New York Mets: Wilin Rosario

Series preview: Mets vs. Rockies

September, 7, 2014
Sep 7
8:40
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Jordan Lyles, Christian Bergman and Tyler Matzek this week at Citi Field.
METS (68-75, fourth place/NL East) vs. COLORADO ROCKIES (59-84, fourth place/NL West)

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (8-10, 3.68) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (6-2, 4.35), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.79) vs. RHP Christian Bergman (2-2, 5.23), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-3, 5.23) vs. LHP Tyler Matzek (5-9, 4.32), 7:10 p.m. ET

Rockies short hops

• Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (.340, 21 HR, 52 RBIs) underwent surgery on Aug. 15 to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez (.238, 11 HR, 38 RBIs) underwent surgery three days later to repair the patella tendon in his left knee.

Tulowitzki is signed for $20 million annually through 2019, with $14 million owed in 2020. There is a $15 million option for 2021 with a $4 million buyout.

Gonzalez is owed $16 million in 2015, $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017.

With Tulowitzki’s absence, Josh Rutledge primarily has played shortstop, with Charlie Culberson also seeing action there. Corey Dickerson’s playing time has increased in the outfield minus Gonzalez.

• With a 2-for-3 performance Sunday, first baseman Justin Morneau raised his average to .316 and took over the NL batting lead. Morneau leads Philadelphia’s Ben Revere and Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison by one point.

• Rookie left-hander Tyler Matzek tossed a three-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres in his most recent outing. Matzek became the first Rockies pitcher to go the distance in a scoreless effort at Coors Field since Jhoulys Chacin on April 15, 2011 against the Chicago Cubs. Overall, Matzek has an active 21-inning scoreless streak.

• After sweeping the San Diego Padres, Colorado arrives at Citi Field on a four-game winning streak, its longest since posting five straight victories in June.

• Free-agent-to-be Michael Cuddyer is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday. He appeared in three games in mid-August before becoming sidelined with a left hamstring strain. He has been on the DL three times and has played in only 34 games this season because of fractured left shoulder and an earlier hamstring injury.

• Catcher Wilin Rosario (wrist) was activated from the disabled list on Sunday.

• Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa signed a two-year, $25 million extension with the Rockies last week.

• Ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins has made 993 career appearances, which ranks 16th all time. Next up: Goose Gossage at 1,002.

Morning Briefing: Day off in Cincy

September, 4, 2014
Sep 4
5:48
AM ET
MIAMI

FIRST PITCH: The Mets spend a day off in Cincinnati before getting back to work on Friday against the Reds.

Bartolo Colon (12-11, 4.01 ERA) opposes right-hander Alfredo Simon (13-9, 3.28) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Thursday’s news reports:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a two-run homer, then Travis d'Arnaud had a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth and the Mets held on to beat Miami, 4-3, in Wednesday’s rubber game at Marlins Park. Jacob deGrom allowed one run in six innings in a no-decision as he further enhanced his NL Rookie of the Year candidacy. Nieuwenhuis started over Curtis Granderson, who has sat two of the past four games.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record advocates Las Vegas manager Wally Backman landing a major league role with the Mets for 2015. Writes Klapisch:

You couldn’t help but wonder how Sandy Alderson really felt about Wally Backman winning the Pacific Coast League’s Manager of the Year award, considering the GM has shown no intention of giving Backman a chance in New York. It’s time to reconsider this de facto blackball, and see Backman as an asset who can help the Mets ascend toward respectability.

Of course, this would require Alderson shedding his prejudice against the very trait that makes Backman unique: He’s an independent thinker with a strong personality, as old-school as it gets. Alderson is a dominant GM who values managers that act as corporate messengers.

• Andrew Keh in the Times addresses the woes of Granderson, who is batting .210 for the season and is hitless in his last 18 at-bats. Granderson said he has remained calm despite the struggles, quipping: “There’s never been a point in breaking a bat. Then I’ve got nothing to swing with the next time up.”

Vic Black, on the DL with a herniated disk in his neck, is set to throw off a mound during Thursday’s off-day for the first time since being sidelined. Matt Harvey again will work off a mound on the off-day, but this time will simulate a pair of innings for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last October, pitching coach Dan Warthen told reporters.

• D’Arnaud’s 12 passed balls are tied with San Diego’s Yasmani Grandal and Colorado’s Wilin Rosario for the major league lead. Writes Jared Diamond in the Journal on that topic:

Mets bench coach Bob Geren, a former major league catcher, estimated that as many as a third of d'Arnaud's passed balls have come as a result of an overreliance on framing the pitch. Instead of simply catching the ball, d'Arnaud has tried to pull it back toward the strike zone a split-second too quickly, only to have it glance off his glove.

"Sometimes it's so close of a pitch that I'll try to do extra to try to really get it, instead of just, 'Oh, it's OK, we'll take this ball so the runners don't advance,'" d'Arnaud said.

Bobby Parnell, who underwent Tommy John surgery in April, plans to begin throwing off a mound after Christmas. Read more about his rehab plan in the Star-Ledger.

• L.J. Mazzilli's RBI single in the eighth lifted Las Vegas to a 5-4 win against Reno in the Pacific Coast League playoff opener.

Bronx native T.J. Rivera launched a walk-off three-run homer as Binghamton won its playoff opener against Portland, 8-5. “It's a great feeling,” Rivera told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. “All that stress kind of falls off your shoulders for a second. But, then again, there's tomorrow. You know, we've got to win three to advance. That's what our goal really is."

