MIAMI - All this talk about innings limits. Why not talk about Bartolo Colon instead? The man defies limits.
Colon threw a nine-hitter and Travis d'Arnaud hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs as the Mets pummeled the Marlins, 7-0, Saturday night at Marlins Park. The Mets scored all the runs in the first two innings.
Coming on the heels of Friday night's extra-inning loss and 's Matt Harvey innings-limit controversy, the Mets looked to Colon to restore order. He did just that.
Colon (13-11) extended his scoreless-innings streak to 25 with the Mets' first complete game of the season. He walked none, struck out two and threw 100 pitches (74 strikes).
As the season heads into its final stretch, Colon, 42, is getting stronger and making a bid for a postseason start. No one is fretting that his innings total is a team-high 170.
"An old person like me, I've got no limits," Colon said through an interpreter.
Harvey, who said his doctor advised him to throw no more than 180 innings, is at 1661/3 going into Tuesday's start in Washington. Terry Collins said the situation is a distraction.
"We're not going to make any secrets," he said. "We're in the middle of the biggest year we've had in a long time, in the pennant race, and then we've got to be hit with the distractions. Seems like every other week, something pops up that takes away the focus from what's going on here.
"We got beat [Friday] in a tough game . . . To have something else get in the way of what we're trying to accomplish here and to have Bart step up and everybody else to step up in the first and second inning I think just got everybody's mind back on what's the most important thing, and that's us playing good baseball."
The Mets held serve in the NL East and took a day off the calendar. The Nationals, who beat Atlanta, trail the Mets by five games.
Colon earned an ovation from the crowd when he ended the sixth by fielding a dribbler by Justin Bour up the first-base line and flipping it behind his back to first for the out.
"I still can't believe I saw that," d'Arnaud said.
Said Collins: "I've never seen anything like it. That better be No. 1 on SportsCenter tonight."
Colon said he practices behind-the-back flips when playing catch but had never done it before in a game. The time just seemed right.
"The runner was in the way," he said. "My reaction was to throw the ball behind my back. It worked fine."
The Mets scored four runs in the first and three in the second against Brad Hand (4-5). D'Arnaud smacked a three-run homer to center in the first, his 10th, to give the Mets the lead. Wilmer Flores followed with his 15th home run on the next pitch.
In the second, Juan Lagares belted an opposite-field two-run homer to make it 6-0. D'Arnaud hit an RBI single off Andre Rienzo to give the Mets a 7-0 lead. The run was charged to Hand, who gave up seven in 12/3 innings.
Notes & quotes: Lucas Duda (back) went 2-for-3 and played seven innings at first base for Double-A Binghamton in his first rehab game.
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