Saturday, April 9, 2016

Set for first start of '16, Colon eyeing Pedro's mark

Mets fans love some Bartolo Colon. The right-hander received one of the loudest ovations Friday afternoon during pregame introductions at Citi Field. Colon will start Saturday night against the Phillies. The 42-year-old pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen Sunday.
He went 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA in five starts last season against the Phillies.
It will be a battle of contrasting styles against Vincent Velasquez, who makes his Phillies debut. The hard-throwing right-hander joined the organization in December, when the Phillies shipped Ken Giles to the Astros. Velasquez's fastball sits in the 94-95 mph range. Colon's fastball averaged 88.3 mph last season, according to FanGraphs.
Things to know about this game
• Colon can tie Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez for the second-most wins among Dominican-born pitchers. Martinez won 219 games in 476 appearances (409 starts). Colon has won 218 games in 476 appearances (467 starts).
• Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco could return to the lineup. He rested Friday after a pitch hit him on his left elbow in the ninth inning Thursday against the Reds.
• Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard has 44 home runs in his career against the Mets, the most of any active player.
• Mets third baseman David Wright will sit Saturday, his first scheduled day of rest this season. Manager Terry Collins gave Wright the choice to rest Saturday or Sunday; the two decided on the former because of a nasty weather forecast that could bring snow to the region. He and the Mets will be cautious throughout Wright's first full season since receiving his spinal stenosis diagnosis last May.

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