Savannah lost its playoff opener, 8-3. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Once reportedly poised to depart for Ottawa, Binghamton’s Eastern League club signed a lease with NYSEG stadium and committed to remain in Binghamton through 2021. A Mets official told ESPNNewYork.com earlier this year that the Mets have made a pledge to New York State officials to keep Binghamton as their Double-A home long term. The current agreement between the Mets and B-Mets runs through the 2016 season. Read more from Lynn Worthy in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.

• Terry Collins views Dilson Herrera as a future No. 2 hitter. Read more in Newsday.

• Mike Puma in the Post notes the Mets are mostly not shying away from using Jeurys Familia. Dan Warthen said 75-80 appearances is reasonable for the season. Familia is at 66 right now.

BIRTHDAYS: Mike Piazza turns 46. ... Luis Lopez is 44.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Wally Backman be a part of the 2015 Mets staff?

Sunday's Mets-Rockies lineups

May, 4, 2014
May 4
3:05
PM ET
DENVER -- Here are the lineups for the 2:10 p.m. ET game against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday at Coors Field as the Mets attempt to avoid getting swept in the four-game series.

Eric Young Jr. makes his first start in four games. UPDATE: E.Y. Jr. has been scratched after a baseball ricocheted off a screen and struck him below the right eye. He is headed to the hospital for X-rays.

Dillon Gee attempts to snap a streak of three straight games in which Mets starting pitchers have failed to complete five innings. Gee actually has completed six innings in 26 of his last 28 starts dating to May 30 of last season. During that span, he has the fourth-best ERA in the majors at 2.75 (minimum 175 innings), trailing only Zack Greinke (2.29), Max Scherzer (2.53) and Julio Teheran (2.66).

Jhoulys Chacin makes his 2014 debut for Colorado after opening the season on the disabled list with a shoulder strain.

Mets
E.Y. Jr., lf Juan Lagares, cf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Curtis Granderson, rf
Chris Young, cf lf
Lucas Duda, 1b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Omar Quintanilla, ss
Gee, rhp

Rockies
Charlie Blackmon, rf
Charlie Culberson, ss
Carlos Gonzalez, lf
Nolan Arenado, 3b
Justin Morneau, 1b
Michael McKenry, c
Corey Dickerson, cf
DJ LeMahieu, 2b
Chacin, rhp

Catcher Wilin Rosario landed on the DL to make room for the activation of Chacin.

Morning Briefing: Rocky Mountain low

May, 4, 2014
May 4
5:29
AM ET
DENVER

FIRST PITCH: Suddenly, the Mets need a quality performance from Dillon Gee to avoid getting swept in a four-game series at Coors Field and avoid dropping to .500 for the first time since April 22.

Gee (2-1, 2.88 ERA) opposes Colorado Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Sunday’s 4:10 p.m. ET game. Chacin is making his season debut after dealing with a right shoulder strain. He went 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts last season.

Sunday’s news reports:


Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesKyle Farnsworth walks off the field after surrendering a game-ending two-run homer to Charlie Culberson.


Kyle Farnsworth surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Charlie Culberson and the Mets lost to the Rockies, 11-10, Saturday night. The Mets led 6-0, but Jenrry Mejia surrendered eight fifth-inning runs, capped by a one-out grand slam by Nolan Arenado. It marked the second straight season the Mets had blown a six-run lead at Coors Field.

Terry Collins suggested leaving Mejia in to face Arenado made sense, since Arenado had hit groundballs the previous two at-bats. “Arenado did not have particularly good swings on Jenrry Mejia,” Collins said. “I thought he could get another groundball out of him.”

Opponents are now hitting .438 against Mejia the third time through the order this season, which raises the question of whether Mejia might instead be better in a late-inning role.

As for Culberson’s decisive homer, Farnsworth said: “Fastball up and away. It just came middle, I guess. He put a good swing on it.”

The Mets dropped to 15-14.

Read game recaps in the Denver Post, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has a right-calf injury, but downplayed the severity.

Juan Lagares is now the “everyday” center fielder, Collins said, while allowing for periodic rest to avoid Lagares irritating his right hamstring.

Collins nonetheless said he would “try” to get Eric Young Jr. in Sunday’s lineup, after E.Y. Jr. was on the bench for three straight games.

Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and at MLB.com.

David Wright has not homered since Opening Day, when he went deep in the 10th inning against Washington’s Jerry Blevins. Wright has gone a career-high 115 at-bats without a long ball.

Wright nonetheless had three hits and an intentional walk Saturday to lift his season average to .275, albeit with a .333 slugging percentage.

“To me, you expect results when you do things you're supposed to do right,” Wright told Marc Carig in Newsday. “And when you don’t get those results, I think it’s easy to try to hit the ball extra hard next time. Sometimes you can get yourself into a bit of a hole. …

“There were some balls that I hit at Citi Field that quite frankly, I hit very well. They catch them on the track in right-center. You try to tell yourself to keep with the plan and they’ll start falling. But it’s only natural in the next at-bat to instinctively try to hit it even more hard.”

• Outfield prospect Jared King proposed to his girlfriend Maggie Watson at Savannah’s game Saturday.

• Pitching prospect Rob Whalen has been hospitalized with an infection on his pitching hand.

• Matt Clark scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch as Binghamton won the opener of a doubleheader against Portland. Luis Cessa allowed one run on two hits in five innings as St. Lucie salvaged a doubleheader split with a 5-1 win in its nightcap at Bradenton. Gavin Cecchini went 3-for-6 as Savannah beat Rome, 12-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey’s rehab from Tommy John surgery is set to advance to throwing on flat ground at 120 feet.

Lucas Duda started at first base against a left-handed pitcher Saturday and likely will be doing that more in the future, according to Collins.

