Thursday, April 14, 2011
Divide grows between Rockies and Mets
The New York Mets and Colorado Rockies got the day started at high noon with a rare single-admission afternoon doubleheader. The Mets struck first in each game, but the Rockies rallied both times to take the double-dip and sweep the four-game series at Citi Field, improving to an MLB-best 10-2.
The Mets have now lost five straight games and have held at least a two-run lead in each of them. Over these five games, the Mets' team ERA is 5.94 and their bullpen ERA is 6.48. It is just the second sweep by the Rockies of the Mets in a series of three-games-or-more in New York in franchise history. The only other time came in 1994.
Troy Tulowitzki went 10-for-16 with four homers and eight RBI in the four-game series with New York. He is the first player to go deep in each game of a series of at least four games against the Mets. The Elias Sports Bureau also tells us that Tulo is the first player to attain each of those stats in one series since Vladimir Guerrero went 12-for-17 with five homers and nine RBI for the Angels in a four-game series against the Rangers in 2004.
Cliff Lee had a forgettable start to the season, allowing nine runs in 10⅓ innings over his first two outings. Lee was back in vintage form on Thursday night, though, tossing a three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and just one walk against the Washington Nationals. He is the first Philadelphia Phillies pitcher to throw a shutout with at least 12 strikeouts and three hits or fewer since Curt Schilling in 1996.
This was the second night in a row that a Philadelphia pitcher threw a complete game, following Roy Halladay’s 59th career complete game Wednesday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Phillies hadn't gotten consecutive complete games since Paul Byrd and Curt Schilling did it May 11-12, 1999 at St. Louis.
The Tampa Bay Rays got their first home win of the season in dramatic fashion as Johnny Damon hit his sixth career walk-off homer in the 10th inning off Minnesota Twins reliever Matt Capps. Damon has now hit a walk-off home run with the Rays, Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox and Royals. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Damon is the first player in MLB history to hit a walk-off homer with five different teams.
Another AL East team also walked off with a win Thursday night as the New York Yankees swept their rain-shortened series with the Baltimore Orioles thanks to a game-ending sacrifice fly by Nick Swisher. Swisher is the first Yankee to hit a walk-off sacrifice fly since Ruben Sierra in June 2004 against the Padres. Alex Rodriguez continued his march up all-time RBI list too, moving into sole possession of 11th place with an RBI in the sixth inning.