The Loop

Bartolo Colon takes 102-mph line-drive right off the gut, says his 'big belly' can take it, naturally

It's still early, but it already looks like another lost year for the Texas Rangers, who sit 10.5 games back of the Houston Astros in a surprisingly strong AL West. They do have one bright spot though, and it happens to be a 44-year-old, 285-pound pitcher who continues to defy all sports logic.

That pitcher is none other than Bartolo Colon, who added to his legend on Wednesday afternoon by absorbing a 102-mph line-drive right off his gut and scooping up the ball and tossing it to first for an easy out:

For any other pitcher, this is likely immediate removal from the game, skip next start, etc. For Big Sexy, it's merely a bee sting that he laughs off, questioning why the trainers would even consider leaving the dugout to come check on him. After the game, which Colon finished, going 7.2 innings strong, giving up just four hits and no runs, he said, "It hit me more on the side than in the middle. I have a lot of big belly, so I can take it." Truer words have never been spoken.

Colon has started seven games for the Rangers this season, going 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA and collecting 32 strikeouts along the way. This comes after a season where it finally looked like 'Tolo's incredible career was coming to an end, as he started just 15 games, going 5-6 with a 5.18 ERA and striking out only 47 batters in Atlanta and Minnesota in 2017. So far this year, he's been the Rangers' best pitcher, back in April, he took a perfect game into the eighth inning on the road in Houston against the defending World Series champions. The ageless wonder continues to amaze, like that time he cranked a two-run shot in 2016:

Please, never retire, Bartolo.