Braves veteran set to pitch in 44th Major League ballpark
By Oliver Macklin
When Braves right-hander Bartolo Colon fires the first pitch of his SunTrust Park debut this afternoon, the number of ballparks he has pitched in will no longer match his age.
Colon, 43, will make Atlanta's new home field the 44th Major League stadium in which he's made a regular-season appearance during his 20-year career.
Colon's inaugural outing at SunTrust is just one of several intriguing games on today's slate, streaming live on MLB.TV.
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Here's what to watch for throughout the day (all times in ET):
Colon debuts at SunTrust: SD@ATL, 1:35 p.m.
"Big Sexy" has collected many impressive accolades throughout his career: 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner; four-time All-Star, two-time 20-game winner. Perhaps no feat is more spectacular than outlasting Atlanta's Turner Field.
Colon made his Major League debut in 1997, the same year the Braves' old ballpark opened. Twenty years later, it's Colon who's still operating like a fine-tuned machine.
The veteran righty worked three innings of two-run ball against the Yankees in an exhibition contest at SunTrust Park on March 31, but this time around the result will count in the standings, opposite the Padres' Trevor Cahill.
Hill back from DL: ARI@LAD, 4:10 p.m.
Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill returns from the 10-day disabled list to face the D-backs, who are off to a hot start in 2017. Hill makes his first start since April 5 after battling recurring blisters on the middle finger of his pitching hand.
The 37-year-old beat the Padres in his only outing this season, allowing one run on two hits and three walks with five strikeouts in five innings. He will look to pick up right where he left off against Taijuan Walker.
Youngster versus old-hand: PIT@CHC, 2:20 p.m.
Second-year righty Jameson Taillon goes head-to-head with 12-year veteran Jon Lester when the Pirates and Cubs clash in the series finale at Wrigley Field.
Taillon has been stellar since entering the Majors in 2016, going 5-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 20 starts. The 25-year-old has not factored in a decision yet this season, but has allowed just two runs in 13 innings.
Lester, 33, has been nearly as stingy against opposing hitters, surrendering two runs in 11 innings in '17.
Nifty nightcap: STL@NYY, 8:05 p.m., ESPN
Right-handers trending in opposite directions meet as the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright and the Yankees' Michael Pineda square off in the final game of the day.
Wainwright allowed 11 hits in four innings in his last outing against the Nationals, after losing to the Cubs on April 4. Per Statcast™, nine of those Washington hits were stuck at 95 mph or harder and his average exit velocity allowed for the whole outing was 92.6 mph, the third-highest total for a game in the Statcast™ Era.
Conversely, Pineda followed up a tough season debut by taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Tampa Bay on Monday. The 28-year-old, who has faced the Rays in both of his starts this season, will look to build on his 11-strikeout performance his last time out.
Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.