In the Florida State League all-star game last month, Kolarek retired the side in order in the seventh inning of his team's 4-3 victory.

"I was a little more amped up for it than usual and pretty excited," said Kolarek, who retired the final two batters of the inning on strikeouts. "As a relief pitcher, you never expect the accolades."

Asked about a possible promotion after that all-star appearance he replied, "As a player, you try not to think about it because it is very situational, like if somebody gets hurt," he said. "I've worked hard all off-season and whether it's going to Double-A this year or next, I'm not focused on that."

That all changed on July 26 and he it didn't take long for the good news to spread to Colorado where his father, Frank, was at the time.

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"He deserves it," said Frank, who played in the Oakland Athletics Minor League organization in the late 1970's. "He did a great job and he's made the most of it. We couldn't be happier for him."

Kolarek consistently throws his fastball from 90-93 miles per hour and keeps hitters off-stride with his slider. "That's been a huge pitch for me."

"He's got a good slider and he's worked on keeping it in the zone," Abbott said. "His fastball is a little sneaky and he appears to throw harder at times."

If he continues to consistently command his pitches, Abbott sees him closing out the regular season as one of the late-inning relievers.

"He loves the role," Abbott said. "He likes to pitch in situations late in the game."

Since his first week of perfection, Kolarek has hit some bumps, but, despite allowing his first runs (2) against New Britain on Aug. 7, he earned his second victory when the Mets rallied with three runs in the bottom of the last inning of a 9-8 win.

"It was an exciting game and we battled back," said Kolarek, who got out of a trouble with runners on second and third and no outs — after he had allowed his first two Double-A runs.

"I made a couple of good pitches, got a key strikeout and double play to get me out of the jam," he said.

Getting out of jams is most likely what he will be doing the rest of the season as the Mets shoot towards a longshot playoff berth, but he's glad to have the challenge.

"I was kind of hoping I would get my first experience here in Double-A this season and see what it's all about," he said.