NEW YORK -- Bartolo Colon did it all Monday night.
He pitched eight shutout innings against the Philadelphia Phillies. He got a base hit, to the delight of the big crowd -- 34,233 strong -- at Citi Field. And he got to run the bases, too, when Curtis Granderson followed Colon’s fifth-inning single with a home run.
He also got his 12th win of the season after closer Jeurys Familia finished off the New York Mets' 3-1 victory.
After losing four straight starts to end July, and giving up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Colorado Rockies on Aug. 21, Colon has now pitched 16 consecutive scoreless innings.
"I think he got a little frustrated when he went through that streak where things weren’t working very good," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The last two times out, he’s actually thrown a couple times between the starts.
"I think the fact that he’s thrown a little bit more, he’s found his command, he’s found his release point, and he’s pitched great."
Yes, Colon's past two starts have come against the last-place Phillies. Still, Colon looked simply masterful on Monday, breezing through those eight innings.
He struck out the first two batters of the game and looked even better late, striking out the side in the seventh inning. He gave up just four hits (all singles), with just one walk, and his nine K's equaled his season high.
Speaking of highs, Colon's hit was his seventh of the season, which is a new career high. He had six hits in 2002 when he played for the Cleveland Indians and Montreal Expos.
"I'm really happy for that one, to accomplish that, my own personal record," Colon said via a translator. "Now I’m going to keep working hard to see if I can break my own record and establish a new record, eight hits."
Colon was chuckling as he said this, but his contribution to the Mets this season is no laughing matter. The 42-year-old upped his record to 12-11, and the numbers don't tell the whole story.
He has been a veteran leader in the clubhouse, and is willing to go the extra mile. Don't forget, Colon also pitched an inning of relief on Saturday, helping out a taxed Mets bullpen.
"More than anything, I did it because the bullpen needed help, I did it for the team," Colon said. "I’m here for the team -- I’m here to pitch and help the team win, whatever it takes."
Colon's role could change as we enter September. Steven Matz will be activated on Tuesday, and the Mets will likely expand to a six-man rotation. If this team makes the playoffs, Colon could lose his starting spot.
Collins isn't concerned about his playoff rotation right now, and rightfully so.
"I’m not looking any farther than a week ahead," Collins said. "What happens at the end of the month, we’ll worry about it then."
"It don’t matter what the decision will be, I'm here to pitch and that’s nothing that I can control," Colon said. "I’m here to pitch and I’ll pitch anywhere they need me."
Another example of why the Mets are lucky to have him.