Veteran doesn't become 18th pitcher to beat all 30 teams, but draws first career walk
By Jesse Sanchez
PHOENIX -- Bartolo Colon stepped on the mound at Chase Field in usual form, needling Father Time and chasing history. This time, he was attempting to become only the 18th pitcher in Major League history to beat all 30 teams.
The 19-year veteran came up short in the 10-6 loss to the D-backs, yet still managed to walk right into the record books. And maybe, just maybe, the 43-year-old will get another shot at beating them next year to complete the set.
"I would not doubt him to do anything," Mets manager Terry Collins said before Monday night's series opener. "I saw him years ago in the Dominican when he was trying to make a comeback and I said, 'God, I don't know how he is going to do it. He's going to have to reinvent everything,' and yet he did it."
Colon, who was pitching in his 500th career Major League game, didn't have his best stuff, and the D-backs tagged him with three runs in the first inning on singles by Jake Lamb, Welington Castillo and Chris Owings. Colon's defense didn't do him any favors, either. D-backs leadoff hitter Jean Segura reached base on an error by third baseman T.J. Rivera to start the disastrous frame.
"When you are locating, you can get outs still," Collins said. "Today, he didn't really have good location going for him. The first inning, that was the big damage done. If he gets out of that first inning with one, he might be different in the middle of the game."
D-backs starting pitcher Robbie Ray led off the second with a double, but Colon escaped the inning unscathed. He would not be as fortunate in the third, when Owings tagged him for a run-scoring double, or in the fourth, when Paul Goldschmidt drove home Brandon Drury with a sacrifice fly to center to give the D-backs a 5-2 lead.
"They have a good offensive team, and you have to pitch against them," Collins said. "The teams that have beat them, you look at all of the pitchers they have used and some of the ERAs. People have hit them. We have not been hitting and are having a tough time scoring."
Colon did get a small measure of revenge when he walked in the fourth inning -- his first career walk after a record 281 plate appearances -- with two outs. Travis d'Arnaud advanced to second on the walk and scored on single by Jose Reyes to cut Arizona's lead to 4-2.
"I was surprised, too," Colon said. "The pitcher didn't strike me out because he didn't want to. I couldn't make a swing because of my hand. My [left] wrist has been bothering me for a long time."
Colon allowed five runs (two earned) on nine hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out one. And for the record, Colon has at least one victory in 38 ballparks.
He also said his right arm is completely healthy and feels great.
"He's an amazing guy. He's a better athlete than people give him credit for," Collins said. "What he's done and how he's reinvented himself and how he stays within his own game is amazing."
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.