Another Bartolo Colon start, another potential swan song.
The right-hander has been the subject of much trade speculation in recent weeks, especially after he reportedly cleared waivers in recent days, making the Mets free to trade him to any team that seeks his services. It is somewhat more urgent now than it was earlier in the month given that Sunday is the deadline for players to be on a team's roster to be eligible for the postseason.
So when Colon takes the mound Saturday night against righty Jerome Williams and the Phillies at Citi Field, there might be a few more eyes on the game than there otherwise would be for a late-August contest between two out-of-contention teams.
Colon, who has a 3.82 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP while striking out nearly six batters for every one he walks, is viewed as a potential boon to any team that might need pitching help down the stretch. It's worth noting, however, that general manager Sandy Alderson said Thursday that "there's a lot less going on than some people might speculate" on the Colon trade front.
Colon has been especially sharp of late, pitching to a 2.88 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP in his last six starts, and he's beaten the Phillies three times in three tries this season, holding them to four runs in 22 2/3 innings. He is also coming off of a difficult week-and-a-half stretch in which he traveled to and from the Dominican Republic twice to tend to a family issue.
In between his mother's passing and funeral, Colon pitched against the Dodgers on Sunday, limiting Los Angeles to two runs on five hits in six innings. He started to run out of gas in the sixth, but a triple play made possible by Yasiel Puig's baserunning gaffe bailed him out.
"It impressed me. It didn't surprise me," manager Terry Collins said afterward of Colon's outing. "He's had a tough week. He came off the mound in the sixth inning, and I think that's the first time in his career he's ever said, 'I'm done.'"
Williams, meanwhile, has already changed teams twice this season and has found success with Philadelphia after struggling with the Astros and Rangers. He owns a 1.77 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP through his first three starts with Philly.
His most recent start, Sunday against the Cardinals, was a gem. St. Louis managed just one run on five hits and three walks in Williams' eight innings, his longest outing since May 2013.
Phillies: Sizemore gets start in left as playing-time balance continues
Grady Sizemore went 1-for-4 after getting the start in left field Friday night, just his third start in 10 games as Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg continues to spread out playing time in left among three outfielders -- Sizemore, Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf.
"A little bit of a matchup reason," Sandberg said of Sizemore. "But we continue to look at different guys."
Sizemore didn't help his cause after dropping a routine fly ball with two outs in the seventh inning in Friday's 4-1 loss, which allowed the Mets to score two runs and take the lead.
Brown has received the bulk of the playing time in left, starting six of the last 10 games. Ruf and Sizemore started in left twice apiece in that span.
"It's a challenge," Sandberg said.
Mets: Baseball stars align for Herrera's debut
Friday marked the one-year anniversary of Vic Black joining the Mets as the player to be named from the Pirates, the final piece of the Aug. 27, 2013, trade that saw Marlon Byrd and John Buck head to Pittsburgh in exchange for prospect Dilson Herrera.
Friday also marked Herrera's Major League debut, and Byrd -- who signed in the offseason with Philadelphia -- started in right field at Citi Field for the visitors.
"We all need a picture together," Black said, smiling at the coincidences.
Herrera started at second base and finished 0-for-3.
• Sandberg said he expects "five or six" players to be called up to the Phillies when rosters expand next week.
• Wally Backman, the bench boss for Triple-A Las Vegas, was named the Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year on Friday.
"Well-deserved," Alderson said. "He's got a nice club there. They score a lot of runs. He's had to manage additions and subtractions in personnel there. He's obviously had to deal with pitching challenges that come with Las Vegas. ... I think it reflects the work he's done this year."
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.