Well, that didn’t work out the way the Mets intended.
Eyebrows were raised earlier this week when manager Terry Collins announced that Bartolo Colon would be starting Saturday night on three days’ rest.
It’s only the sixth time in Colon’s long, long, long career and first time since 2005 that he started on three days’ rest. And he is 43 years old.
Actually, things looked pretty sweet when Colon no-hit the Rockies over the first 3 1⁄3 innings. But over the next 1 2⁄3 innings, Colon allowed five runs on seven hits and the Mets went on lose their fourth in a row.
Colon (9-6) threw 87 pitches in his last outing, a 3-1 win over St. Louis in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday. Collins removed the All-Star righthander after seven innings despite the low pitch count with an eye on bringing him back to face the Rockies instead of turning to reliever Seth Lugo or someone from the minors.
And Colon certainly had it for the first three innings. The only baserunner was Mark Reynolds, who reached on a two-base throwing error by Wilmer Flores leading off the third.
Colon shrugged it off, however, and retired the next three batters to maintain a 2-0 lead the Mets forged with actual base hits with runners in scoring position in each of the first two innings.
Mets fans were still basking in the afterglow of the sweet Mike Piazza uniform number retirement ceremony when Flores hit a two-out RBI single in the first. Kelly Johnson added a one-out RBI single in the second. Mets fans nearly fainted. The Mets had gone 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Friday’s 6-1 loss to Colorado.
But the spigot of good will was turned off starting in the fourth, when the Rockies took the lead by scoring three times on their first four hits of the night.
Nolan Arenado singled with one out before Carlos Gonzalez hit a long drive to right-center. New Met Justin Ruggiano, who was signed just before the game and started in centerfield, nearly made a spectacular diving catch on the warning track. But the ball hit off his glove for a double and Ruggiano slid headfirst into the fence. He was not injured.
Trevor Story followed with an RBI single (he was thrown out at second trying to advance on a throwing error by Asdrubal Cabrera). David Dahl gave Colorado a 3-2 lead with a two-run homer to right.
In the fifth, D.J. LeMahieu hit a two-run single to center that skipped under Ruggiano’s glove for a doubly embarrassing error. Not only did Ruggiano let the ball get by, he also slipped after retreating to pick it up.
Colon’s career record on three days’ rest fell to 3-2 with a 4.18 ERA.