• Marc Carig in Newsday suggests one reason the Mets kept Duda over Ike Davis is that the speed of balls off Duda’s bat is among the elite in the league, rivaling Joey Votto’s. Writes Carig:

The Mets noticed the trend playing itself out last season, when [Sandy] Alderson said Duda finished “in the upper echelon” of big-league hitters.

According to the team’s internal metrics, the number of Duda’s batted balls above 100 mph was more than double the league average. It was enough to make him second among National League first basemen in exit speed, behind only the Reds’ Joey Votto.

Of course, nobody is mistaking Duda for Votto, a perennial MVP contender. But the Mets believe Duda is capable of bridging that gap in production.

• A former Mets massage therapist has been accused of sexually abusing two female trainers, Julia Marsh reports in the Post.

• Sal Cacciatore in Newsday gets fan reaction to the Mets’ “True New Yorkers” pitch.

• Reigning NL batting champ Michael Cuddyer was eligible to come off the DL on Saturday to face the Mets, but remains day-to-day as he mends a left hamstring strain, writes Nick Groke in the Denver Post. No. 1 Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario is dealing with the flu and did not play Saturday, Groke also writes.

• Tyler Kepner in the Times catches up with ex-Met Collin McHugh, who is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in two starts for the Houston Astros.

From the bloggers ... NY Mets Life suggests the Mets need to allow Matt Harvey to be Matt Harvey.

BIRTHDAYS: Miguel Cairo turns 40. ... Robinson Cancel is 38. ... Manny Aybar is 42.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets consider using Jenrry Mejia as closer (or, at least, in a late-inning reliever) and place Daisuke Matsuzaka or a Triple-A arm in the big-league rotation?

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 10, Mets 3

May, 2, 2014
May 2
11:43
PM ET
DENVER -- The New York Mets arrived in Colorado as the only team in the majors to have its starting pitcher log at least five innings in every outing. Two days later, they've now had back-to-back games with their starting pitcher failing to reach that threshold.

Zack Wheeler surrendered a career-high seven runs in four innings and the Mets lost to the Colorado Rockies 10-3 Friday night at Coors Field. It was the shortest outing of Wheeler’s career.

Wheeler’s line: 4 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. His ERA swelled to 5.13.

The first five Rockies reached base in a four-run first inning -- with a walk and a swinging bunt by Wilin Rosario for a base hit contributing to the damage, along with Justin Morneau's RBI double.

Bartolo Colon had allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings in the series opener.

After posting a 15-11 record in April, the Mets are now 0-2 in May.

Deep thoughts: Curtis Granderson produced a two-run homer against Jorge De La Rosa in the sixth inning that pulled the Mets within 7-3. It was Granderson’s second home run, and eighth and ninth RBIs of the season. His other long ball came April 5 against Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto.

Granderson went 75 at-bats between home runs -- the eighth-longest drought of his career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He last had a longer streak in 2010 -- 87 at-bats, in his first season with the Yankees.

Granderson also had an eighth-inning single to lift his batting average to .156. He has only one other two-hit game as a Met -- on April 3 against Washington.

Juan-derful: Juan Lagares had his second straight two-hit game since returning from the disabled list. Lagares followed up two doubles Thursday with a 2-for-5 performance that included one more double.

The end: Daniel Murphy’s streak of successful steal attempts ended at 28. In an ill-advised first-inning attempt that took the Mets out of a potential big inning, Murphy was caught by De La Rosa trying to take third base with none out and David Wright batting.

Murphy’s streak was the second longest in franchise history. Kevin McReynolds had 33 straight successful steal attempts from 1987 through '89.

What’s next: Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 3.49 ERA) opposes left-hander Franklin Morales (3-1, 4.40) at 8:10 p.m. ET Saturday.

Series preview: Mets at Rockies

April, 30, 2014
Apr 30
3:55
PM ET

Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY SportsLaTroy Hawkins, who signed for $2.5 million with the Rockies, is 9-for-9 in save conversions at age 41.
METS (15-11, second place/NL East) at COLORADO ROCKIES (16-12*, second place/NL West)

Thursday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-3, 4.50) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (2-1, 5.27), 8:40 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 3.99) vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 5.23), 8:40 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 3.49) vs. LHP Franklin Morales (3-1, 4.40), 8:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-1, 2.88) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, -.--), 4:10 p.m. ET

* Rockies play at Arizona on Wednesday night

Rockies short hops

• Ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins is 9-for-9 in save conversions. The 41-year-old reliever signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal on Nov. 21. The contract includes a team option for 2015 at $2.25 million or a $250,000 buyout. Hawkins’ nine saves trail only Milwaukee’s Francisco Rodriguez (13) and San Diego’s Huston Street (10) in the National League. Dating to Hawkins’ Mets days, he actually has converted 19 straight saves. That is the second-longest streak of his career. He saved 23 straight from 2000 through ’01 while with the Minnesota Twins.

• The Rockies have the top three batting leaders in the National League: Charlie Blackmon (.379), Troy Tulowitzki (.376) and Justin Morneau (.357). Tulowitzki also has seven homers, one shy of league leaders Adrian Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton.

Morneau signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal with Colorado on Dec. 13 to succeed the retired Todd Helton at first base, after finishing last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He entered Wednesday’s series finale at Phoenix with a 13-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .396 with five homers, 19 RBIs and a 1.223 OPS. Morneau was named NL Player of the Week for April 14-20. Colorado will retire Helton’s No. 17 on Aug. 17.


David Zalubowski/Associated PressEric Young Jr. will spot a familiar face in the opposing dugout -- his father, Rockies first-base coach Eric Young.


• The Mets-Rockies series will be a family reunion for Eric Young and Eric Young Jr. The elder E.Y. was hired by the Rockies to serve as first-base coach, a position he held with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011 and ’12.

