New York Mets: Matt Belisle

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Rockies 2

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
9:03
PM ET
DENVER -- Three time zones and 11 games later, the Mets have completed a four-city trip and are ready to return to Citi Field.

Marlon Byrd sent them home happy.

In a makeup game from a snowy April series, Byrd’s two-run homer in the eighth against Matt Belisle lifted the Mets to a 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday at Coors Field and spared Jeremy Hefner a hard-luck loss.

Byrd now has 12 homers, tied with David Wright and John Buck for the team lead. Byrd also threw out Michael Cuddyer trying to stretch a leadoff single into a double in the bottom of the ninth.

The first-pitch temperature this time: 95 degrees -- nearly 70 degrees warmer than the Mets' last trip here, when team executives were forced to pitch in with the snow removal at the stadium.

The Mets finished their trip to Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago (AL) and Colorado with a 7-4 record.

Scott Rice helped secure the victory, retiring Carlos Gonzalez for the final out of the eight with a runner in scoring position. Bobby Parnell earned his 14th save, benefiting from the Byrd throw.

Hef: Hefner again pitched strongly, limiting the Rockies to two runs (one earned) on five hits and one walk in six innings. He departed for pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis with his pitch count at 80 and the Mets trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh and received a no-decision.

In each of Hefner's past four starts, errors have contributed to unearned runs. In fact, nine of the 14 runs Hefner has surrendered during that span have been unearned.

In Colorado's two-run second, Hefner surrendered a leadoff single to Cuddyer, which extended the cleanup hitter’s hitting streak to a Rockies-record 24 games. Wilin Rosario's double and Todd Helton's sacrifice fly then plated Cuddyer.

Rosario scored an unearned run from second base for a 2-0 Rockies lead on Nolan Arenado's ensuing groundout. Third baseman Zach Lutz, filling in for a resting Wright, fielded Arenado’s grounder cleanly and retired the Rockie at first base. But Josh Satin's throw back across the diamond to try to catch Rosario advancing to third was wide for an E-3 and Rosario trotted home.

Batty: The Mets did not muster a hit against Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood until Lutz's bloop single to right field in the fifth, after Satin had walked to lead off the inning. Juan Lagares followed with a bunt single down the third-base line to load the bases with none out, but the Mets came away with only one run.

Anthony Recker grounded into a fielder’s choice forceout at the plate. Hefner then narrowly beat out a double play at first as Lutz scored to trim the Mets' deficit to 2-1. Eric Young Jr., in his return to Colorado as a visitor, flied out in foul territory to end the threat.

An inning later, the Mets again loaded the bases, this time with two outs, but Chatwood struck out Lagares looking.

Quiet night: The ex-Rockie Young went 1-for-5 and grounded into a double play in his return to Coors Field. His hit came in his ninth-inning at-bat, with a two-out bloop over second base. Young had been 11-for-21 with six RBIs and two walks over his previous five games.

What’s next: Matt Harvey Day at Citi Field.

Harvey (7-1, 2.05 ERA) opposes Washington Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler (2-6, 4.18) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener. Harvey flew directly from Chicago to New York on Wednesday, bypassing the Denver leg of the trip to ensure optimal rest.

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 1, Mets 0

August, 23, 2012
8/23/12
4:21
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Collin McHugh tossed seven scoreless innings in his major league debut, but Jordany Valdespin's subsequent misplay in center field proved costly as the Mets lost to Colorado, 1-0, Thursday afternoon.

The Rockies completed a four-game sweep at Citi Field for the second straight season and dropped the Mets 11 games under .500 for the first time since the 2009 season.

The Mets (57-68) tumbled into fourth place for the first time since June 6 -- a half-game behind Philadelphia, which plays tonight against Cincinnati. They are only a half-game ahead of NL East cellar-dweller Miami, which is idle today.

In a scoreless game in the eighth, Tyler Colvin sent a routine line drive to center field off Bobby Parnell. An inexperienced outfielder, Valdespin initially broke in on the ball, and it landed over his head, officially for a triple. Chris Nelson followed with an RBI single.

Valdespin was making his fifth career major league start in center field. He has appeared in 23 professional games at the position, all this year, between the majors and Triple-A Buffalo.

