It doesn’t happen often when a 24-year-old is on the mound for the Twins, but today is a good day for feeling “you’re not that old.” The reason: Bartolo Colon, exactly 21 years and three days older than Jose Berrios, will be facing his former team.
Who cares if he’s the oldest player in the majors, by far? He’s the only active big leaguer that Paul Molitor can say he batted against.
“He’s been doing it for a long time, if I faced the guy,” said the Twins’ manager, who drew two walks against Colon in 1997, singled twice in 1998, and finished his career 2-for-8 against the 45-year-old righthander. “I saw him the other day, and he looks a bit better. I think he’s tried to give himself the best opportunity physically to pitch as long as he possibly can.”
And how long is that? “I know he’s got some personal goals, in regards to some numbers he’s been trying to achieve, trying to put himself into some elite categories with wins and things like that,” Molitor said. “He still can be good, as we saw at times last year for us.”
Big Sexy, 4-4 with a 4.91 ERA with Texas, is still popular in the Twins’ clubhouse, but his former team could certainly use a win over him today, to end a three-game losing streak as they embark on a 10-day road trip.
A side issue to watch today: Whether Colon tries to retaliate for Jurickson Profar being hit three times on Saturday. The Twins, and Molitor in particular, were upset when Profar stole second base in the fourth inning with a seven-run lead, and Addison Reed hit Profar again three innings later.
Molitor had a funny line about the incident on Sunday.
“It’s a rarity when you get hit three times in a game. The first one, our pitcher got his cleat caught in the dirt, the second one was a borderline strike. With the armor these guys wear, they don’t worry about getting out of the way,” Molitor said. “And the last time, we wanted to give him an opportunity to steal another base.”
For his part, Rangers manager Jeff Bannister wore a t-shirt to his morning media session that read, “Texas Doesn’t Back Down.”
Here are the lineups for the finale of the series, and homestand: