Colon falls to earth with worst start of 2016

Mets righty follows up milestone game with disappointing defeat

Colon falls to earth with worst start of 2016

LOS ANGELES -- In a matchup of the two pitchers atop the MLB leaderboard in strikeout-to-walk ratio, the Mets came away with a 5-0 loss as Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw had one of his best games of the season and Bartolo Colon one of his worst, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Mets' lineup saw Kershaw's full arsenal at the top of its game: a fastball with elite command; a long, looping curveball; and a sharp, late-breaking slider.

"He threw some sliders that you're just not going to hit. They're coming in middle of the zone and just disappearing," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He never gives in. Some of the strikeouts he had, the balls weren't strikes. That's how good his stuff is. He doesn't have to stay in the zone to get you out."

The team's sole runner in scoring position came when Curtis Granderson doubled to right field with two outs in the sixth. However, the threat was negated when Asdrubal Cabrera, possessor of the team's other two hits in the game, struck out looking to end the inning.

With the 14th shutout of his career, Kershaw passed Colon to take the lead among active players in career shutouts.

"I give him all the credit," Colon said through a translator. "He's known how to pitch throughout his career. It's why he's had success."

To put in perspective what kind of pitcher the Mets ran into, he struck out 13, walked one, and saw his strikeout-to-walk ratio for the season decrease. It was his fifth straight game with double digits in strikeouts and no more than one walk.

"We all went up there with an approach, it's not like we were going up there just swinging at anything," catcher Kevin Plawecki said. "Hats off to him, he threw a great ballgame."

Of course, getting even a few runs off Kershaw would have been moot as the Dodgers jumped on Colon's fastballs in the zone in the first two innings, coming away with five runs and two homers. The Dodger offense settled down from there, with only three hits in seven innings, but the damage had been done.

"A couple balls got up," Plawecki said. "They were aggressive early on in the game. First three guys got base hits. First two guys got base hits on the first swing. They were aggressive and took advantage of balls up in the zone."

Colon's five earned runs, three strikeouts, and five innings pitched were all season-worsts for him in 2016 starts.

Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Mets on Thursday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.