Already halfway to Colon's win total from last season, Kazmir is thriving with the Athletics. Colon is back to pitching like an All-Star for the New York Mets, and he'll square off with Kazmir on Tuesday night in Queens.
The A's (47-29) are looking to bounce back after a five-game win streak was snapped with Sunday's 7-6, 10-inning loss to Boston. Oakland rallied for three runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth but couldn't complete the comeback.
"It's a testament to the fight these guys have," manager Bob Melvin said. "They really never feel like they're going to lose a game until the last out is made."
Melvin also has nothing but praise for Kazmir (9-2, 2.08 ERA).
An All-Star in 2006 and '08, Kazmir was pitching in the independent league just two years ago, but is now among the major league leaders in ERA and WHIP (0.95). He has posted an 0.90 ERA while yielding just 11 hits in winning his last three starts, and is 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA in his last five.
The left-hander allowed two runs and four hits while striking out eight and walking none in seven innings of 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Thursday.
"It's a broken record talking about him because we're seeing basically the same game out of him," Melvin said. "I had heard last year maybe this is a 100-pitch guy top, six innings maybe. He's been anything but. He's been absolutely terrific."
Oakland, which travels to Miami after this two-game set, is a major league-best 16-7 in interleague games since the start of last season, and Kazmir also excels against the NL. He owns a 19-inning scoreless streak in interleague play dating to last season, which includes striking out 12 in six innings to beat the Mets on Sept. 6 while with Cleveland.
Colon (7-5, 3.88) signed as a free agent with New York (35-41) a week after the Kazmir signing, and is starting to regain the All-Star form he showed last season after a sluggish start.
The 41-year-old right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his last six starts after going 2-5 with a 5.84 ERA in his first eight. He allowed a run and four hits over eight innings in Wednesday's 3-2 win at St. Louis.
"Bartolo is a workhorse," Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr. told MLB's official website. "It's a testament to him, still able to do it at his age."
Colon, who went 28-15 with a 2.99 ERA in his two seasons with the A's to help them win consecutive division titles, is 8-6 with a 3.55 ERA in 18 starts against Oakland.
He'll face a lineup that averages an AL-best 5.1 runs and is the only team in baseball that has three players with at least 50 RBIs - Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss and Yoenis Cespedes.
Catcher Derek Norris leads all regulars with a .302 average, but his status is uncertain after he was hit in the side of the head by a bat on a follow-through swing Sunday.
The Mets have one of baseball's worst offenses, averaging 3.9 runs while batting .235, but pounded out 17 hits in Sunday's 11-5 win over Miami. It marked their fourth victory in five games following a 3-11 slump.
"If we keep the starting pitching going and keep the offense going, I think we should climb back in this thing," Sunday's winning pitcher Jonathon Niese said.
The Mets have won six of seven against Oakland, last meeting in 2011.