McHugh, an 18th-round pick in 2008 out of Berry College near Rome, Ga., limited the Rockies to two hits and a walk -- which was semi-intentional to Carlos Gonzalez -- while striking out nine in a 100-pitch effort.

McHugh surrendered a game-opening opposite-field double to Charlie Blackmon, but stranded him at third base by striking out Jordan Pacheco looking at a 91 mph fastball and Gonzalez swinging at a 92 mph fastball to end the top of the first.

The nine strikeouts were the second most in franchise history in a major league debut, trailing only Matt Harvey's 11 in Arizona on July 26.

McHugh became only the third pitcher in franchise history to toss seven-plus scoreless innings in his major league debut. The others: Dick Rusteck (nine scoreless vs. Cincinnati in 1966) and Masato Yoshii (seven scoreless vs. Pittsburgh in 1998).

BLANK SLATE: Tyler Chatwood, Brooklyn-native Adam Ottavino, Rex Brothers, Will Harris and Matt Belisle combined to blank the Mets. The Mets went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 12 on base.

WHAT'S NEXT: The lowly Astros visit Citi Field this weekend. Jon Niese (10-6, 3.82 ERA) opposes right-hander Jordan Lyles (2-10, 5.70) in Friday's series opener, on Merengue Night at Citi Field.

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 3, Mets 1

August, 20, 2012
8/20/12
10:31
PM ET



WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey’s pursuit of 20 wins got a little more challenging. Dickey surrendered a game-tying solo homer to Tyler Colvin in the fifth on an 0-2 knuckleball and settled for a no-decision to remain at 15 wins.

The Mets ultimately lost to the lowly Rockies, 3-1, Monday night before an announced crowd of 23,833 at Citi Field. The Amazin's again dropped to a season-worst eight games under .500. With its victory, Philadelphia has caught the Mets for a third-place tie in the division.

In a tie ballgame in the eighth, Josh Edgin errantly shoveled the ball to first base on Jonathan Herrera’s bunt, sending it into foul territory down the line and allowing Herrera to advance to second base for a single and error. After Herrera was bunted to third, Kelly Shoppach -- who had entered as a pinch hitter for Josh Thole the previous half-inning -- committed his first passed ball as a Met. Herrera scored the go-ahead run.

A half-inning later, the Mets loaded the bases with two out, and right-hander Matt Belisle entered to face Scott Hairston. Terry Collins countered by using lefty-hitting Jordany Valdespin as a pinch hitter. Valdespin sent a grounder to first base, and was beaten to the bag by the slimmest of margins after sliding headfirst. Valdespin got in first-base ump Adrian Johnson's face after the inning-ending call, but replays suggested the ruling appeared correct. Valdespin dropped to 9-for-his-last-56 (.161). It was Johnson's incorrect foul call on Carlos Beltran's shot down the third-base line allowed Johan Santana's no-hitter to materialize.

Jon Rauch surrendered a run in the ninth -- only his second in his past 22 appearances -- to give Colorado a two-run cushion.

The Mets had staked Dickey to a 1-0 lead in the first when David Wright, who had doubled, scored on Daniel Murphy’s single against Rockies starter Alex White. But the Mets offered no other support and Dickey departed for pinch hitter Justin Turner in the seventh with the score tied.

Dickey’s line: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K.

Dickey gets his next crack at win No. 16 Saturday when he faces the Houston Astros. He is staying on an every-five-games schedule as the lone starting pitcher exempted from the six-man rotation.

“I think it gave him two more starts at the end of the season,” Terry Collins said regarding Dickey pitching every fifth game rather than every sixth like his fellow starting pitchers. “It’s basically designed for, ‘Hey look, this guy has earned the right to achieve anything he can at the end of the season.’ He’s earned that. He’s earned that respect. And I hope he wins his next four starts, or five starts. Because I think if he does, and at the end of the year he’s got 22 wins -- he’s 22-4 -- those are pretty good numbers.

“The thing we’re going to be careful of is if it gets toward the last couple of weeks and we think that he’s getting pretty fatigued himself -- because we want him back, too -- we’ll look at giving him some extra time.”

WEB GEMS: The Mets had a series of highlight-reel fielding plays in the middle innings. Wright handled Wilin Rosario’s absolute smash to third base in the fifth. After Colvin’s solo homer evened the score at 1, Ruben Tejada then made a tough barehanded play on D.J. LeMahieu’s grounder and threw to first base in time. An inning later, Mike Baxter made a sliding catch in shallow right field to snare Guillermo Moscoso’s flare.

