Entering Citi Field on an 8-game winning streak in the venue, the Colorado Rockies were halted by the New York Mets behind a solid (though unfortunately short) performance by Jenrry Mejia, a pumped-up Eric Young, Jr., and 3 2/3 scoreless innings by the bullpen.
Box Score and Highlights here.
Daniel Murphy singled with 1 out in the 1st off RHP Chad Bettis, erased on the force play Marlon Byrd grounded into that was helped by Murph’s hard slide. Ike then doubled down the 3rd base line, sending Marlon to 3rd. Juan Lagares then got into one, hitting it to the right-center gap, driving in 2 and heading all the way to 3rd. That brought Wilmer Flores up for his 1st Major League Plate Appearance and run-producing opportunity as well. Unfortunately, he grounded back to the pitcher, retiring the side.
Todd Helton got the 1st hit of the ballgame for the Rockies with 2 out in the 2nd with a double.
Mejia struck out 5 the first time through the batting order, and 7 through the 1st four innings.
Wilin Rosario got the 5th inning started with a single. He ran with a 3-2 count against Todd Helton, heading to 3rd on an Ike Davis error down the line. He scored on a Nolan Arenado sac fly. The Mets, though, got the ground ball they were looking for on the next pitch, getting DJ LeMahieu to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
The home plate umpire, Manny Gonzalez, exited the game in the top of the 6th when taking a 1st-pitch bunt attempt by Charlie Blackmon, who was pinch-hitting for the pitcher Bettis, off his neck. It took an exorbitant amount of time for things to get underway after the crew went into the Mets Clubhouse with the medical staff, and Mejia just went back into the dugout, sitting and waiting instead of staying loose on the mound. After more than a 10-minute delay, Larry Vanover took over plate duties, and Mejia and the Mets had the usual pre-inning routine to work through.
Two pitches later, Blackmon hit a home run to right-center, tying the game at 2. After a 1-out single by Corey Dickerson, Wilmer Flores got his 1st opportunity to field all night, but failed to make the play as the ball went right under his glove, gaining his 1st Major League error. Mejia then walked Michael Cuddyer to load the bases, and his night ended there. Terry Collins called on Carlos Torres to get out of the jam. The 1st batter, Rosario, hit a fly ball to shallow center. Dickerson induced a throw from 3rd, but did not test Lagares’ arm. Todd Helton then hit the 1st pitch he saw, sending Eric Young leaving his feet to save the inning with a diving catch, holding there for a moment once on his feet to greet Lagares as they ran in from the outfield pumped up.
After a couple quiet innings by both teams, Young opened up the bottom of the 8th inning with a single to left. Murph flied out to left, keeping Young at 1st, but Marlon Byrd flew so far out to center that EYjr was able to take 2nd with Ike heading up to the plate. After running the count to 3-1, the Rockies finished up with an intentional Ball Four. Lagares, on a 2-2 count, hit a slow grounder passed the pitcher with the runners breaking on contact because of the 2 out. Lagares was safe at 1st, and Eric Young, Jr. took the opportunity to burn his former team once more by hustling to the plate, scoring the go-ahead run on the infield single, as pumped up as one can be facing their former team.
After getting the first 2 out in the 9th inning, LaTroy Hawkins then gave up a single to Nolan Arenado, who got to 3rd on DJ LeMahieu‘s single to right. After having nobody in the batting circle, the Rockies took their time sending the Mets favorite catcher, Yorvit Torrealba, to the plate. He hit it down the 1st base line in foul territory, but a diving Ike Davis wrapped it up in his glove for the final out of the game.
- Jenrry Mejia went 5.1 innings, giving up 2 runs (1 ER) on 4 hits and 2 walks with 7 strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision.
- Wilmer Flores was 0 for 4 in his Major League debut, with an error in the field as well.
- Ike’s luck might just be turning finally, as he went 2 for 2 with 2 walks and 1 run scored. He got bloop double in the bottom of the 3rd that landed in no-man’s land in shallow right-center (which may have further injured an already banged-up Troy Tulowitzki, who stayed in the game.)
- Eric Young, Jr. looked on a mission against his former team. Though he went only 1 for 4, he made the spectacular catch to end the 6th with the bases loaded, and gave the Mets the lead by scoring all the way from 2nd on Lagares’ infield single (“Pullin’ a Mookie” as some out there are saying.)
- The bullpen was excellent; Carlos Torres went a scoreless 1.2 innings, Scott Atchison went a scoreless inning, and LaTroy Hawkins, though giving up 2 singles with 2 out, pitched a scoreless 9th.
Eric Young, Jr. has a 9-game winning streak when playing Mets-Rockies games in Citi Field.
(Actually, I think he was injured around that time last year, but whatever.)
The last game the Rockies won in Citi Field was a 1-0 win in Collin McHugh‘s debut. Almost a year later, EYjr. and Collin have been swapped, and the former was the difference between winning and losing tonight verus the Rockies. He continues to impress and spark this team, both offensively and defensively.
Guess what? Ike Davis IS coming around. The “narrative” lately has been that he is still struggling, but a 30 point increase in batting average since returning from Vegas is nothing to bark at no matter how low .195 still looks. Plus, his OBP is something around .420 since returning, a big step in the right direction. All we need to see is the power return, and we’ll really feel he’s on his way.
Mejia was once again excellent, clearly being affected, however, by the umpire injury delay. Sometimes, even the most veteran of pitchers have a hard time putting it back together when their rhythm is thrown off like that, so it was completely understandable, and we’re lucky he didn’t give up any more home runs. I look forward to seeing Mejia continue to settle into effective Major League starting pitching.
Lagares took some of the pressure off Flores by driving in the first 2 runs of the game, but unfortunately he could not collect his first Major League hit tonight. With Wright on the DL for at least a month, Wilmer will get plenty of opportunities to adjust to Big League pitching.
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