Bartolo Colon didn't exactly showcase any veteran poise in his previous start, hitting two batters and getting ejected.
The New York Mets right-hander should be well aware that the Miami Marlins are currently a bit less tolerant than most clubs when it comes to being hit by a pitch.Coming off a testy outing that was his shortest of the year, Colon will look to settle in when he takes the mound in the second of a three-game series against the Marlins.The 41-year-old Colon (13-12, 4.14 ERA) allowed two-run homers to Adam LaRoche and Anthony Rendon and was tossed in the fourth inning after he'd plunked the following batter both times in a 6-2 loss to Washington on Thursday.It was the fourth start this season in which Colon hit a batter -- one happened in his only start against Miami on May 6 -- but marked the first time he'd hit two in a single game since July 24, 2009, while with the White Sox."All I know is that he's got exceptional control," Nationals manager Matt Williams said after the game.The ejection was the fourth of Colon's career and first since 2003."I think I didn't do anything wrong," he said through a translator. "I was surprised they threw me out of the game."Anything similar would not sit well with the Marlins (73-76), who lost slugger Giancarlo Stanton -- a leading NL MVP contender -- when he was hit in the face by a fastball in Milwaukee that same night. Stanton suffered facial fractures and other injuries and is most likely done for the season.Colon would prefer to display the type of control New York's rookie of the year candidate, Jacob deGrom, had in Monday's series opener. DeGrom stuck out the first eight batters he faced, tying the major league record set by Jim Deshaies of the Astros against the Dodgers on Sept. 23, 1986.Deshaies and deGrom are the only pitchers to accomplish the feat since 1900.The Mets (72-79), however, allowed the Marlins to score three runs in the eighth inning en route to a 6-5 victory, their second in a row since losing four straight."We got a couple soft hits but at the right time. Sometimes you need those," manager Mike Redmond said. "Had some great at-bats and that was a great team win."Miami moved six games behind idle Pittsburgh for the second wild-card spot, while New York fell eight back. The Marlins have 13 games remaining and the Mets 11.Outside of hitting Derek Dietrich in his May outing against the Marlins, Colon pitched well, turning in seven innings while allowing three runs. However, Henderson Alvarez tossed a six-hitter to lead Miami to a 3-0 victory.That outing was Colon's first against the Marlins since 2002. In four starts against the club, he is 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA.Opposing Colon this time out will be right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (6-11, 4.29), who has dropped five straight decisions over his last six starts.His struggles actually date back a bit further. Since improving to 4-2 with a 3-2 win at Washington on May 26, he has gone 2-9 with a 4.84 ERA over 19 outings.Eovaldi was the starter the night Stanton was hurt and allowed four runs and eight hits in four innings of a 4-2 loss to the Brewers.
Over the past month, Christian Yelich is hitting .455 in at-bats ending with a fastball, the fourth-highest average in MLB. Bartolo Colon throws fastballs 82.5 percent of the time, the highest rate in MLB.