WHAT’S NEXT: Chris Young (3-6, 4.50 ERA) opposes Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (0-3, 7.30) in Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. game.

Series preview: Mets at Rockies

April, 27, 2012
4/27/12
6:21
AM ET

Getty Images/Associated Press
The Mets face (l to r) Drew Pomeranz, ageless Jamie Moyer and Jeremy Guthrie this weekend at Coors Field.
METS (11-8, third place/NL East) vs. COLORADO ROCKIES (9-9, third place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Chris Schwinden (2-2, 2.05 at Triple-A Buffalo) vs. LHP Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 6.75), 8:40 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (1-2, 5.21) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 5.92), 8:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Johan Santana (0-2, 3.00) vs. LHP Jamie Moyer (1-2, 2.28), 3:10 p.m. ET

Rockies short hops

• With an April 17 victory against the San Diego Padres, Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game, at 49 years, 151 days. The victory, the 268th of his career, tied Jim Palmer for 34th all time. Next up: Mike Mussina and Burleigh Grimes at 270. Moyer actually has been Colorado’s best starting pitcher so far this season, despite the 1-2 record. He is the only Rockie to complete at least five innings in each of his starts. He received a no-decision in his last start despite limiting the Pittsburgh Pirates to one run in six innings at PNC Park. Moyer missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, which he only intended to have in order to throw batting practice to his children. But he felt so good while rehabbing, he opted to make a comeback. Moyer needs two strikeouts to match Luis Tiant for 36th all time, with 2,416.

• Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez produced his first two homers of the season Tuesday at Pittsburgh, off Kevin Correia and Tony Watson. Gonzalez had been weakened by a battle with strep throat that caused him to miss three games. He is just starting to regain his strength.


Chris Humphreys/US Presswire
Marco Scutaro has needed to readjust to second base after primarily playing shortstop with the Red Sox in recent seasons.


• The Dec. 16 signing of former Minnesota Twin Michael Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5 million contract marked the first time the organization had opened the purse strings for a major free-agent acquisition since 2000. That year, Colorado signed Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle. (The Hampton signing gave the Mets the compensatory draft pick they used to select David Wright 38th overall in June ’01). Cuddyer, who grew up with Wright in Norfolk, Va., has been the Rockies’ most productive hitter so far with a .303 average, two homers and 11 RBIs in 66 at-bats. A first-time All-Star last season in the American League, Cuddyer has taken over the right-field role held by Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs in 2011.

• The Rockies acquired Marco Scutaro from the Boston Red Sox on Jan. 21 for right-hander Clayton Mortensen. Scutaro started 102 games at shortstop and two games at second base last season, but is being asked to play the latter position with the Rockies. He initially looked shaky, but has progressed since the start of the season.

• Two-time reigning Gold Glove winner Troy Tulowitzki already has matched last season’s error total with six. On a wet day, he airmailed two throws for errors. Three days later, Tulowitzki then had a second two-error day. Teammate Jason Giambi played fielding highlights for Tulowitzki to try to settle the Rockies’ shaken shortstop. The six errors are one shy of Starlin Castro’s NL-leading total with the Chicago Cubs. Tulowitzki has this to fall back on: He is a lifetime .328 hitter with seven homers and 15 RBIs in 116 at-bats against the Mets.

• The Rockies are targeting 110 starts for 38-year-old Todd Helton at first base this season. Helton does not play day games after starting night games. Giambi is the primary alternative. Helton’s 1,318 RBIs are the most in Rockies franchise history. He and Wright are the only two active players who lead their organizations in most runs driven in. Helton and R.A. Dickey were baseball teammates at the University of Tennessee.

• Closer Rafael Betancourt is 6-for-6 in save conversions. Matt Belisle (1.23 ERA) is now the primary setup man. Rex Brothers (4.05 ERA) began the season in that role, but is now more likely to handle the seventh.

• Left-hander Drew Pomeranz was the centerpiece prospect returned in last July’s trade of Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians. The 23-year-old southpaw was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, out of the University of Mississippi. The Mets then selected Matt Harvey seventh overall. With the Rockies not needing a fifth starter the first time through the rotation, Pomeranz began the season with a start with Double-A Tulsa to keep his innings count in check. Friday’s outing will mark his seventh career major league start.