Tyler Chatwood left Tuesday’s start experiencing right-elbow tightness. Chatwood had surgery in October to remove a bone chip from that elbow. He also missed a month last season with tightness there. He opened this season on the DL with a left hamstring strain.

Jhoulys Chacin may step into that rotation spot Sunday against the Mets, although that has not yet been confirmed by the club. Chacin has been on the disabled list the season’s first month with a shoulder strain. He has appeared in four minor-league rehab games.

Michael Cuddyer may be activated from the disabled list on Saturday when he is eligible. He is recovering from a strained left hamstring. Cuddyer was hitting .317 with three homers in 60 at-bats when he suffered the injury. Brandon Barnes and Blackmon have handled the right-field duty in Cuddyer’s absence. The lefty-hitting Blackmon is stationed in center field when the righty-hitting Barnes starts in right field.

• Third baseman Nolan Arenado has a 19-game hitting streak through Tuesday. That is the longest hitting streak in the majors this season, surpassing 17-gamers from the Marlins’ Christian Yelich and White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez earlier this season.

• No. 1 catcher Wilin Rosario has been sidelined since Saturday with a bruised left hand, which he injured swinging. There was no fracture detected. Jordan Pacheco has started three straight games through Tuesday.

Carlos Gonzalez has not homered since April 11. He is hitting .156 (10-for-64) with three RBIs and three walks (one intentional) in his past 16 games (15 starts) through Tuesday. Gonzalez nonetheless is the only active player in the majors with a streak of four straight 20-homer, 20-steal seasons.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Rockies 0

August, 7, 2013
8/07/13
9:32
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins did not need to worry about identifying a fill-in closer Wednesday night. Matt Harvey went the distance for the first time in his career, in a 106-pitch effort.

Harvey produced the first shutout by a Mets starting pitcher this season and Wilmer Flores produced his first two major league hits and first three major league RBIs as the Mets beat the Colorado Rockies, 5-0, at Citi Field.

The Mets (51-60) clinched only their second home-series victory since the Subway Series in May.


Frank Franklin II/Associated PressMatt Harvey tossed a four-hit shutout Wednesday night.


Harvey limited the Rockies to four hits and no walks.

R.A. Dickey had three shutouts and Johan Santana had two shutouts a season ago, but the Mets had not produced one in 2013 until Harvey’s latest gem. In fact, the Mets had only one other complete game this season. And that ended badly, when Dillon Gee took a shutout bid into the ninth inning in Atlanta on June 17 and ended up serving up a walk-off two-run homer to Freddie Freeman.

When Harvey allowed a two-out single to Wilin Rosario in the second inning, there was an audible groan at Citi Field from fans who have come to expect flirtations with no-hitters deep into games.

The third hit surrendered by Harvey came with one out in the eighth and snapped a string of 11 straight batters retired by the ace. Nolan Arenado was awarded an infield single by first base ump David Rackley, although replays appeared to suggest Arenado was out. No matter. Harvey coaxed an inning-ending double play from ensuing batter DJ LeMahieu.

The final hit allowed by Harvey was a liner that struck him in the lower right leg off the bat of Charlie Blackmon with two outs in the ninth.

Harvey will get an extra day of rest before his next start, Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, because the Mets are reverting to a six-man rotation once Jonathon Niese reenters the rotation Sunday.

It’s a first: On Day 2 as a major leaguer, Flores produced his first major league hit in his fifth career at-bat. Flores delivered a one-out single to center in the second inning against fellow Venezuelan Jhoulys Chacin. Flores became the 706th player in franchise history to produce a hit, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Flores scored the game’s opening run later in the inning on Omar Quintanilla’s single.

Flores then produced his first three career RBIs with a bases-loaded, two-out double in the eighth against Manny Corpas that gave the Mets a 5-0 lead. The three-bagger came after the Rockies intentionally walked Ike Davis with first base open.

Six Mets have produced a three-RBI game within their first two career games: Duffy Dyer, Lee Mazzilli, Jason Hardtke, Kazuo Matsui, Mike Jacobs and Flores, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Davis had produced his third double in two days and scored on John Buck’s fourth-inning single as the Mets grabbed a 2-0 lead.

What’s next: The Mets complete their homestand with a 12:10 p.m. matinee against the Rockies. Dillon Gee (7-8, 3.97 ERA) opposes right-hander Tyler Chatwood (7-4, 3.15). Chatwood originally was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener, but was given two extra days of rest to allow a balky hamstring to heal.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Rockies 2

August, 6, 2013
8/06/13
10:30
PM ET


NEW YORK -- A pair of ex-Rockies combined to lead the Mets to a 3-2 win against Colorado on Tuesday night.

Eric Young Jr., acquired from Colorado on June 18 for Collin McHugh, hustled to score the tiebreaking run from second base in the bottom of the eighth on a trickler infield single to the right side by Juan Lagares.

Young had combined with another ex-Rockie, Carlos Torres, to bail the Mets out in the sixth.


John Minchillo/Associated PressWilmer Flores went 0-for-4 with an error in his major league debut.


Torres had inherited the bases loaded from Jenrry Mejia with one out and coaxed a fly ball from Wilin Rosario to center field that was too shallow for a sacrifice fly. Young then made a lunging grab of Todd Helton’s sinking liner in shallow left field to end the half-inning and preserve a 2-all score.

Mejia had cruised through five innings, surrendering only an unearned run precipitated by an Ike Davis error. But after a lengthy delay early in the top of the sixth after plate umpire Manny Gonzalez was struck in the jaw with a bunted ball, play resumed and Mejia served up a game-tying homer to pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon.

Mejia eventually departed with the bases loaded and one out that inning and was bailed out by Torres’ pitching and Young’s catch.

