As one of my friends says about athletes "Father Time is undefeated". This may be the last gasps of Bartolo Colon's big league career and the soon-to-be 44-year-old rotund righthander received a strong hint Tuesday night from the Houston Astros that the end is near with a five-run first in an 8-3 laugher over the Atlanta Braves.
Beltran: Picks on someone his age
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Colon is the last active major league pitcher who played at the Astrodome but the Astros were not showing their elder any respect. George Springer, Josh Reddick and Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the first with singles then Carlos Correa smashed a three-run homer to boost the lead to 4-0. Next, Carlos Beltran drilled a solo shot. That was five hits and five runs off Colon before he could post an out.
Meanwhile, Charlie Morton hurled five shutout innings on his way to his fourth win. Reddick added to the home run parade with a solo blast in the fifth. In Atlanta's sixth, Morton ran out of steam and gave up three tallies before Chris Devenski trotted in to get the last out of the inning.
A double by Beltran and a triple just out of the reach of Ender Inciarte in center by Alex Bregman reopened the lead to four before Nori Aoki plated Bregman with the final run of the game. Colon left with a 7.22 ERA for the season.
Speaking of high ERAs, struggling Houston reliever Luke Gregerson appeared in a non-pressure situation and tossed a 1-2-3 eighth before Michael Feliz closed it out in the ninth before a nice crowd of 28,724 which was no-doubt augmented by folks who remembered the old National League rivalry.
The schedule-makers somehow found it wise to set up this hi-and-bye two-game homestand before putting the Astros back on another road trip so Wednesday's afternoon contest will be the last home game until Friday, May 19th. Joe Musgrove (1-3) will try to keep his spot in the Houston rotation in the 1:10 Central finale as he is opposed by lefty Jaime Garcia (1-1), the former Cardinal.
- Bob Hulsey