DENVER -- It happened again!
For the second straight season, the Mets coughed up a six-run lead en route to a loss at Coors Field.
It ended painfully, too. After Juan Lagares drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth against ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins, Kyle Farnsworth could not hold the lead. Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off two-run homer as the Colorado Rockies beat the Mets 11-10 on Saturday night.
The Mets have lost 21 of 29 games at Coors Field since 2007.
This time, Jenrry Mejia surrendered eight fifth-inning runs, capped by a grand slam from Nolan Arenado, as the Rockies turned a 6-0 deficit into an 8-6 lead. Unbelievably, Mejia threw only 19 pitches in that inning while surrendering eight runs and recording one out.
During a snowy, frigid series in Denver last season, the Mets lost the second game of an April 16 doubleheader to the Rockies in extra innings after taking an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth.Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Anthony Recker consoles Jenrry Mejia during a rocky outing at Coors Field.
This marked the second straight start for Mejia in which he squandered a large lead in the middle innings, perhaps validating those who suggest he is better suited for late-inning relief. Staked to a 5-1 lead last Saturday at Citi Field, Mejia was charged with five sixth-inning runs against the Miami Marlins, and the Mets lost in extra innings.
Mejia’s line: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. His ERA swelled to 5.23. He was hurt by Lucas Duda’s drop of a potential double-play turn in the eight-run fifth. Mejia had held the Rockies scoreless until Ryan Wheeler’s leadoff homer in the fifth.
He received a no-decision when Chris Young and Curtis Granderson had run-scoring hits in the sixth that pulled the Mets even at 8. Young also had a game-tying RBI single in the eighth, a half-inning after Daisuke Matsuzaka had surrendered a sacrifice fly to Jordan Pacheco. Granderson (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, HBP) has hit safely in four straight games.
Mets starting pitchers had logged at least five innings in each of the team’s first 26 games -- the last remaining MLB team to reach that threshold in every game this season. Since then, however, they have failed to reach that threshold in three straight games in Colorado. Bartolo Colon went 4 2/3 innings in the series opener. Zack Wheeler went four innings Friday.
Wright stuff: David Wright loves hitting at Coors Field. He went 3-for-5 with an intentional walk, RBI and two runs scored Saturday and is now hitting .391 (52-133) in his career at the ballpark.
Wrecker: The Mets fell to 6-1 in games started by Anthony Recker, but don’t blame the backup catcher. He had an RBI single in a three-run first inning against left-hander Franklin Morales and added an RBI double in his next at-bat as the Mets built a 6-0 lead after three innings.
One hit wonder: Mejia went 0-for-3 at the plate and Matsuzaka struck out bunting to give the Mets a record for hitting futility. Mets pitchers are 0-for-48 -- the worst start to a season in MLB history (since 1900), according to SNY. The previous record: Pitchers with the St. Louis Browns opened the 1914 season hitless in 45 straight at-bats.
Medical attention: Matsuzaka received a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez before surrendering the seventh-inning sac fly to Pacheco that had given the Rockies a 9-8 lead. Matsuzaka completed the inning and allowed only the one run in 2 2/3 innings.
Mile(high)stones: Troy Tulowitzki recorded his 1,000th career hit. ... With the grand slam, Arenado extended his hitting streak to 23 games, longest active in the majors. ... Daniel Murphy had a four-hit game.
What’s next: Dillon Gee (2-1, 2.88 ERA) faces right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Sunday’s 4:10 p.m. ET series finale as the Mets try to avoid getting swept. Chacin will be making his 2014 debut after opening the season on the disabled list with a right-shoulder strain.