Jorge still labors, but looks better. Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
I’d forgotten how fun the Mets are to watch. I lived in New York from 2006-2012 and saw my fair share of games in Queens, but I hadn’t had the chance to see them since I got back to Denver. After two straight days of them, I can conclusively state that they are as hapless as ever. This has nothing to do with their talent or respectability as a major league club. They are just funny. Funny things happen to them. Probably they’re sad things if you’re a Mets fan. But when you’re a fan of the other team, their throwing errors and wild pitches and diving catch attempts that produce nothing are funny.
Not funny was the Rockies’ assault on New York’s pitching last night. Zack Wheeler, formerly the Mets’ top prospect and not a bad pitcher at all in 2013, has had a tough start to the season. He’s 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA, although, to be fair, it was 3.99 before the Rockies got a hold of him. They hammered him for 7 hits and 6 earned runs over 4 innings before Mets manager Terry Collins decided enough was enough. After that, the Rockies hung 3 more runs on their former teammate Carlos Torres, who was solid for an inning but came apart in the next one.
Offensively, everybody helped, which is always nice to me, and which is one reason why the Rockies have had such a successful start to the season. They are hitting well up and down the lineup, and that means we don’t have to hold our breaths and hope the 3 through 5 spots can produce something, since they are our only hope. The only guys in the starting lineup who didn’t have a hit were DJ LeMahieu and Corey Dickerson, but Dickerson still drove in a run with a sac fly. Charlie Blackmon was downright scary, with 3 hits in 5 tries and 2 RBI. Wasn’t he supposed to regress at some point? He and Troy Tulowitzki traded places atop the MLB batting average leaderboard no less than six times last night. Tulo emerged the winner at .385, but Blackmon’s .380 is nothing to sniff at. Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak to 22 games. Ryan Wheeler quietly made his 2014 debut with a single in the 8th. And Wilin Rosario finally showed some signs of life, knocking an RBI single and a sac fly.
Of course, there are always the basepaths on which to make outs, and Rosario could have been smarter there. After his single, he tagged up on Dickerson’s flyout, thinking he would reach 2nd because the fielders would try to get the ball home, where Justin Morneau was headed. But they ignored Morneau and instead engaged Rosario in a brief rundown that ended in an out. It was probably a safe assumption that they weren’t going to try to tag him, but it would have been better to wait and be sure. Speaking of baserunning blunders, Tulo committed a confusing one in the 2nd. With 2 outs, he hit a 2-run single and rounded 1st to try to make it a double. He stopped short after his turn and was easily tagged out. The speculation was that maybe he’s been warned not to try too hard when the out is imminent, so as to protect his fragile body. There were also fears that maybe he had reinjured his groin, but there have been no reports to that effect at this point. For my part, I thought he looked a little less sharp in the field after the incident, but he wasn’t limping or hobbling. Hopefully it was simply some tightness that will resolve after a day of rest. Of course, with Josh Rutledge on the DL, our only option at short is Charlie Culberson, and I’d definitely rather Tulo.
(Insert clever, interesting comment about Arenado’s nightly web gem.) Sorry folks, I have no new way to say how the man does what he does. Although I should add some big ups to Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, who made an incredible catch of his own that robbed Dickerson of a hit.
Jorge de la Rosa has been striking fear in my heart lately, but he was solid last night, giving up 3 runs over 6 innings. I’d like to see him go 7 next time, but he’s staying in longer and longer on average, and that’s encouraging. I hope he feels less pressure knowing that Jhoulys Chacin returns Sunday. DLR did a good job managing the baserunners; he had 11 over the course of his outing, but only 3 scored. His one terrible pitch was a fastball up to Curtis Granderson, he of the .140 batting average, that resulted in a 2-run homer. The Mets scored their first run on a wild pitch with no outs in the 1st, and DLR looked primed for an unraveling, but he caught Murphy stealing third and then got two quick outs after allowing a single to David Wright. In the 6th, after that home run, with 2 on and nobody out, DLR got Ruben Tejada to ground into a double play and then struck out Bobby Abreu. He looked more mature and poised than he has lately, and since I believe that has been the missing piece for him, that is very good news.
Relief pitchers did good: Chris Martin and Tommy Kahnle both had a 1-2-3 inning, and Matt Belisle allowed a couple of runners but got out of it without damage. A good game all around, especially since there are no reports of injury from the Tulo camp.