PHOENIX — Nothing gets the Mets dugout laughing like a Bartolo Colon hit. The rotund right-hander has become a viral celebrity for his unorthodox at-bats, his batting helmet tumbling off him on hard, flailing swings. When he connects for hit, like he did Saturday night, the Mets dugout goes nuts.
But the offense should be no laughing matter. Colon was dominant on the mound for nearly seven innings, he even added a single, but the weak offense could not help him as the Mets fell to the Diamondbacks 2-1 at Chase Field.
The Mets (30-27) lost their second straight game and fourth in their last five. They dropped to 9-19 on the road this season and 2-11 in their last 13 games away from Citi Field. The Diamondbacks look to hand the Mets their seventh road series loss on Sunday.
Juan Lagares gave Colon the only run he would get Saturday on a second-inning home run off Diamondbacks (27-28) right-hander Chase Anderson.
Colon allowed two runs, both scored on Wellington Castillo’s two-out, two run home run in the seventh inning. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out seven.
Bartolo Colon watches as Wellington Castillo rounds the bases after hitting a go-ahead two-run home run off him in the seventh inning.
That one mistake cost Colon his fourth loss of the season because of the Mets inability to score.
“You can’t say enough about him,” Terry Collins said. “He’s a professional. He does everything you want him to do, he’s a professional about his job.
“He doesn’t like to hit, but he’s taken it to heart that he has got to be better at it,” the Mets manager said. “And he has been. He fields his position. He holds base runners. He pitched his heart out tonight and we can’t give him any runs.”
The Mets have scored three runs or less in 31 games this season and dropped to 7-24 in those games. Colon has been on the mound in six of those games, including Saturday night, which spoiled an impressive performance, but Colon shrugged it off.
“We have a good lineup,” said Colon (8-4). “We have just hit a bad stretch. That happens. It’s not my concern. I am just going to continue to do my job.”
Colon tosses seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out seven but gets a hard-luck loss as the Mets offense can’t help him out.
With most of the expected middle of their lineup now on the disabled list timely hits are almost nonexistent. The Mets were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position Saturday night and left eight on base
“It has been happening a lot,” Collins said. “We’ve got to work through it. You can’t let it get to you, can’t get too frustrated. You’ve got to try and continue to get these guys to use the whole field to hit, continue to press forward and try to manufacture some runs.”
In the ninth, the Mets had runners on first and second with one out and John Mayberry, Jr. bounced a high chopper to third for the force out and the Diamondbacks threw him out at first for the game-ending double play.
In the sixth inning the Mets failed to score a run after putting two runners on with one out, ending the inning with the bases loaded on an Eric Campbell fly out to right.
“It’s two nights in a row we’ve had the bases loaded and we haven’t done anything with it,” Collins said.
With David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud and now Daniel Murphy on the disabled list, the Mets desperately need veteran hitters like Cuddyer, Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson to step up.
So far, that really has not happened.
Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to 11 games in the sixth, with a single on a ground ball to center with Ruben Tejada on and one out.
Lucas Duda had his streak of reaching base snapped at 11 straight games. After missing the first game in San Diego with a sore/stiff knee, he has looked like he is laboring at the plate going 0-for-4. He is now 2-of-19 on the road trip.
While Curtis Granderson has drawn an impressive 32 walks as the lead-off hitter, the right fielder has not delivered the offense that the Mets need. He went 1-for-3 with a walk Saturday. He has six home runs and driven in 17 runs this season.
“Today with Murph out, if anybody has to step up it’s got to be somebody in the middle of your lineup,” Collins said. “(Lucas Duda) has been doing good, but if Michael starts swinging like we know he can and the way he can, that would help a lot.”
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