ARLINGTON, Texas – Bartolo Colon still has another lofty goal after becoming the top winning pitcher from Latin America.
“This year is almost getting close to the end. But there is one thing that I will look for, is Juan Marichal has more innings than me,” Colon said through a translator. “For the Dominicans, I want to beat him also.”
But there likely won’t be enough time left in his 21st big league season for the 45-year-old Texas Rangers right-hander to do that.
After needing six tries to get his 246th career victory and finally break a tie with Nicaragua’s Dennis Martinez for the most win by a Latin American, Colon now would have to throw 61 2/3 more innings to pass Hall of Famer and fellow countryman Marichal on another list.
The last-place Rangers have only 46 games left in this long and hot summer. Colon, who has averaged just under six innings in his 21 starts, would probably have no more than nine starts remaining in a five-man rotation and if he stayed on his turn.
But the Rangers are clearly focused on the future and likely will want to look at some younger pitchers, especially after rosters expand Sept. 1. Plus, they are already lined up with six starters and Colon won’t pitch again until next week, even though the team has no off days before then.
When asked Wednesday if Colon’s workload would be lessened down the stretch, manager Jeff Banister responded, “We’re still in the same rotation as before.”
Colon (6-10) gave up four runs and eight hits in seven innings Tuesday night in his 11-4 milestone win over the Mariners. The portly and popular right-hander retired 14 of the last 16 batters he faced after Seattle had two triples in the third, an inning after back-to-back homers by Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager.
When Colon got his 243rd career win on June 6 against Oakland, he matched Marichal for the most by a Dominican pitcher. The Rangers hurler passed the “Dominican Dandy” on the victory list when he beat Kansas City on June 18.
Marichal, who threw 244 complete games in his career, pitched 3,507 innings in 471 games over 16 years.
Colon is at 3,445 2/3 career innings, the most among active pitchers, as are his wins, after beating the Mariners in his 560th career game. He has pitched 130 1/3 innings this season.
After catching Martinez at 245 wins on June 30 against the Chicago White Sox, Colon went 0-5 with a 6.46 ERA in his five July starts before breaking the tie.
“The pretty remarkable thing about 246 (wins), we’ve been talking about all morning, there’s a couple guys with outside shots,” Banister said. “If Bart got to 250, he could be the last to get to 250. That would be the crazy thing about it.”
CC Sabathia, the 37-year-old Yankees pitcher, has 243 career wins. Houston’s Justin Verlander, who is 35, is third among active pitchers with 199 wins. Felix Hernandez, the loser against the Rangers on Tuesday night, has 168 career wins for the most by a Venezuela-born pitcher.
“He loves the game,” Banister said of Colon. “He loves to play, which is pretty refreshing. And we know it.”
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