In a week, Bartolo Colon will turn 45 years old. That’s 15 years older than the average age of MLB players when the 2018 season started. But Bartolo, now with the Texas Rangers, is still taking the mound every fifth game and showing he can still hang with guys who are 25 years his junior.
His Wednesday night start against the Seattle Mariners proved that in spades. He pitched 7.2 innings, and allowed no runs, no walks, and just four hits. And in the middle of that stellar outing (which the Rangers would end up winning 5-1), he did something that most pitchers wouldn’t be able to do. At least, not as well as Bartolo did it.
In the fourth inning, Bartolo was facing Jean Segura. On the 0-1 pitch, Segura hit a screaming comebacker right at Colon, who couldn’t get his glove up in time. So the ball socked him right in the gut.
The speed of the ball that hit him? 102-mph. But Bartolo didn’t seem fazed at all. He grabbed the ball and threw it to first to get the out.
After the game, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan asked Bartolo about the incident, and he gave what is already one of the greatest quotes of the 2018 season.
“It hit me more on the side than in the middle,” Colon said. “I have a lot of big belly, so I can take it.”
Baseball *needs* guys like Bartolo Colon. And not just for entertaining baseball quotes. After that incredible start against the Mariners, Colon is rocking a 2.82 ERA over 9 games, which ranks 10th in the American League among qualified starters. He’s also probably rocking a pretty big gut bruise after that start, but as the man said: he can take it.
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