.
"The pitcher probably accidentally hit his bat more than anything," David Wright said with a laugh.
Colon now has as many career doubles (one) as he has Cy Young Awards. In addition, Colon executed a pair of sacrifice bunts, and scored from second base -- albeit slowly -- on an Eric Young Jr. double. It was the first time Colon had touched home plate as a baserunner since 2002, when he was pitching for the Expos.
Said Collins: "That's a great offensive day for a pitcher."