Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dominican pitcher Bartolo Colon has 22 inning scoreless streak

On Tuesday , Dominican pitcher Bartolo Colon scortched the Angels for seven innings, only surrendering one unearned run in his final inning of work. That unearned run ended his consecutive scoreless inning streak at 22.1 innings, but he does still maintain a streak of 22.2 innings without surrendering an earned run.

The amazing thing: Colon is in his 15th big league season and is two years removed from major elbow surgery. That surgery in 2011 was under investigation by MLB because it involved injecting his elbow with his own stem cells from his back. The Dominican pitcher Colon was eventually cleared in that case, and he pitched last year with the Yankees. He is back this year with the A's, and is having an even beter year, at 39 years old. Colon has nine wins and a 3.55 ERA in 23 starts and over 140 innings.

The even more amazing thing: according to Fangraphs he is pitching about 90% fastballs. Since Fangraphs began tracking pitches in 2002, no pitcher with over 100 innings has pitched that many fastballs. And Colon's fastball only averages 90 mph. 

How does he do it? He is doing what he has done his entire career, pounding the corners of the zone, and either getting called strikes or getting hitters to swing and make weak contact on pitches outside the zone.

Colon is scheduled to pitch next Tuesday on the road against the Royals, where he will attempt to lengthen his streak. He has a career record 170-122 and a 4.06 ERA. Very respectable numbers for a starter of his quality and longevity.

Bartolo Colon is from Altamira, DR.
Dominican pitcher Bartolo Colonby Keith Allison on Flickr

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