Mejia’s line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. He threw 96 pitches (65 strikes) in a no-decision.

Mejia had been coming off an outing in Miami in which the bone spur in his pitching elbow was particularly bothersome.

Gonzalez, the first-ever Venezuelan ump in major league history, departed after Blackmon’s bunt hit the dirt in foul territory, bounced up and struck him in the jaw. Larry Vanover took over behind the plate after a delay and a three-man crew completed the game.

Closer call: LaTroy Hawkins was given the first save opportunity with Bobby Parnell on the DL and pitched a scoreless ninth. Hawkins earned his first save since May 6, 2012, as an Angel. He allowed a pair of two-out singles in the ninth, but stranded runners on the corners.

John Franco, Roberto Hernandez and Hawkins are now the 40-year-olds to have earned saves for the Mets.

Debutant: Wilmer Flores grounded back to Rockies starter Chad Bettis in his first major league at-bat and finished 0-for-4 in his debut, which came on his 22nd birthday. Flores, who had just started to again receive exposure to third base on Saturday with Triple-A Las Vegas, also committed a fielding error.

Flores departed for Justin Turner on a double-switch when Hawkins entered for the ninth.

That’s offensive: Lagares contributed a two-run triple in the first inning as the Mets grabbed a 2-0 lead. He officially finished with three RBIs after Young scored from second base on the eighth-inning infield single.

Davis, reinstalled in the cleanup spot, went 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and two walks (one intentional).

What’s next: Matt Harvey Day! Harvey (8-3, 2.21 ERA) opposes right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (10-5, 3.40) at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday.

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.

Mini-Series preview: Mets at Rockies

June, 27, 2013
6/27/13
1:18
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Getty Images/USA TODAY SportsJeremy Hefner faces Tyler Chatwood in the makeup of an April postponement.
METS (31-43, fourth place/NL East) vs. COLORADO ROCKIES (39-40, third place/NL West)

Thursday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 3.89) vs. RHP Tyler Chatwood (4-1, 2.22), 6:10 p.m. ET

Rockies short hops

• Closer Rafael Betancourt (groin) is expected to return from the disabled list on Friday, the day after the Mets make their cameo appearance at Coors Field.

Set-up man Rex Brothers has handled closing duty in the interim. The southpaw has been 3-for-3 in save conversions and has made 31 consecutive scoreless appearances -- the second-longest streak in franchise history. Opponents are hitting .175 over 29 innings during that span. The Rockies record is 33 straight scoreless appearances by Mike Myers in 2000.

• Right fielder Michael Cuddyer homered twice at Fenway Park on Wednesday, extending his hitting streak to a franchise-record-tying 23 games. Cuddyer is hitting .375 (36-for-96) with five homers and 16 RBIs during the streak, which is the longest in the majors this season. Cuddyer shares the franchise record with Dante Bichette, who had a 23-game hitting streak in 1995.

• Outfielder Dexter Fowler missed Wednesday’s game with right wrist soreness. Tyler Colvin instead started in center field.

Troy Tulowitzki (fractured rib) has started playing catch, but is not expected to return until after the All-Star break. Since Tulowitzki’s last start on June 13, Josh Rutledge and Jonathan Herrera have shared shortstop duties.

Carlos Gonzalez was named NL Player of the Week for the period ending June 16. He has a National League-leading 21 homers, one ahead of Philadelphia’s Domonic Brown. Gonzalez left Sunday’s game with leg cramps, but returned to the lineup Tuesday.

Roy Oswalt, who signed with the Rockies on May 3, has allowed nine runs in 11 innings over two starts in the majors with Colorado.

• Since allowing five runs (four earned) in his season debut on April 24 against Atlanta, Tyler Chatwood has not allowed more than two runs in any of his past seven starts. Chatwood did miss a start earlier this month with pain in the triceps. Chatwood, 23, was obtained from the Los Angeles Angels on Nov. 30, 2011 for Chris Iannetta.

• Ex-Met Hisanori Takahashi was obtained from the Chicago Cubs last weekend for a player to be named, but the Rockies have assigned the 38-year-old left-hander to Triple-A Colorado Springs. He allowed four runs in one inning in his Sky Sox debut.

• Catcher Wilin Rosario has six multi-hit performances in his past 10 games.

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 11, Mets 3

April, 18, 2013
4/18/13
6:05
PM ET


WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets were swept in a snow-shortened series at Colorado with an 11-3 loss Thursday afternoon.

The first-pitch temperature officially was 28 degrees -- matching the lowest recorded in the 20-year history of baseball in Denver.

The Mets (7-7) fell to .500.

Jack Dempsey/Associated PressTerry Collins argues a non-call during Thursday's game.
After dropping two of three in Philadelphia, then winning both games in an abbreviated series at Minnesota, the Mets lost three straight against the Rockies to complete the three-city trip.

The Mets have now lost a franchise-record seven straight games to Colorado.

Wednesday's postponed game will be made up June 27 at 6:10 p.m. ET at Coors Field.

POISON PEN: Colorado posted six runs in the seventh -- all with two outs -- against Josh Edgin, Scott Atchison and Jeurys Familia to turn a 3-2 score into a rout.

The big blows came on a two-run single by Wilin Rosario and a two-run double by Todd Helton, both against Atchison. Two runs were charged to Edgin. Three runs were charged to Atchison. One was charged to Familia, who was making his first appearance since returning from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Jeremy Hefner -- working in relief in preparation for Saturday’s start, since he had not pitched since April 10 -- surrendered solo homers to Dexter Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki in the eighth.

In the three-game series, Mets relievers allowed 18 runs (16 earned) and 22 hits in 11 innings.

