Take away all the jokes about his age and his weight and his big sexiness, and you have to admit: Bartolo Colon pitched a heck of a game.
By mostly throwing a perfectly placed fastball, he kept the Oakland hitters off balance. They got runners on base, but he pitched through it. All they could muster was one run, off a solo home run by Matt Chapman.
He wasn’t even supposed to be here. They reluctantly put him on the roster just hours before the game to make the spot start for Martin Perez. And this was supposed to be his only start. But he had the best spring of all the starters. Which tells you how much weight (sorry for that word choice) the Rangers front office puts on spring performance.
So now the Rangers front office has a decision to make. Do they give Bartolo Colon another start? If so, who does he replace in the rotation?
If you base it off the first time around the rotation it would certainly be Matt Moore. Which makes sense considering he was the worst starting pitching in baseball last year, and is starting a case for continuing that into a second season.
But doing that would force Jon Daniels to admit a mistake in trading for Moore, who has a team option for 2019. Doing that would force Daniels to admit a mistake in making Colon the odd man out in the first place.
By going six innings, Colon went further than any starter so far through the first five games. And, with Jeff Banister in the dugout, this will probably be one of the longest any starter goes all season. He threw just 89 pitches. But that seems to be the new 100 this year. Teams are relying less and less on starters and burning out more and more relievers.
It’s no coincidence that the first pitcher they bring in to replace a dominating starter gives up the two go-ahead runs and is pinned with the L in this 3-1 loss to Oakland. Expect a lot of that. It’s baseball in 2018.
What you can’t expect is where Colon fits on this team. But based on what he did last night, he deserves another start.
Based on the Rangers 1-4 start, he more than certainly deserves another one. What do they have to lose other than more games?
Cole Hamels (0-1, 4.76) vs. Kendall Graveman (0-0, 9.00)
Game time: 9:05