Through the first three weeks of the 2013 season, the Oakland Athletics have performed admirably, posting a 12-8 record (after starting out 12-4).
However, they’ve had to do so while pitchers Jarrod Parker and Brett Anderson, ideally the cornerstones of the rotation, have struggled. Parker’s first three starts were especially underwhelming, though he righted the ship with a strong effort against the Tampa Bay Rays last weekend.
Bartolo Colon, though, has been the rock the A’s have needed. Since coming back from the 50-game suspension handed to him last season after testing positive for testosterone, Colon has a 2-0 record and has looked dominant against the Houston Astros (twice), Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox .
When Oakland brought Colon back for 2013 despite his issues last season, it seemed like a decision predicated by the “why not?” factor, more than anything else. Considering Colon now owns roughly a third of the A’s wins so far on the season, it’s paid dividends.
In typical Colon fashion, he’s also pumping in strikes at a ridiculous rate. In fact, he now owns a special place in Athletics franchise history: he has become the team’s first pitcher since 1916 to start the season with three games of at least 5 IP and zero walks.
Of course, the concept of a contending team banking on Colon to be the anchor of its rotation is a dicey proposition, so hopefully Anderson and Parker can get it together and start putting up some consistent starts back-to-back. It’s definitely nice to have Colon pitching as well as he has, though.