Rusin Melts Down In Rockies’ Loss To Mets

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It was a beautiful, breezy Star Wars night at Coors Field, but the Force was not with the Rockies.

It hasn’t been for a long time, and being a Rockies fan is about the most self-loathing thing a person can do these days.

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Chris Rusin, coming off a stellar complete game shut-out last Sunday, got the start. This time, he did not come anywhere near to the finish, exiting in the top of the 2nd having recorded no outs, after throwing his 69th double. It was ugly.

Don’t follow that Baseball Reference link, because you’ll find that everyone else took at least twice as many innings to do it.

Rusin was all kinds of off, and given the overall quality of the Mets’ offense, I don’t think it was just a bad night. He has had some great outings this year, but he hasn’t shown anything like the consistency we need from the rotation. I know it feels like he’s had a great season, but in many ways, I think we’re dealing with a least of all possible evils situation. And you know it’s going to be a bad night at Coors when the bullpen is called upon in the third inning.

The first reinforcement, Justin Miller, allowed two of his inherited runners to score, bringing Rusin’s earned run total to 11 (and his ERA to a still-not-bad-for-a-Rockie 4.97). But the second scored on a double play, which finally put some outs on the board.

Surprisingly, it really wasn’t that bad after Miller left. Scott Oberg allowed one of Miller’s runners to score, but then he, Rafael Betancourt, Tommy Kahnle, and Christian Friedrich actually allowed four innings to pass without a Met crossing the plate. This is nearly unheard of from this relief corps. Of course, they would pick the one game where a starter totally chokes to pitch brilliantly.

Offensively, the Rockies only really threatened twice, first in the 2nd. With the bases loaded, Kyle Parker roped a liner to center, which Juan Lagares badly misplayed, leading to a bases-clearing triple. That was good enough to tie the game, but then the Mets had an 8-run 3rd.

The second time was in the 6th, when a double, a single, and back-to-back homers from Charlie Blackmon and Jose Reyes (the first of which chased Mets starter John Niese) led to a four-run inning. They scattered a few more runs in other innings; otherwise, it was mostly TOOTBLANS (Blackmon) and ugly strikeouts (Cargo). But truthfully, you can’t ask much more of this offense than it’s already given you in this series: 14 runs off the starters alone. It’s never enough with this pitching staff. Final score: 14-9.

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As always, Coors Field itself provided a good time with a lot of fun riffs on the Star Wars theme, from a Cargo Fett bobblehead to covering all the Mets’ pictures with storm trooper masks (except Michael Cuddyer, who was Darth Vader, for obvious reasons). Probably the coolest thing I saw was a family who had dressed their two older kids as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. Luke was in his costume from the scenes where he trains on the planet Dagobah, and on his back he carried the smallest child, dressed as Yoda. If you don’t get why that’s clever, stop watching baseball and go watch the Star Wars trilogy instead. At least the good guys win in those.