CLEVELAND – Friday night was a little like ‘Back to the Future’ for the Indians, as they watched one of their former aces outduel one of their young arms, as they fell to the New York Mets in dramatic fashion 6-5 to drop to 4-4 on the young season.
Barolo Colon, yes, the same Bartolo Colon who the team traded in 2002 to the Montreal Expos, who don’t even exist anymore, huffed and puffed his hefty frame to a win over the Tribe, throwing 5.1 good enough innings, allowing just two runs to get his first win of 2016.
“He throws strikes,” Indians manager Terry Francona said of the former Indian. “You know what’s coming, and he’s just very tough. We had a couple chances and finally got him out of there. We just ran out of innings.”
Colon caught a huge break early in the game, as a ball that originally called a home run off the bat of Carlos Santana was then overturned, taking away two big runs early that would have put the Tribe up 3-1.
Instead, Santana walked, and Colon pitched his way out of damage to keep it a 1-1 affair after the first frame.
Not so lucky was Indians starter Cody Anderson, who went from pitching in Chicago last week where it was in the 30’s, back to throwing Friday night in Cleveland were it was a lot more comfortable 51 degrees at first pitch.
All night Anderson had issues keeping the ball down, and the Mets teed off to the tune of three homers, driving him out of the game after 4.1 innings as New York built a 6-1 lead.
“He felt like he was having trouble driving the ball down in the zone,” Francona said of Anderson. “He was maybe letting off a tick or two just to try and get it down there, as opposed to trusting it and really coming after it.”
The lack of aggressiveness for Anderson was a huge factor in the game, as he never looked like his usual self on the mound, scuffling to keep the ball down.
Mike Conforto blasted a solo shot in the first off Anderson, and then in the fateful fifth it was Alejandro De Aza and Yoenis Cespedes going deep to drive Anderson to the showers.
All three Mets homers off Anderson were no doubt shots, each sailing over 400 feet into the night sky at Progressive Field.
“A few of those pitches were up, just trying to do too much with the ball,” Anderson said. “I left a few pitches up and they definitely didn’t miss them.”
It was the first time the Mets, who made it to the World Series a year ago only to fall to the Royals, hit three homers in one inning since August 2nd of last season against the Nationals.
The Indians tried to make it interesting in the 9th and they did, scoring three times and putting the tying run on second with two outs, but Jose Ramirez hit a lazy fly out to end the rally.
Game two of the three game set will take place at 4:10pm Saturday at Progressive Field.
Video of Cody Anderson with the media after the game:
Some game highlights courtesy of MLB.com and the Indians
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