June 23, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets right fielder Marlon Byrd (6) hits an RBI sacrifice fly during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

6/27 Recap: Byrd Carries Mets To Win in Colorado

In a makeup game with Colorado Rockies, the Mets sent out Jeremy Hefner to the hill to face Tyler Chatwood of the Rockies. With David Wright seemingly playing every day, he was given the game off and Zach Lutz started in his place at third. With the help of Marlon Byrd, the Mets came out with a road victory.

The Rockies got on the board first with two runs in the second inning. Michael Cuddyer started it off with a single to left, a hit which ended up setting the Rockies’ hit streak record, which was followed by a double by the powerful Wilin Rosario. Todd Helton flied to center but it was good enough for a run. Nolan Arenado followed with a groundout to third but Rosario ended up scoring from second as Josh Satin‘s throw from first to third went wide as Rosario advanced to third and scored on the errant throw.

The Mets finally got their first run in the fifth inning on a Jeremy Hefner RBI fielder’s choice. Although the Mets did have the bases loaded and nobody out, Anthony Recker hit into a fielder’s choice which gunned down Josh Satin at home, followed by the RBI by Hefner. Eric Young, Jr. hit a fly ball into foul territory into left field, but Carlos Gonzalez made sure it didn’t drop and made a terrific sliding grab, keeping the score 2-1 in favor of the Rockies.

It appeared the Mets had another golden chance in the sixth when Daniel Murphy and Marlon Byrd laced two singles back-to-back. And after a Satin pop out, Lutz walked to load the bases for Juan Lagares. On a 2-2 pitch, Chatwood stuck him out on a fastball that looked to be at Lagares’s knees, but home plate umpire John Hirschbeck thought otherwise, and the Mets were kept from scoring a run.

Jeremy Hefner kept the Rockies off the board in the sixth and looked strong with 80 pitches going into a possible seventh inning. However in the top of the seventh Terry Collins lifted him for a pinch hitter in Kirk Nieuwenhuis who singled but was quickly erased on a double play ball hit by Young, Jr.

LaTroy Hawkins, who lost Wednesday’s game against the White Sox, came in for the seventh inning. He struck out Helton and Arenado back-to-back, but Arenado reached when Anthony Recker could not stop a wild pitch from Hawkins. Despite the runner, Hawkins induced a double play from Jonathon Herrera and the inning was over.

With the middle of the order coming up in the eighth, the Mets seized the opportunity presented. Murphy singled between Herrera and second baseman Josh Rutledge. He then stole second during Byrd’s at-bat. With two strikes, Byrd cracked one to the deep part of the park in left center just over the wall and good enough to get the Mets in front with a 3-2 lead. Satin followed with a single but Lutz struck out and Lagares grounded out to Helton to end the inning.

While Hawkins was supposed to come out for the eighth, Collins decided to bring in the oft-used Scott Rice. Walt Weiss countered with a right handed hitter in DJ LeMahieu who singled up the middle. However the Mets caught a break when LeMahieu broke for second early and Rice threw to Satin who eventually caught LeMahieu stealing at second. Rutledge singled and moved to second on the third wild pitch of the game. After falling behind the dangerous Carlos Gonzalez, Rice somehow struck him out. Despite two hits, the Rockies did not score.

Despite a two-out single by Young, Jr. the Mets were held scoreless which set it up for Bobby Parnell in the ninth.

Michael Cuddyer singled under the glove of Satin, but was too aggressive and was gunned down at second by the arm of Marlon Byrd. Parnell got Rosario to strikeout and Helton to ground to first to end the game with the Mets coming out victorious 3-2.

Notes

> Jeremy Hefner had another solid outing with six innings, only one earned run allowed to go along with three punchouts.

> Marlon Byrd continued his fine month of June with a two-run homer, his 12th of the year and 5th of the month. He is hitting .282 for the month as well.

> Tyler Chatwood pitched well for Colorado only giving up one run on four hits in his six innings of work.

> The Mets bullpen allowed three hits but no runs in three innings.

> With the win the Mets finish the roadtrip with a 7-4 record and end their six game losing streak against the Rockies.

Thoughts

With the Mets sending out a b-lineup, they seemed doomed to lose. However Jeremy Hefner kept the team in the game with a solid outing. In his last start he’s compiled a 3.08 ERA and has been a strength in this rotation.

Daniel Murphy‘s steal was huge and may have shaken Rockies’ reliever Matt Belisle. Byrd worked the count deep and found a pitch he could handle which he unloaded into the seats in deep left field. With the month Byrd has had, the Mets could get a nice deal for him at the deadline if they are so inclined to deal him as many expect.

Scott “every minute” Rice who has been awful since April somehow escaped a late-inning jam with a strikeout of Carlos Gonzalez. Although he got the job done, he gave up two hits and got lucky hanging a changeup to Gonzalez. It’s a wonder why Collins still goes to him.

The Mets looked great on the trip through Atlanta, Philly, Chicago and Denver. The young pitching seems promising and it seems maybe the Mets are turning the corner.

Next Up

The Mets will open their final homestand before the All-Star Break with a three game set against the Nationals. Matt Harvey is set to go Friday against the Nats’ Ross Detwiler. Zack Wheeler is scheduled to pitch in his home debut on Sunday against lefty Gio Gonzalez.

 

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