DENVER -- Ruben Tejada said he struggled to grip the baseball on his critical throwing error in Tuesday's doubleheader nightcap. But, the shortstop added, he had no valid excuse.
"It's cold weather, but I have to make that play," said Tejada, who threw a grounder from Michael Cuddyer into the Rockies' dugout with two outs in the eighth, allowing two runs to score and the Rockies to pull even.
Colorado won, 9-8, two innings later.
"It's a bad throw," said Tejada, who now has six errors in the Mets' first 13 games. "The game on the line like that, so I have to make the plays. It's hard, but it's no excuse. I have to do something to try to stay ready for every groundball, every throw. It's really cold, but that's no excuse. An effect, but it's no excuse."
As for his mounting error total, Tejada added: "It's not my first time it's happened to me. I have to keep working hard."
Said Terry Collins on Tejada's early error totals: "All I can tell you is it's really tough playing in these conditions. It really is tough. So the ball, he just didn't get a grip on it. It happens. Even the first few days, it was cold and windy in New York. I'm sure there are a lot of guys who aren't used to playing in that kind of cold."
Bobby Parnell had inherited runners on the corners with two out in the eighth and the Mets leading 8-6. Parnell allowed Carlos Gonzalez to steal second, putting two in scoring position for Tejada's misfire on what should have been an inning-ending groundout by Cuddyer.
"The biggest thing he's got to concern himself with is making sure he throws quality stuff to Cuddyer," Collins said about Parnell's lack of focus on the stealing Gonzalez. "If he tries to slide-step and leaves something in the middle of the plate and Cuddyer hits one over the fence because we're so worried about the runner at first, that can alter the whole ballgame right there. So that was the issue. He got what he had to get. He got a groundball. We didn't make the play."
As for the weather, Collins implied that it would be sour grapes to complain about it after getting swept in a doubleheader. Temperatures had dipped below 30 degrees during the nightcap.
"We haven't had to play games where it's been this cold for so long, but that's not an excuse," Collins said. "You've got to get ready to play in it."