ALMOST FAMOUS: David Wright twice drove in Daniel Murphy, the second instance in the sixth to even the score at 2.

Tulowitzki answered a half-inning later, though. Tulo’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth scored Carlos Gonzalez, who had doubled and advanced to third base on an error by left fielder Jordany Valdespin.

Gonzalez went 8-for-13 with four extra-base hits in the series.

Wright went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs on Thursday. He is now hitting .392 with 38 RBIs in 32 career games at Coors Field.

Trailing 3-2, the Mets got a one-out double from Marlon Byrd in the seventh against Jon Garland, but stranded Byrd in scoring position when Mike Baxter and Ruben Tejada grounded out.

L: Jonathon Niese suffered his first 2013 loss. He allowed three runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out three in a 96-pitch effort spanning six innings. Niese (2-1) surrendered a fourth-inning solo homer to Josh Rutledge.

WHAT’S NEXT: Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasburg face off Friday night at Citi Field as the Mets open a nine-game homestand. The Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies visit Queens.

Mets morning briefing 8.23.12

August, 23, 2012
8/23/12
6:01
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Matt Harvey limited the Rockies to one run on three hits and two walks while striking out nine in six innings, but the rookie departed his sixth career start with the score tied and his pitch count at 102. Ramon Ramirez entered for the seventh inning and served up a tiebreaking homer to the first batter he faced, Wilin Rosario. Ramirez eventually surrendered another run in the seventh. Frank Francisco then allowed two runs in the ninth and smashed a water cooler as the Mets ultimately lost to Colorado, 5-2, Wednesday at Citi Field.

The Mets dropped 10 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2009 season at 70-92.


Mark L. Baer/US Presswire
Collin McHugh makes his major league debut in place of Johan Santana this afternoon against Colorado.


This afternoon, Collin McHugh makes his major league debut in a 1:10 p.m. matinee in place of Johan Santana, who landed on the disabled list and is being shut down for the season. McHugh opposes right-hander Tyler Chatwood (3-3, 5.46 ERA) as the Mets try to avoid being swept by Colorado in four-game series in New York for the second straight season.

McHugh's last start happened to come at Fenway Park, when he tossed seven scoreless innings against Triple-A Pawtucket as part of an annual minor league showcase at the historic ballpark. McHugh, an 18th-round pick in 2008 out of Berry College near Rome, Ga., will become the 11th starting pitcher used by the Mets this season.

"When I went there last year, I was a little bit in awe. I was warming up next to the [Green] Monster," McHugh said, referring to also pitching at Fenway Park last season, with Double-A Binghamton. "This year I got to go and you felt like you had been there before. Obviously, it's not a big league game. But it is a storied big league ballpark and was a lot of fun. Hopefully it translates well."

Because McHugh has logged 143 2/3 innings in the minors this season, up from 129 during last year's regular season, he is not expected to make regular starts down the stretch. In fact, Terry Collins suggested the Mets likely would return to a five-man rotation at some point in September, with prospects such as Jenrry Mejia making strategically placed starts.

Thursday's news reports:

• An MRI of Santana's lower back revealed inflammation, Sandy Alderson said. The team plans to shut down the southpaw for the remainder of the season, but Alderson said neither surgery nor an injection would not be required. The Mets maintain Santana has no current shoulder issue, and projected him to be fine for 2013. Santana compiled an 8.27 ERA in 10 starts after his June 1 no-hitter, and Collins again suggested Wednesday that he suspects the career-high 134-pitch effort took a toll on the southpaw in subsequent starts.

Santana allowed six earned runs or more in each of his last five starts, a franchise record. His 4.85 ERA for the season becomes the highest for a left-handed starter in franchise history, topping the 4.63 ERA posted by Glendon Rusch in 2001. ESPN Stats & Information notes that while all of Santana’s pitches were less intimidating after throwing the no-hitter, the biggest decline in effectiveness came from the changeup. Batters hit .143 against the changeup through the June 1 outing, then .304 in the next 10 starts.

Writes Anthony Rieber in Newsday:

Alderson did not disclose the exact cause of the inflammation. Dr. Andrew Hecht, an orthopedic surgeon and co-chief of spinal surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine who is not involved in Santana's treatment, said: "The most common causes of lower back inflammation in the area of L5 are herniated disc, spondylolysis and the inflammation of a facet joint. Rest, medication and exercise is a good, proper treatment plan." Spondylolysis is defined as a specific defect in the connection between vertebrae. Facet joints are the movable joints that allow flexibility in the spine.

Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Journal, Record, Daily News and Times.

Dillon Gee plans to travel to St. Louis today. With six weeks having passed since his surgery to repair a damaged artery in his pitching shoulder, Gee expects to undergo an angiogram on Friday and be cleared to begin tossing a baseball. Gee does not expect to return this season.


William Perlman/US Presswire
Sandy Alderson suggested trades may bolster the Mets in 2013.


• Alderson, appearing on WFAN, insisted he did not have a precise payroll for next season dictated from ownership yet, although a source has told ESPNNewYork.com the figure is expected to be close to this season's total. The GM did say this year's payroll would fall just less than $100 million when the entire season's spending is included.

"Obviously I'm fully aware we've got a lot of money tied up in two or three players," Alderson said, referring to 2013. "We've got some guys we'd like to keep here -- David Wright being one, R.A. Dickey being another. We've got some guys that are going to be eligible for arbitration for the first time. So we've done some calculations as to, OK, if we have 'X' amount of money, this is what we can do. 'Y' amount of money, this is what we can do."

Asked about making a big free agent signing during the upcoming offseason, Alderson instead suggested trades are a more likely route to improve the team for 2013.

