It took a while. Five starts, in fact.
Once Bartolo Colon won his two-hundredth-forty-fifth game on June 30 to tie Dennis Martinez as the all-time leader in wins from a Latin-born player, he has been pitching on fumes.
And those fumes have not been very aromatic.
In those five games, he gave up 22 earned runs in 30.2 innings.
He lost all five.
Most teams would have shut him down and said, Thanks for trying but enough is enough.
But on the Rangers staff, a guy who is 0-5 with an ERA of 6.46 is as close to an ace as they are going to find. So they kept running him out to get that elusive win.
He got it.
It wasn’t pretty. But what do you expect from Colon?
He gave up three runs the first three innings. But his offense went to work and poured on eleven runs, so by the time he left the game, he walked off that field pretty much knowing he had the record.
He said afterwards, “It was a long journey but it finally came. It feels good.”
He was a feel good story for the Rangers to begin the season. Another one of Jon Daniels’s scrap heap pitchers, at least Colon contributed for a time.
After his first eight appearances, his ERA was stellar: 2.82. He was the Rangers most reliable starter.
But reality set in and soon Colon showed signs of the pitcher who was 7-14 with a 6.48 ERA in 2017 that made him so attractive the the Rangers general manager.
So what does Bartolo Colon do for an encore?
He has his sights set on one more milestone: 3507. That’s the record for number of innings pitched by a Latin-born player, held by Hall of Famer Juan Marichal. Colon has 3445.2.
Just 62 more innings to go.
Marco Gonzales (12-6, 3.46) vs. Yovani Gallardo (6-1, 6.518)
Game time: 1:05