NEW YORK -- It wasn't his best start, but it was another start, five more frames in the books for 42-year-old Bartolo Colon, who pitched his 3,000th inning in the Major Leagues on Tuesday night at Citi Field -- a milestone marking his longevity and durability.
When he logged the second out of the first inning in the Mets' 4-3 win over the Reds, Colon, making his 471st start in the 19th season of his career, joined a club of two active baseball players. Only Colon and the Yankees' CC Sabathia have pitched 3,000 innings in the big leagues, and Colon walked off the mound Tuesday as the MLB active leader in innings pitched, having leapfrogged Sabathia by one-third of an inning during his start.
"It means a lot," Colon said through a Mets translator. "I would never think that I would throw that many innings."
His latest outing put Colon, for the time being, into 135th place on the all-time Major League innings list, ahead of Sabathia by a single out. Colon has thrown almost three times as many innings in his career as the other four starters in the Mets' rotation -- Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz -- combined.
He'll have to wait at least one more start to check off another milestone -- career win No. 220, which would move him past Pedro Martinez for second-most all time by a Dominican born pitcher. Juan Marichal holds that record with 243 wins. Colon settled for a no-decision against the Reds after allowing three runs on eight hits in his five innings and leaving with the Mets trailing, 3-0.
Entering Tuesday's game, Colon already led all active Major League pitchers in career starts, wins, batters faced and shutouts -- as well as losses, earned runs, and hits and home runs allowed.
But the innings plateau was one he'd been waiting for.
"Before the season, I was keeping up," Colon said. "I have a friend of mine who was keeping me posted about the innings."
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.