Bartolo Colon watched the line drive fall into the outfield grass and applauded. It was all Colon could do after his attempt to toss the first perfect game in New York Mets history was thwarted.
Colon came within seven outs of a perfect game on Wednesday afternoon, before giving up a two-out single to Robinson Cano in the seventh inning of the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Mariners.
Colon left a 2-2 fastball elevated on the outer half of the plate and Cano served the pitch into left field, dropping it well in front of Eric Young Jr.
“You’re a little disappointed when they get a hit, but that’s what they’re trying to do,” Colon said through an interpreter. “They’re trying to get a hit and break up the no-hitter.”
New York manager Terry Collins went one step further than disappointment. He was certain if Colon was able to get Cano to finish off the seventh he would have completed the perfect game. Collins was the Mets manager when Johan Santana ended New York’s franchise drought without a no-hitter in 2012.
“No doubt. There is no doubt in my mind that if he got by Cano he ramps it up. You see it a lot,” Collins said. “But you know, great game by him.”
A no-hitter is one of the few things missing from Colon’s resume. He has a Cy Young. He’s won a World Series title. He’s made a career comeback after injuries left him out of baseball in 2010.
At age 41, Colon is pitching well enough that he’s regularly being talked about as trade fodder for teams needing a starter with the non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching.
“I don’t know anything about that,” Colon said. “Those are decisions for the upper management and you can’t control that stuff.”
Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before Cano’s single. Colon then had to hold on as Seattle rallied in the eighth and came within inches of tying the game on Brad Miller’s RBI double that hit off the top of the wall.
Colon (9-8) improved to 13-1 all time at Safeco Field, including his dominance of the Mariners when he was pitching for the Angels from 2004-07. Seattle had no answers for the rotund right-hander, who gave up two runs and three hits in 7 1/3 innings.
“He was a Cy Young class guy,” Cano said. “He knows how to pitch. Back in the day when the guy threw hard, everything was middle of the plate, fastball. Now you see a different guy that moves the ball, both sides, and a pretty good change up.”
Colon, who threw a one-hitter for the Angels against the Yankees in 2000, was cruising until the seventh against the Mariners on Wednesday. He got the first two outs of the seventh, but Cano’s single ended the bid for perfection. Cano was hitting .400 against Colon entering the game.