Mets/Nats: Bartolo and Gio Swap Places From Last Weeks Matchup
Last week, the Mets started their first regular season series with the first place Nationals. The Mets took the first game with phenomenal pitching from Noah Syndergaard, but their offense hindered their early success as they eventually lost the series 2-1. One of those losses was on the shoulders of Bartolo Colon who allowed 3 runs over 4.2 innings in his matchup with the hot Gio Gonzalez. The Nationals went on to win the game 7-1.
Last night Big Sexy redeemed himself against Gio and the Nats by hurling 7 strong frames of 1-run baseball and leading the Mets (26-18) to within a half game of the Nationals (27-18) for the lead in the NL East. The Mets offense assisted Bart in turning the tables on the Nats as they posted 7 runs in 5 innings in their second meeting with Gio Gonzalez. An early 3-run home run for the suddenly surging David Wright sparked the offense in the 3rd inning. The long ball continued to help the Mets as Céspedes and Walker went back to back in the 5th.
As, for Bart, the difference this week was his command. He walked five batters in the loss last week, something he hasn't done in 10 years. Colon is at his best when he's painting the corners and getting ahead of the hitters. He's not like the rest of the Mets young rotation who often look to overpower batters with 95-100mph gas. Bart's a passionate vet who has perfected his craft, nay his ART, and continues to mow down dangerous lineups at the raw age of 43. He basically does whatever he wants out there. In last night's game, Colon didn't even attempt one of his famous bat swings due to the fact that he did not want to aggravate his back. He straight up told Wilson Ramos, the Nationals catcher, to throw cock shots because he wasn't taking a cut. Just vintage Big Sexy getting into his opponents heads. Imagine how confused Gio and Ramos were to have one of the games biggest home run threats at the plate and he doesn't even take a hack. Not once. A power move like this is ok when you're owning your division rivals on the mound, but in a close game he needs to be ready to take his hacks. His home run power can change the course of a game at any moment. Also, his constant blank expression on the mound must rattle opposing batters to no end right? They must look into his eyes and ask themselves, wtf is going on in there?
Tonights Matchup: Matt Harvey is looking to add to the Mets 4-game win streak tonight as well as break out of whatever slump or voodoo magic that is affecting his pitching so far this season. He faces Strasburg in Washington at 7:05pm. Look for him to establish his fastball early and to slowly integrate his off-speed depending on how much control he has. At 0.5 games back of the Nationals and 1st place right now, the Mets and the entire city of New York need the Dark Knight to show up tonight more than anything. LGM.