Bartolo Colon told Nats catcher he wouldn’t swing during at-bats
Bartolo Colon halted a personal two-game losing streak on Monday night, going seven innings and allowing one run on five hits while walking two and striking out two in the New York Mets’ 7-1 victory over the Washington Nationals.
The stellar pitching performance came one day ahead of Colon celebrating his 43rd birthday on Tuesday, and Father Time has been making his presence known to the Mets pitcher courtesy of a stiff back that has been plaguing him since he blasted his first career homer a few weeks ago.
Colon’s wonky back apparently has become such a hindrance that he actually told Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos he had no intention of swinging during his at-bats so the Nationals might as well groove pitches right down the middle of the plate. Colon ultimately was called out on strikes in each of his three at-bats.
“I swing at the balls pretty hard and I thought, not worth making my back worse, so I told their catcher from the beginning, `Just throw it right down the middle, I’m not swinging,’” Colon said through a translator, via NBC Sports. “After that first at-bat and they threw me that changeup, I was like: `No, I promise you. Throw it right down the middle. I am not going to swing.’”
Colon’s out-of-control cuts at the plate have become the stuff of legend —much to his chagrin at times — even before his first career homer became one the biggest stories of the early MLB season. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that he’d be reluctant to take swings over the fear he would further aggravate his ailing back. And this isn’t even the first time he’sadmitted to throwing away at-bats, either.
However, the notion that a pitcher would inform the opposing catcher he wasn’t planning to swing certainly doesn’t bode well for the argument in opposition of bringing the designated hitter to the National League.