"For the purpose of this discussion, let's assume the payroll is the same," Alderson said. "I don't expect the same team on the field. Look, we've watched this team for two years. We've gotten similar results the two years. There are some positives. ... We need to get better, and not incrementally. ...

"Now, there are a couple of guys we like. Lucas Duda is somebody that's still in our plans when he comes back up here. Look, when he was sent down, he was at a point where his offense was just not carrying his defense, and we just had to make a decision at that point that we couldn't live with the defense at the level of his production. But I expect that he'll be back. ... I think we will probably try him in left field. There are lots of left fielders with a lot of offense that aren't the greatest defensively. ...

"So we need an infusion of players -- productive players, players who are going to hit for power. There are only two or three ways to acquire those. I'd say the more likely avenue for us would be trades. Let's be honest: So if we're going to get a right-handed power hitter or a left-handed power hitter, what's it going to cost us? Maybe $10 million to $12 million a year. If you look at [Michael] Cuddyer and [Jason] Kubel and guys like that, [Josh] Willingham, those are not five-tool players, but they're very productive players. Is that a possibility for next year? I wouldn't rule it out at this point. Again, I don't think we know what our budget is going to be. I haven't had those conversations. And my job right now is to set up a series of possibilities -- high, low, medium. ...

"The positive aspect of our player-development system is we have a lot of pitching. We have a lot of pitching at Triple-A. We have pitching up and down the system. We have four or five guys at Brooklyn that have been lights out all season. So we definitely have trade chips. We have players that we can trade if we decided that is the way to go. So I think we have assets. I don't know what kind of cash assets we'll have. That's to be determined. But I think our system is in a much better position today to make trades than it was two years ago, even a year ago."

Alderson took responsibility for the bullpen's lackluster performance this season, since that is where he used his available dollars last offseason. The GM suggested Zack Wheeler optimally is on a 2013 track comparable to Harvey's this season -- begin next season in Triple-A, then debut during the season as the need arises. (Podcast here.)

Kirk Nieuwenhuis will not require surgery on the partially torn plantar fascia in his right foot. But, after an examination, team doctors have determined Nieuwenhuis will not return this season. Nieuwenhuis struck out 98 times in 282 at-bats in 2012. That's the fewest at-bats per strikeout in a season in franchise history for someone with that at-bat total (2.88). Actually, Duda's 2012 rate (one strikeout every 3.27 at-bats) ranks second. The old record: Dave Kingman, who struck out every 3.28 at-bats in 1975 -- albeit while slugging 36 homers.

Jeremy Hefner's wife Sarah gave birth to the couple's second child, daughter Jaylee Grace, at 11:55 a.m. Wednesday in Oklahoma. Hefner was placed on paternity leave Tuesday, with the Mets adding left-hander Robert Carson from Triple-A Buffalo. Hefner is slated to reenter the rotation Sunday against the Astros on two extra days of rest, as the Mets continue to use a modified six-man rotation that includes Dickey pitching every fifth game. Dickey, who faced the Rockies on Monday, again bids for win No. 16 on Saturday against Houston.


Jason Szenes/Getty Images
Matt Harvey allowed only one run in six innings, and had two hits at the plate, but received a no-decision.


• Harvey, who departed with the score tied after six innings, now has 43 strikeouts through his first six career games. He topped Nolan Ryan's former franchise record of 42, although Ryan did appear in one game in relief during that stretch in 1966 and '68. Read game recaps in the Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Daily News.

Andrew Keh in the Times got player reaction to Collins addressing the team after Tuesday's game -- and whether the Mets are packing it in. Writes Keh:

On Wednesday afternoon, Collins’s latest message was still being processed by his players as reporters milled around and waited for the latest disheartening announcement -- that Johan Santana, who has struggled mightily, would most likely be shut down for the rest of the season because of a back injury. Asked what he thought of Collins’s remarks, Ike Davis dismissed as absurd the idea that a group of players would give up on a season because the losses were mounting. “This is our job,” he said. “We’re not going to go out there and not try hard, because the only way we make money is by trying hard.” No one, Davis assured, would be packing it in, despite Collins’s concern: “Everyone’s going to try to do well because it’s the only way, one, to win, and two, they’ll stay in the big leagues.”

• Mejia allowed one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out six in six innings in Triple-A Buffalo's 2-1, 12-inning loss against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Read Wednesday's full minor league recap here.

• Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand attended Wednesday's game, writes Andrew Harts at MLB.com.

Bud Harrelson offered his support for Collins' job performance, in spite of the second-half swoon. I think Terry is doing a great job. He’s got them hustling, but you can’t hit for them,” Harrelson told Howie Kussoy in the Post. “He’s a very positive guy. He’s not about the negatives. I think you have to have that good clubhouse. He thrives on the positives that are happening. He cheers for his players. He protects his players. I like what’s going on."

TRIVIA: Who represented the Astros in last month's All-Star Game?

Wednesday's answer: Before Chris Young on Tuesday night, Chris Capuano was the last Mets pitcher to strike out the opening four batters of a game. He accomplished the feat on May 27, 2011 against the Phillies.

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 vs. Rockies

August, 20, 2012
8/20/12
10:20
AM ET

US Presswire/Getty Images
Rockies players (l to r) Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton are all on the disabled list, leaving Colorado a skeleton crew.
METS (57-64, third place/NL East) vs. COLORADO ROCKIES (46-73, fifth place/NL West)

Monday: RHP R.A. Dickey (15-4, 2.89) vs. RHP Alex White (2-6, 5.74), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Chris Young (3-6, 4.50) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-3, 7.30), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (2-3, 3.00) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (4-4, 6.07), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Johan Santana (6-9, 4.85) vs. RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-3, 5.46), 1:10 p.m. ET

Rockies short hops

• Right fielder Michael Cuddyer landed back on the disabled list with a right oblique strain and could be lost for the season. He had missed two weeks, then returned for three games. Cuddyer (.260, 16 HR, 58 RBIs) signed a three-year, $31.5 million deal in December.

