Bartolo Colon was a lot of fun to watch during his days with the New York Mets. On August 8, 2014, the larger than life starting pitcher got serious and won his 200th MLB game as a member of the Amazins.
On August 8, 2014, then New York Mets starting pitcher, Bartolo Colon, led his offensively challenged ballclub to victory, as he notched his 200th career win against division rival, Philadelphia Phillies.
Although he wouldn’t gain the nickname, “Big Sexy,” or earn the fans’ love and adoration for the way he swung his bat just yet, Colon would cement his name in MLB history by reaching a pitching milestone only two other Dominican-born pitchers had accomplished before him.
While Hall of Fame pitchers, Pedro Martinez was 34 when he accomplished this feat in Mets colors in April of 2006, and Juan Marichal was 32 when he did it as a San Francisco Giant in August of 1970, Colon’s achievement came at the age of 41 years young; as his stellar eight-inning performance was a culmination of what had been a strong career up until that point, despite being far from the end of Colon’s noteworthy career.
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When Bartolo began his pre-game warm-ups on that Friday night in Citizens Banks Park, it’s feasible to think recording his 200th win was one of the thoughts on his mind – if not the main one!
Taking the mound in front of an unwelcoming Phillies crowd, Colon’s stellar performance of one-run baseball left him with a dominant pitching line of 8.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, and 6 SO before he exited the game with his team up 5-1.
But then, in true Mets fashion, their far-from-Amazin’ bullpen nearly blew his four-run lead in the bottom of the 9th before closer, Jenrry Mejía put the cap on a historic Mets win, as they took this road game with a final score of 5–4.
Colon would throw over a 100 pitches to secure what was his 11th win on the season, and in doing so would also collect his 200th career win.
Although the 2014 season saw few bright spots for the offensively-challenged Mets, who would ultimately finish 3rd in the NL East with a lackluster 79-83 record, Colon’s 200th career win was the excitement the fan base needed in the dog days of summer, with “Big Sexy” giving them something to root for despite the team’s uninspiring 54-61 record.
But looking back on “Big Sexy’s” time in Flushing is not without its nostalgia. During his three-year stint with the Amazins’, Colon finished each season with winning records, recording two 15-win seasons before narrowly missing a third in 2015 with 14 wins.
It’s also worth noting that although Colon was in New York for only three MLB seasons, the fact that he was able to leave such an impression on the fan base just goes to show how charismatic Bartolo Colon was during his time in orange and blue.
His respect for the game and his love for the fans made his accomplishment that much more deserving.
Colon continued to add to his total career wins count, currently at 247; increasing his lead over Martinez (219 career wins) and Marichal (243 career wins) in the all-time record books for Dominican-born pitchers.
“Big Sexy” will always be remembered for his time in Flushing, Queens, and the love and adoration he received from the Mets faithful.
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So as we look back on August 8, 2014, let’s tip our caps to Bartolo Colon – a fun, enigmatic player, who might one day be a Cooperstown Candidate – if he ever decides to retire from his 20 plus year MLB career.