Jeremy Guthrie was acquired at the start of spring training from the Baltimore Orioles for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom.

• With center fielder Dexter Fowler struggling (.222), lefty-hitting Tyler Colvin has chipped away at some of his playing time. Colvin was acquired from the Cubs with infielder D.J. LeMahieu on Dec. 8 for Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers.

• Right-hander Juan Nicasio, whom the Mets will not face, is an inspirational story. He is coming back from a broken neck, which he suffered on a line drive off the bat of Washington’s Ian Desmond last Aug. 5.

• Defensive-oriented third baseman Chris Nelson is hitting .224.

Jorge De La Rosa, returning from Tommy John surgery, is due to pitch in an extended spring training game Friday.

Matchups

Schwinden vs. Rockies (career: never faced)

Gee vs. Rockies (career: never faced)

Santana vs. Rockies (career: 2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Troy Tulowitzki .429, 2 K, 7 PA
Todd Helton .333, 3 PA
Marco Scutaro .250, 1 RBI, 3 K, 12 PA
Carlos Gonzalez .250, 1 K, 4 PA
Jason Giambi .227, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, 23 PA
Dexter Fowler .200, 2 BB, 3 K, 7 PA
Ramon Hernandez .190, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 22 PA
Michael Cuddyer .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA

Pomeranz vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Guthrie vs. Mets (career: 0-2, 4.73 ERA)
David Wright .500, 2 RBI, 1 K, 6 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 3 PA
Ike Davis .333, 2 K, 3 PA
Daniel Murphy .000, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 1 K, 3 PA

Moyer vs. Mets (career: 10-6, 3.94 ERA)
Daniel Murphy .500, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 PA
David Wright .415, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 56 PA
Scott Hairston .000, 2 BB, 11 PA
Ike Davis .000, 1 BB, 3 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Coors Field, May 9-12, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Rockies 2, Mets 1: Chris Capuano was stellar on the mound and shoddy at the plate. Capuano (2-4) made one key mistake in 6 2/3 strong innings, hanging an 81 mph slider to Chris Iannetta, who broke a tie in the seventh inning with a low liner that just cleared the left-field fence. The pitcher's performance at the plate, though, left something to be desired. He struck out three times, including once with the bases loaded in the sixth. That's simply the way the night went for the Mets, who left 10 runners on base and dropped to 0-5 against Colorado this season including a four-game sweep at Citi Field last month. Once again, they struggled to come up with the timely hit. New York is 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position over the last two games.

Mets 4, Rockies 3: Mike Pelfrey hit a tiebreaking, two-run double and limited the Rockies to three solo homers. Ike Davis left in the fifth inning after he strained his left calf when he appeared to trip over third baseman David Wright's foot as the two closed in on a pop up by the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki. Wright hung on to the ball near the mound for the second out of the fourth inning as Davis tumbled to the ground. Davis bounced up quickly but was limping noticeably. He remained in the game for the final out of the inning, then was replaced. The Mets had lost all five of their games to the Rockies this season but finally put together a couple of rallies against their new nemesis to counter home runs by Troy Tulowitzki, Seth Smith and Carlos Gonzalez. Despite the trio of long balls he served up, Pelfrey (3-3) allowed six hits over 6 2/3 innings and improved to 6-2 lifetime against the Rockies, who have lost seven of nine but remain atop the NL West. Pelfrey's outing was cut short by a nearly hour-long rain delay in the seventh inning.

Mets 9, Rockies 5: Carlos Beltran hit a career-high three homers and drove in six runs to help the Mets beat Ubaldo Jimenez in a game delayed more than two hours by rain. Beltran homered from both sides of the plate and reached all parts of the ballpark with his three two-run homers: straightaway center in the first, deep left in the seventh and into the right-field seats in the ninth. The switch-hitting outfielder became the eighth Mets player to hit three in a game, and first since Jose Reyes on Aug. 15, 2006, at Philadelphia. Reyes hit a two-run single in the fourth that chased Jimenez (0-3) and kept the Rockies' ace searching for his elusive first win of the season. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his shortest stint of the season, surrendering five runs and three hits while walking six. Relying on his curveball, Jon Niese (2-4) was solid for 6 1/3 innings while allowing solo homers to Jonathan Herrera and Todd Helton.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187