Also sidelined:

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki underwent surgery to repair a strained left groin on June 21. Tulowitzki originally suffered the injury running out of the batter’s box on May 30. He is due to be with the Rockies in New York, but inactive. He ran the bases Saturday, but is not due to begin a rehab assignment until next week.

First baseman Todd Helton underwent season-ending surgery on Aug. 10 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.

Jason Giambi has been out since July 20 with a viral infection. He has started taking batting practice and fielding grounders, but is not expected back until the end of the month.

Tyler Colvin and Jordan Pacheco have shared first base with Helton out, while Pacheco otherwise teams with Chris Nelson to man third base.

Josh Rutledge, who made his major league debut July 13, is the shortstop minus Tulowitzki. But Rutledge suffered his own injury Sunday, leaving the game in the fourth inning after tweaking a previously strained left quadriceps. Presuming he’s healthy, Rutledge should move to second base once Tulowitzki returns.

Eric Young, who is hitting .426 in 13 games since Aug. 6 and showing uncharacteristic power in addition to his customary speed, and Colvin have subbed for Cuddyer in right field. But Young, too, was forced from Sunday’s game after straining a rib-cage muscle. Young predicted his absence would be limited to a “game or two.”


Chris Humphreys/US Presswire
Jhoulys Chacin returns from a pec muscle injury that sidelined him since May.


Nelson returned Aug. 6 from a DL trip for an irregular heartbeat. Pacheco ranks among the leaders in NL rookie offensive categories, including average at .312, although his 339 plate appearances are narrowly shy of qualifying.

• Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will make his first major league appearance since straining a pectoral muscle. He landed on the DL after a May 1 start. He will be on roughly a 75-pitch limit. He tossed 91 pitches over seven innings Thursday with Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The Rockies have employed a four-man rotation with pitch counts in the 70s under manager Jim Tracy, so Chacin could alternate starts with Drew Pomeranz going forward to keep the rookie Pomeranz’s innings in check. The four-man rotation began out of necessity in Philly in mid-June due to a lack of quality arms after Jeremy Guthrie’s struggles got him bounced from the rotation to the bullpen. Three bullpen arms piggyback the starters to handle middle innings.

• Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez was placed on bereavement leave and traveled to Venezuela on Saturday to mourn the death of his grandfather. He likely will return Tuesday, but is eligible to miss as much as a full week.

Tyler Chatwood, acquired from the Angels on Nov. 30 for Chris Iannetta, has a 3.93 ERA in four starts since returning from a one-month stint in the minors. Standing a modest 5-foot-11, the 22-year-old Chatwood doesn’t throw downhill. So his 95 mph fastball needs location; otherwise it can be flat and hittable.

• The Rockies traded Marco Scutaro to San Francisco for infielder Charlie Culberson on July 27. D.J. LeMahieu, acquired from the Cubs last offseason with Colvin for Ian Stewart, has taken over at second base.

• The Mets seriously discussed acquiring catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies before the July 31 trade deadline, but ultimately obtained Kelly Shoppach this month. Rookie catcher Wilin Rosario now handles the bulk of the duty for Colorado. Rosario is six homers shy of matching the Rockies’ rookie record, established by Helton with 25 in 1998. His defensive skills do not match his plate prowess.

Alex White will make his fifth start since being recalled from the minors on Aug. 2. His return coincided with Jonathan Sanchez suffering from left biceps tendinitis.

• Left-hander Jeff Francis’ Aug. 13 win gave him 59 victories as a Rockie, passing Jason Jennings for second on the franchise’s all-time list. The leader: Aaron Cook, with 72 wins.

• Reliever Adam Ottavino is a local product. He graduated from Berkeley Carroll High School in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and has trained during the winter at the same Garden City, L.I., facility as several local Mets players the past few years, including now-departed Jose Reyes and Pedro Beato.

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Coors Field, April 27-29 (AP game recaps)

Rockies 18, Mets 9: Carlos Gonzalez was at the center of an 11-run fifth inning, hitting a homer and a single for five of his six RBIs, and the Rockies overcame Scott Hairston's cycle. Ramon Hernandez hit his sixth career grand slam -- the first for the Rockies this season -- and Troy Tulowitzki and Dexter Fowler also homered for Colorado, which set a season high for runs. Hairston became the 10th player in team history and first in the majors this season to hit for the cycle. He drove in four runs, but it wasn't enough on a night when pitching was an afterthought. More

Mets 7, Rockies 5: Dillon Gee shook off the rough patch in an otherwise strong outing and Lucas Duda backed him with a homer and single to drive in four runs. Gee allowed four runs in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two, and seemed to be at his best late in his outing, retiring nine of the last 10 batters he faced. More

Mets 6, Rockies 5 (11 innings): Ike Davis singled in the go-ahead run off reliever Matt Belisle in the 11th inning and the Mets overcame two tying homers allowed by their bullpen. Johan Santana, looking for his first win since September 2010, left with a 4-0 lead after six innings but Tim Byrdak gave up pinch-hitter Todd Helton's grand slam in the eighth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis put the Mets ahead again with an RBI double in the 10th before Frank Francisco served up Carlos Gonzalez's solo homer in the bottom half. David Wright started the 11th with a single off Belisle (1-2) and went to third on Lucas Duda's single. After Scott Hairston hit into a fielder's choice, Davis' sharp grounder finally rescued the Mets. More

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
14 4.02 143 190
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .298
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 86
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .827
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180