Sportress of Blogitude

Bartolo Colon: I’m ‘surprised I’m pitching the way I’m pitching’ at 41

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Bartolo Colon, 41, is now 4-0 on the season after scattering three earned runs over six innings in the New York Mets’ 6-3 win on Thursday over the Atlanta Braves, the team’s franchise record-breaking 11th consecutive win.

Courtesy of his solid start, Colon became only the fourth pitcher in 80 years over the age of 40 to start a season 4-0, joining Phil Niekro, Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens

In his 18th MLB season, Colon continues to be a productive pitcher, even saying he’s somewhat taken aback by how well he is still playing.

“I’m really surprised I’m pitching the way I’m pitching at my age, but the main thing is team,” Colon said after Thursday’s game, per the New York Post. “The team is giving run support. They’re playing as a team and giving everything I need,” said Colon.

Since breaking into the big leagues with the Cleveland Indians in 1997, Colon had stints with the Montreal Expos, Chicago White Sox (twice), Los Angeles Angels, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics and now is in his second season with the Mets.

He has compiled a 208-141 record in 440 starts and boasts a tidy 3.94 ERA. The arguably surprising longevity Colon has enjoyed over his long career is made even more impressive given he’s not the most physically fit baseball player (he currently stands at 5-foot-11, 285 pounds).

Perhaps surprisingly to some, a report from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo notes that Colon is a weight room junkie who takes care of himself far better than most folks assume.

And let’s be honest, who cares how Colon looks or if he’s maybe carrying a few extra pounds when he can still make plays like the one he made chasing down A.J. Pierzynski on the base paths after picking off the Braves veteran during Thursday’s game?

“I thank Pierzynski for taking off and making it a lot easier,” he said through an interpreter, “so I didn’t have to face one of the toughest guys in their lineup today.”

(photo credit: ESPN)