The Washington Post

Bartolo Colon throws 38 consecutive strikes in A’s win

(Ted S. Warren/AP)

Oakland Athletics right-hander Bartolo Colon knows that as well as anyone, and on Wednesday night in Anaheim, the burly 14-year veteran was in the zone.

Colon threw 82 of his 108 pitches for strikes — including 38 in a row — to lead the A’s past the Angels in a 6-0 win. And on a night that featured a dazzling duel between Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee and San Francisco’s Matt Cain by the bay, Colon’s feat may have been the most impressive.

“You can’t get 38 strikes out of a pitching machine,” Oakland outfielder Jonny Gomes said after the game. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The San Francisco Chronicle tracked the stat back to 1988 and found no other pitcher with a streak that long. Tim Wakefield was the next closest with 30 consecutive strikes in a game in 1998. has the video of each of Colon’s strikes here. Note the building excitement in the announcer’s voice, who starts calling the pitches before they even hit the catcher’s mitt.

ESPN Stats and Information broke down Colon’s pitches during the stretch and found that 27 were in the zone, 10 resulted in foul balls, 10 resulted in balls in play and only one resulted in a swing and miss. Of the 38 pitches, 35 were fastballs. The streak ended on an 0-1 pitch to Bobby Abreu with one out in the eighth inning — a borderline call that could have gone either way.

High fives for a job well done. (Stephen Dunn/GETTY IMAGES)

Colon, 38, went 8-10 with a 4.00 ERA in 26 starts for the New York Yankees last season, but is off to a tremendous start in 2012.

Through four starts — three against Seattle — Colon has a 3-1 record with a 2.63 ERA. In his last two starts he has not allowed a run in 15 innings while striking out 10. But the biggest difference for Colon this spring has been his ability to find the strike zone. In 27 1/3 innings he has allowed only two walks compared to 19 strikeouts.

But maintaining this type of success will be difficult for a pitcher with a career rate of three walks per nine innings.

Follow us: @MattBrooksWP | @CindyBoren


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Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.

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