The Mets (15-12) lost to the Rockies (17-13) by a score of 7-4 on Thursday night in Colorado.
Bartolo Colon took the ball for the Mets and struggled mightily. Colon gave up 7 runs on 10 hits and a walk in 4.2 innings, striking out only 3.
The Mets got off to a frustrating start in what would be a very frustrating game. Juan Lagares, fresh off the DL, picked up right where he left off by doubling to left to lead off the game. However, with 1 out, Troy Tulowitzki made a diving play on David Wright‘s line drive and doubled off Lagares at second, so Juan Nicasio, who thew 7 scoreless innings for the Rockies, was able to emerge from the inning unscathed.
After Tulo burned the Mets in the top of the first, Colorado’s other superstar hurt them in the bottom of the frame. With 2 out, Carlos Gonzalez hit a screaming line drive over the wall in right-center, giving the Rockies an early 1-0 lead.
The Rockies would strike again in their turn at bat in the second. Bartolo Colon got 2 quick outs, but then gave up singles to the 7th and 8th hitters in the lineup, and the pitcher Nicasio roped one to right field, bringing in a pair of runs to make it 3-0.
Bartolo seemed to have settled down after a scoreless 3rd inning, but trouble struck once again in the bottom of the 4th. Colon walked the leadoff hitter, allowed the next batter to reach on a bunt single which the Mets handled poorly in the field, and hit Charlie Culberson to load the bases with none out. Nicasio hit a sacrifice fly to give him 3 RBI on the night, and Charlie Blackmon singled to right to bring in another run. The next hitter, Nolan Arenado— who still has not returned the Gold Glove he stole from David Wright last season— flied one out to Granderson in right, and Curtis’ throw beat Culberson to the plate. However, Travis d’Arnaud failed to apply the tag, and Culberson scored to make it 6-0.
Colon came out to start the 5th, but was unable to finish it. Bartolo appeared to have gotten out of the inning with a tough, two-strike, two-seam fastball to Chris Dickerson, but the umpire ruled it a ball, and Dickerson tripled a few pitches later to bring home Justin Morneau and end Colon’s evening.
The Mets’ offense showed signs of life in the top of the 8th. Bobby Abreu worked a two-out walk and Lagares drove him in with his 2nd double of the night.
After Jose Valverde, who has fallen from being the closer to having the role of the mop-up guy, pitched a scoreless bottom of the 8th, the Mets came out to take their final swings in the top of the 9th. New York put up a decent fight against Chad Bettis. With two outs, Chris Young singled for his second hit of the night and Grandy followed CY up with a base hit of his own. The next batter, Travis d’Arnaud, sent a deep drive over the left field wall to make it 7-4. However, Ruben Tejada lined out to right to end the fun and give Colorado the win.
As Gary, Keith, or Ron (my brain has kind of merged them all into a singular, all-knowing being) pointed out, this was Colon’s 6th start and the 2nd in which he just “didn’t have it”. Colon wasn’t serving up bombs left and right like he was in Los Angeles a few weeks ago, but he did not look good at all. If you allow the opposing pitcher to drive in 3 runs, you’re probably going to lose.
Speaking of the opposing pitcher, the Mets made Juan Nicasio look like an All-Star tonight. They can hit Craig Kimbrel but can’t touch the mighty Juan Nicasio. I’ve given up trying to figure out why. But we need our hitters to pick it up. Even though we scored 4 runs and only lost by 3, this game was never really close. There was no doubt after the 5th inning that Colorado would win. If the hitters could wake up at some point before the 8th inning, that would be nice.
The bullpen was called upon much earlier than any of us would have liked, and they did a very solid job. There have been a few bumps, but overall, I’m pretty satisfied with our bullpen’s performance so far this season.
Curtis Granderson made solid contact with a pitch in the 9th to keep the Mets alive, and ultimately scored a run. But the Mets need him to start driving the ball soon… he needs to do what we brought him here to do. Also, the Rockies were running on him at every opportunity, and I was taken aback by how weak the throw he made to the plate on Blackmon’s single in the 5th was. However, his throw on the very next play was a very good one that would have nailed Culberson at home had TDA applied the tag properly, so I won’t get too worried about his arm…
Chris Young looked good at the plate tonight. I’m starting to like him more and more with each passing game. If he can keep it going, Granderson can wake up, and David Wright can break out of his recent slump, our lineup could be pretty productive.
Another guy who might be an X-factor at the plate for the Mets? Travis d’Arnaud, who is also looking better of late. TDA’s homer in the 9th didn’t really do much to impact the game, but it was nice to see him get ahold of one, especially with his team down to its final out. He always seems to come up in big situations, so hopefully he can come through the next time there’s some real pressure.
The things I would do to have Carlos Gonzalez and/or Troy Tulowitzki on the Mets are unspeakable. But more importantly, we need to somehow get rid of that triceratops the Rockies call their mascot. I can’t for the life of me figure out why they decided to make their mascot a triceratops. And yes, these are the things I think about when my team is down 7-0 for most of the night.
Juan Lagares looked great tonight in his first game back from his hamstring injury. Hopefully, he can stay healthy, because he’s been a joy to watch when he’s been on the field. Welcome back, Juan.
Up Next: The Mets will look to even up their series with the Rockies tomorrow night at Coors Field. Zack Wheeler (1-2, 3.99 ERA) will do battle with Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 5.23 ERA). Gametime is 8:40 PM.