Melvin: 'We just had a tough time figuring out Garza'
Bartolo Colon threw his first wild pitch Wednesday since May of 2009, over four years and 443 innings ago. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
OAKLAND -- On Tuesday, Bartolo Colon owned MLB's longest active streak of innings without a wild pitch at an astounding 443. In the first inning of Wednesday's loss to the Cubs, a two-strike slider to Alfonso Soriano dipped into the dirt and skipped off the heel of John Jaso's mitt.
[RECAP: Cubs 3, A's 1]
Just like that, it was over.
"There was no one who felt worse about that than me," Jaso said afterward. "I had to come up to the clubhouse to get away from everyone. I was so mad at myself."
It didn't seem to bother Colon, whose last wild pitch came on May 26, 2009. He was a member of the White Sox then, and his wild pitch didn't stop him from beating his old club -- the Angels -- that day.
His wild pitch Wednesday did impact the game, though, as Soriano's bloop single two pitches later gave the Cubs a lead they would not relinquish.
Did it bother Colon that his first wild pitch in more than four years led to the loss that snapped his eight-game losing streak?
"I tried to make a good pitch," Colon said through a translator. "It was a slider and it got away."
There you have it. Colon, who earned his fourth career Pitcher of the Month honor earlier in the day, cared as much about his streak without a wild pitch as he did for his streak without a loss.
[RELATED: Colon named AL Pitcher of the Month]
"I don't care about that," Colon said. "It's in the past, so now I'll focus on the next one."
Colon was 8-0 with a 1.37 ERA over his last eight starts, coming one win short of the franchise record shared by Barry Zito, Bob Welch and Rick Langford. His spot in the rotation next comes up on Monday, July 8 at PNC Park, when he'll open the A's three-game set against the Pirates -- the team with baseball's best record at 52-31.
Bartolo Colon gave up his second triple of the game in the seventh, but what coaxed Bob Melvin out of the dugout that inning was the subsequent walk -- his first of the game.
His night appeared over after 104 pitches, but following a meeting on the mound, Melvin left Colon in to face Cubs three-hitter Nate Schierholtz, who accounted for the first triple off Colon.
"He asked me if I wanted to pitch to the next hitter," Colon recalled through a translator. "I said yes. Then I thanked him in the dugout."
Melvin admits that his conversations with "Bart" are typically short, but this interaction exemplifies the weight they carry.
"I wanted to see how he felt," Melvin said. "I thought he deserved that at-bat right there, and he was all for it."
Colon got Schierholtz to fly out to left on his 106th and final pitch, building the faith between he and his manager.
Catcher John Jaso returned to the starting lineup for the first time since June 20 after healing an abrasion on his left palm.
"It felt fine," Jaso said after the game. "Except for the 0-for-3."
Jaso did draw a walk and swipe a bag in the ninth inning.
The A's will recall Dan Straily to start Thursday's game against the Cubs, but there was speculation that team's 2011 first-round draft pick, Sonny Gray, would get the call. You'll likely see him in the near future, and there's another young arm who is climbing the system ranks.
[RELATED: A's push Parker back, will recall Straily]
A's 21-year-old pitching prospect Michael Ynoa was promoted to High-A Stockton on Sunday and is scheduled to make his Ports debut this Friday.
In 15 starts for the Beloit Snappers in the Low-A Midwest League this year, Ynoa is 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA, 48 strikeouts and 18 walks in 42 2/3 innings.
Ynoa, who sat out all of 2011 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 210 pounds. The Dominican-American originally signed with the A's as a 16-year old in July of 2008 and received a franchise record $4.25 million signing bonus (for an amateur). He turned down more money from the Reds and Rangers to join the A's.
"After careful thought, my parents and I decided that Oakland has a better pitcher development program, and that will be more important for my career in the long haul," Ynoa said at the age of 16.
Ynoa, who idolizes fellow countryman Pedro Martinez, boasts a hard fastball in the mid-90s, supported by an impressive change-up and big curveball. He's still far from the majors, but certainly one to monitor.