MILWAUKEE – Everyone can’t wait to see Bartolo Colon hit, and understandably so. When he decides to swing, he spins around in the batter’s box, and you wonder if he’ll stay on his feet once the spinning stops.
“He does the statue once in a while,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Then they think he’s going to statue, then he almost falls over.”
Wednesday was also a night to watch Colon’s pitching belie his age — and body. Fastballs that stay out of the danger zone. Timely changeups and sliders. Lack of solid contact. Baffled Brewers batters.
Heck, baffled spectators, too.
Colon went seven shutout innings as the Twins beat Milwaukee 4-0 to return to .500 for the first time since July 24. Colon gave up five hits while walking one and striking out five. While Colon threw a complete game in his last outing, beating Texas on Friday, he gave up four runs that night. Wednesday might have been his best outing as a Twin as he lowered his ERA with his newest team to 4.02 through five starts.
The Twins have won four straight to end the day 56-56. They have won four straight games at six different times this season but have yet to win five in a row. Their inability to go on a sustained run of wins has made it hard for them to be taken seriously, and their post-All-Star break swoon led to trades of Jaime Garcia and Brandon Kintzler.
Once again at the doorstep of a fifth straight win, the Twins will send lefthander Dietrich Enns to the mound — in his major league debut — as the Twins look to sweep the season series against their interleague rivals.
They suddenly are getting solid outings from starting pitchers, enough offense, and Matt Belisle — who pitched the ninth inning on Wednesday — has lived Kintzler’s life.
“It’s good how well we are playing, how we are finding ways to win games,” Colon said. “Hopefully we can keep winning games and see what we can do down the road.”
The Twins got an RBI double in the second from Jorge Polanco, who is batting .500 during his seven-game hitting streak. Brian Dozier homered in the third, the fourth straight season he’s homered at Miller Park.
Brewers second baseman Eric Sogard booted Joe Mauer’s grounder in the seventh, allowing Dozier to score to make it 3-0. Miguel Sano followed with an RBI double, and the Twins led 4-0.
Colon didn’t add anything offensively, going 0-for-3 at the plate. But he added to the entertainment. He was robbed of a hit in the third when third baseman Hernan Perez grabbed his hard grounder. Colon also took some mighty cuts in the fifth before striking out.
He fell behind reliever Jacob Barnes 0-2 in the seventh but worked the count to 3-2 before taking a massive swing at a 94-mph fastball, fouling it back.
“I would have liked to have seen him square one of those balls up,” Molitor said. “I was afraid he was going to blow a hamstring out on that one swing.”
He grounded out to third on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. He carried his bat as he ran to first and then was applauded as he jogged back to the dugout. He is 0-for-19 this season and is 0-for-his-last-32. But he makes it interesting.
“He’s got a plan,” Molitor said. “I don’t know if I understand it, but he’s got a plan.”
Opposing hitters, right now, probably feel the same way.