Colon labors through an odd start

Melvin: Colon didn't have his best stuff

Colon labors through an odd start
July 31, 2013, 5:45 pm
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Bartolo Colon issues three four-pitch walks as he labored through six innings Wednesday against Toronto. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

OAKLAND -- It should have been a good day for Bartolo Colon, right? A very good day.

Yet with reports surfacing that he will not face suspension for his name being linked to the Biogenesis investigation, Colon did not want to celebrate. In fact, he did not want to talk about it at all, interrupting a question in English before the translator could repeat it to Colon in Spanish.

So yeah, Colon knows what's out there, and the burly right-hander would rather keep it on the field.

And yet...

"It didn't look like it was Bartolo's best stuff," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "To me, it's not necessarily the (drop in) velocity. Sometimes his velocity's down a little bit, which it's been, but more of a ball-strike ratio today. Usually he's way above in his strikes.

"But you know what, today he goes six innings and only gives up two runs and if that's a bad day for him, we'll take that anytime."

Fair enough, Colon left the A's eventual 5-2 loss in 10 innings to Toronto with the game tied at 2-2 and only one run was earned. But, as Melvin mentioned, Colon just seemed, well, off against the Blue Jays.

His three walks were the second-most free passes he's given up all year and they were all four-pitch walks. In fact, two of them led off an inning and he labored through his six innings, needing 97 pitches to do so, and only 53 of them were strikes.

"My control was not as good today as it's been in past," Colon said. "But I felt O.K. today."

Melvin would seemingly know best, that a dip in Colon's velocity is not that much of a concern to him. But Colon's fastballs were in the low 90s and high 80s, as opposed to the mid- to high-90s earlier in the season, and he's 40 years old.

Plus, he just made his 22nd start a year after making 24 for the whole season due to his 50-game suspension for a failed PED test for testosterone.

So this is uncharted territory for Colon, who had just his second no-decision since May 14, just his third non-victory since then as well.

"He was not the same," offered catcher Stephen Vogt. "Not sure why that was or what was going on, but he still gave us a chance to win.

"His ball still had pretty good life."

Colon smirked when asked about the speed of his fastball barely hitting the high 80s at times.

"It was down a little, not a lot," Colon claimed. "I can't explain why.

"But I'm going to keep working hard and try to keep my team in the game."

And if the reports of no suspension coming are true, he'll be able to do it down the stretch…unlike last season.

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