Mets: A few of the best “pitchers who rake” moments in franchise history
In 2020, just like every other team in baseball, the New York Mets did not have any pitchers take an at-bat. As part of the protocol instituted in the COVID-shortened season, Major League Baseball added a designated hitter to the National League. Even for baseball purists like me (I still, on occasion, wax poetic about the days of the four-pitch intentional walk), I did not mind the addition of the DH in the shortened season. Mets fans are all well aware that the team has two All-Star caliber first basemen on their roster, and with a DH, both of them can easily be in the lineup every day.
But before that, in the entire history of the National League up until 2020, NL pitchers batted. We’ve seen many blink-and-you-missed-it strikeouts and astoundingly bad bunts. We’ve also seen pitchers get hits that seemed so improbable, fans half expected to see a pig flying through the air in the immediate aftermath.
Even if pitchers hitting becomes a permanent thing of the past, Mets fans will always have a few cherished moments to remember fondly. Here are a few of those glimpses into Mets history where their pitchers did, in fact, rake.
Mets pitchers who raked: Bartolo Colon’s monster home run in 2016
Any discussion about the top “pitchers who rake” moments in Mets history, quite frankly, begins and ends with Bartolo Colon’s home run. It is a day that will live in euphoria for Mets fans. Colon’s home run, while inconsequential in the grand scheme of their 2016 season, is so remembered that I didn’t even watch it happen live and I know the date by heart: May 7, 2016. It is now a celebrated anniversary every year in Metsdom.
In case you’re unaware of the details, I’ll break down Bart’s Big Bomb to you. The Mets were on the road against the San Diego Padres, playing on a sunny day at Petco Park. Colon was on the mound against “Big Game” James Shields. That day was a big game for him, indeed, though probably not one he wants to be remembered for.
In the top of the second inning, the Mets batted against Shields, already sporting a 2-0 lead thanks to a Yoenis Cespedes first-inning blast. The first two batters of the inning, Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera, got out. Then, Kevin Plawecki, a catcher with three scoreless bullpen outings to his name across 2019 and 2020, doubled.
Colon stepped up to the plate. It was his fifth start of the year, and to that point, he had not recorded a hit. On a 1-1 count, he received a fastball right down the middle from Shields. Colon swung. The bat, against all odds, connected with the ball. The ball soared high over the field and into the left field stands for a home run. Gary Cohen’s voice raised an entire octave on the air as he exclaimed, “THE IMPOSSIBLE HAS HAPPENED!” The 7 Line Army in the stands at Petco that day went wild. Mets fans throughout the stadium and watching at home went wild. The entire Mets roster went wild, with Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom grinning ear-to-ear in SNY’s shots of the Mets dugout. I, in retrospect, went wild. It was a marvelous moment.
That home run was Colon’s first career home run, which came in his 19th major league season. It was one of only five hits he had all year in 2016. It, likely, is the only home run he will ever hit. Colon was a solid Met for many reasons, but that home run truly immortalized him in Queens.