Through five starts this season, Thursday’s pitcher Bartolo Colon (2-4) has allowed six home runs. The long ball has bit Colon on numerous occasions this season most notably, via the 2-3-4 portion of the Angels lineup consecutively. During Thursday’s 7-4 loss in Colorado, it bit him again. This time he let Carlos Gonzalez turn on a fastball diving inside, putting Colorado on the board 1-0 in the first and providing the turning point of the game. It was all downhill from there.
Colon has been allowing the long ball at a rate very unlike him. Last season, Colon allowed only 14 home runs all year, less then .5 homers a start. This year, he has allowed over a homer per start. It is early, but so far we have seen two starts from Bartolo during which he was absolutely pounded.
Colon allowed 7 earned runs in the Colorado game, his worst line since he let 9 men cross home in Anaheim. While Colon was prone to a rocky start or two last year, he never suffered as much as he has thus far. Colon never allowed more than 6 earned in a start last season and through five starts this year he has done that twice.
We can examine Colon’s rough beginning as much as we want but the fact remains, Colon was assumed, at least in the offseason, to offset the loss of Matt Harvey and thus replace his production, at least in part, in the rotation. So far, he has not, he’s struggled with his command and is leaving pitches over the middle of the zone. The rest of the rotation has pulled its weight and pitched remarkably well, but a tall task such as that cannot be expected out of them for the rest of the year.
In order for the Mets’ pitch first, hit second philosophy to take hold this year, their $20 million investment will have to get back on track.