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    May 2, 2018 7:59 AM +0430

    ATLANTA -- Bartolo Colon was expected to just be a place holder in the New York Mets rotation until Zack Wheeler returned from Tommy John surgery in the second half of the season. Adam Pelech Jersey .Wheeler, though, had a setback and the Mets have been hit by plenty of other bad pitching news, with Matt Harvey out for the year and most of the other projected starters ailing.Colon, who turned 43 in May, has gone from a veteran luxury to an ultra-necessary contributor as the Mets, winners of six straight games, try to make it make to the postseason.In fact, it wouldnt be a stretch to call the stocky right-hander a savior for the Mets season as they battle for a National League Wild Card spot.Colon takes a 13-7 record and a 3.22 ERA into Saturday nights start against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field and he has been even better than that has the season has worn down.The native of the Dominican Republic is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his past seven starts, including six scoreless innings in a victory at Cincinnati on Monday.Hes been the mainstay, Mets manager Terry Collins said. Hes the guy that every fifth day takes the baseball. We dont have to worry about pitch counts, we dont have to worry about innings. He just goes out there and does it.Hes had two starts where our bullpen was tired and we needed him to get deep in the game, and you looked up and he was in the eighth inning. Hes been a tremendous addition to the staff.Colon tossed eight scoreless innings in a victory over the Braves in New York on May 2 and is 9-3 with a 2.35 ERA in 13 career starts against Atlanta.Despite what seemed like a deep rotation, the Mets brought Colon back as a free agent on a one-year deal after he went 14-13 last year following a 15-13 season in 2014.Colon has been even better this season and his 231 career victories rank third among Latin American-born pitchers.One Braves hitter who has flourished against Colon, though, is Freddie Freeman. The first baseman has a .481 average and one of his 17 homers against the Mets have come against Colon.Of course, Freeman is hitting well against everyone right now, as shown by his 15-game hitting streak and 31 consecutive games reaching base safely.Im not doing anything different than when I was slumping. Im just actually hitting the ball, Freeman said. Early on in the season I was striking out a lot.Rookie John Gant, who will face off against Colon, returned after missing nearly eight weeks with an oblique strain and worked five innings at Philadelphia in a no-decision, giving up four runs (three earned) and striking out six last Saturday.Gant is 1/3 with a 4.70 ERA in 14 games, including five starts. His only major league victory came against the Mets in New York on June 17, when he allowed just two hits and a run over 6 2/3 innings while striking out five and walking two.Gant, 24, was taken by the Mets in the 21st round of the 2011 draft. He was dealt to the Braves in July last year as part of the trade that brought veteran infielders Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe to New York. Jaroslav Halak Jersey . Schenn scored the game-winning goal and added two assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday. John Tavares Jersey . Brett Kulak and Jackson Houck of the Vancouver Giants were each charged with assault causing bodily harm on Aug. 18, according to the B.C. court services. WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Patrik Laine added to his hat collection Tuesday night, Mark Scheifele took the NHL points lead and the Winnipeg Jets rode their youngsters to a blowout victory.Laine took the NHL lead in goals with the second hat trick of his rookie season and Scheifele had two goals and two assists, leading the Jets over the Dallas Stars 8-2.Laine has 11 goals and 15 points this season, and Scheifele overtook Edmontons Connor McDavid and Chicagos Artem Anisomov in the scoring race with 18 points.Laine, an 18-year-old Finn, is the fourth player ever in the NHL with multiple hat tricks before his 19th birthday, joining Jack Hamilton, Dale Hawerchuk and Trevor Linden, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Elias also said hes the first with 11 goals in his first 14 career games since 1992-93, when Teemu Selanne, Dmitri Kvartalnov and Rob Gaudreau all did it.Its always unbelievable to score, Laine said. Im proud of myself and Im proud of our team.I dont want to think about the future, (but) its amazing to lead the league on the scoreboard.Scheifele grinned when he was told McDavid had three assists in Edmontons 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.Maybe Ill send him a text and say, `Tough bounce, the fourth-year center said.Marko Dano, Andrew Copp and Adam Lowry also scored for Winnipeg while Nikolaj Ehlers, Nic Petan and Tyler Myers each had two assists.Patrick Eaves and Tyler Seguin scored for Dallas.Pretty much embarrassing from start to finish, Stars forward Jamie Benn said. We came in here and played a terrible game and thats what you get.Stars coach Lindy Ruff was asked if this was rock bottom for his injury-riddled team.Yeah, he said. We made some really dumb mistakes that we paid dearly for. Some missed assignments that every play turned into a big play for them. Its hard.Were too short-handed to be a dumb team and we were a dumb team tonight.Connor Hellebuyck made 28 saves in his third straight start for Winnipeeg. Bryan Trottier Jersey. . Dallas netminder Kari Lehtonen was replaced by Antti Niemi after Laines third goal. He had let in four goals on 11 shots. Niemi finished with 15 saves.Winnipegs second shot on net was Scheifeles eighth goal of the season at 3:06.Laine then deflected Ben Chiarots point shot for his first goal at 8:46 of the opening period. Dallas outshot Winnipeg 14-5 in the first and was on the power play heading into the second period after Scheifele was called for tripping.Eaves used the man advantage to score his third goal of the season when he redirected Devin Shores shot past Hellebuyck at 1:30 to make it 2-1.Winnipeg responded with four straight goals in the second.With 9 seconds left on Seguins penalty for hooking, Laine scored his fifth power-play goal of the season by digging out his own rebound in front of Lehtonen at 6:51.Laine made it 4-1 just over three minutes later with his third goal at 10:07. The 18-year-old Finn recorded his first hat trick on Oct. 19 with the winner in overtime against Toronto.After hats were cleaned off the ice, Scheifele and Dano each scored on the power play for a 6-1 lead heading into the third. It was only the third time this season the Jets have held a lead going into the third.Seguin scored an unassisted goal at 2:32 of the third to give him seven on the season.Copps first of the season was a short-handed goal at 13:49 and Lowry finished off the scoring with 1:44 left in the game.Game notes Newly re-signed Jets D Jacob Trouba skated with the Jets on Tuesday morning but didnt play. He told reporters hes rescinded the trade request he and his agent had made public when he failed to report to training camp.UP NEXTStars: Travel to Calgary for a game Thursday night.Jets: Play back-to-back road games against Arizona on Thursday night and Colorado Friday night. Cheap Jerseys 2020 Jerseys From China Wholesale Jerseys 2018 Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys NFL Jerseys Wholesale ' ' '