Bartolo Colon may be feasting on the National League East early this season, but he is no stranger to the other league and the other coast.
A member of the Angels from 2004-07 and the A's from 2012-13, Colon will return to one of his many old homes for Sunday's rubber match between the Mets and Angels. Colon will start opposite Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, who has spent his entire 10-year career in the American League West.
He could not be doing so on a higher note. After taking the loss, despite a quality start, in his season debut against the Nationals, Colon left nothing to chance last time out against the Braves, stringing together zeros for seven innings of a victory.
"He pitched in, pitched out, pitched down, pitched up -- really gave them a different look no matter what he was throwing," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He really did a good job."
Wilson was nearly as brilliant in his last outing, striking out seven Astros over eight innings of one-run ball. The Mets may offer a stiffer challenge for Wilson, but not by much -- they entered Saturday's play 29th in the Majors in batting average and on-base percentage, ranking above only Houston in each category.
Unlike Wilson, who has a lifetime losing record at Angel Stadium despite a 3.23 ERA there, Colon has been tough to beat in Anaheim over the years, going 12-6 with a 3.16 mark. Perhaps that's why he was in a jovial mood earlier this weekend, sharing laughs with Albert Pujols during batting practice.
But come Sunday afternoon, it will be back to business for Colon, who, like Wilson, is looking to move to 2-1 on the season.
Mets: Smooth as Satin
Though Collins was coy when asked about his Sunday lineup, there's a good chance Josh Satin will be in it as the designated hitter.
Satin, who finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs on Friday night against Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs, is back to his old lefty-mashing ways. Last season, the Southern California native OPS'd .880 against southpaws, versus .706 against right-handed pitchers. The Angels will be using another left-hander, Wilson, in Sunday's series finale.
But beginning Monday, the Mets will face another run of at least six right-handed starters in a row, meaning Satin will need to readjust to life on the bench.
"It's a whole different role," Collins said. "Josh Satin is one of the perfect examples of a guy who, when he goes up there three or four times, he's real dangerous. That first at-bat may not be very pretty, but that third one, he may knock your socks off. It's about the rhythm of the game."
Angels: De La Rosa makes his debut
The Angels were eager to give right-hander Dane De La Rosa some work out of the bullpen, but wanted to find a way to ease him back from the disabled list.
That opportunity came in the ninth inning Saturday, with the Angels trailing by a run. Though it was certainly a tight spot for the right-hander, it was not the type of do-or-die situation De La Rosa would have faced had the Angels used him in Friday's extra-inning win.
"If the game had gone on, Dane would've been in there," manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday afternoon. "But obviously the ideal thing is, I'd like to get him an inning [in another situation] just to get his feet on the ground."
De La Rosa wound up facing three batters and retiring only one of them, with both baserunners coming around to score.
• Pujols remains six home runs shy of becoming the 26th player in Major League history to reach the 500-homer mark. Pujols went 1-for-5 with an RBI single Saturday.
• Mets third baseman David Wright appears to be heating up after a slow start. Wright, who opened the season 5-for-27 (.185) with one extra-base hit, has since batted 5-for-18 (.277).
• Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson has gone hitless in seven of the 11 games he has played this season. He has more walks (eight) than hits (five).