By Joe Rini
“Maybe you shouldn’t go to anymore games,” my Dad said to me jokingly after I attended and covered my third consecutive Mets loss two weeks ago. The first two losses were dreadful losses of 9-2 and 9-1 and the third game was an excruciatingly frustrating 4-3 loss that saw the Mets get the potential tying run get thrown out at home in the ninth inning with no outs.
So when I saw tonight’s match up was 43-year old Bartolo Colon versus Jake Arrieta, one of the best pitchers in baseball, I feared I might be ruining another evening for my Dad. Colon has pitched well for the Mets (6-4 with a 2.87 ERA) but Arrieta has followed his 22 win season in 2015 with a record of 12-2 with a 2.10 ERA so far in 2016.
Arrieta is noted for his extreme physical training regiment. In fact, he is on the cover of ESPN’s “Body Issue” naked. He is listed at 6 feet 4 inches and 225 pounds. By contrast, Colon is listed at 5 feet 11 inches and tipping the scales at 285 pounds. I don’t think Colon was the second choice for the cover of that magazine issue.
But something interesting happened tonight. The game was played on a baseball field and not in the gym. Arrieta was down by two runs two batters into the game after a walk and a home run by the Mets in the first inning and eventually he was chased from the game in the sixth inning having given up four runs and eight hits. Colon, on the other hand, allowed only two runs in six full innings and he even struck out Cubs superstar and 19 years his junior, Kris Bryant, twice. Score one for the big guy.
It’s the top of the ninth and the Mets are clinging to a 4-3 lead over the Cubs. Colon did his job and now Jeurys Familia is coming in for the save. If the Mets don’t win this one, I may have to tell Dad I went to the movies tonight.