In 22.2 innings this season with the Colorado Rockies, Tim Melville had surrendered a total of six home runs. In the span of six batters on Tuesday night at Coors Field, the New York Mets quickly added three more to that total.
Those three home runs plated four Mets and turned what had been a pitcher’s duel into a sizable advantage for the visitors, especially with Marcus Stroman looking every bit like a pitcher New York envisioned when they acquired him from Toronto. Stroman’s pitching and New York’s one inning of power was more than enough to hand the Colorado Rockies a 6-1 defeat and snap Colorado’s four-game winning streak.
Despite the Tuesday futility, Colorado (66-86) still has a chance to win its third consecutive series on Wednesday afternoon … but will have to do it against one of baseball’s top power pitchers in Noah Syndergaard.
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Through the game’s first five innings, the teams combined for four hits. Colorado’s only two came off the bat of Sam Hilliard, who was 2-for-2 in the game’s opening five frames while his teammates went 0-for-14.
Tim Melville, however, matched Stroman’s ability to quiet the bats. He benefited from three double plays in the game’s first five innings while only giving up a third-inning single to Amed Rosario and a fifth-inning single to Wilson Ramos.
It was Rosario, however, that would start the chain of sixth-inning homers that would lead to Melville’s demise. After Todd Frazier started the sixth with a single, New York’s shortstop took a 1-1 pitch over the left-center wall to stake the Mets to a 2-0 lead.
From there, the floodgates opened, with Nimmo’s seventh long ball of the season and the 48th homer of the year from Pete Alonso pushing the lead to 4-0 and sending Melville to the showers after 77 pitches.
With Melville giving up three homers in a single inning, he became the fourth Rockies pitcher to accomplish that unfortunate feat this season. That’s the highest number of pitchers on a single team to earn that dubious honor in the National League.
"“A few pitches here and there, kept it up in the zone,” Melville said of the sixth-inning barrage. “They’re a pretty good hitting team so they did some damage.”"
Stroman, meanwhile, kept churning along. He turned in a seven-inning performance where he allowed just four singles and no Rockies runner reached second base while he was on the mound. Charlie Blackmon earned the only walk from Stroman, leading off the second. However, he was promptly eliminated by Ryan McMahon‘s double play ball.
Pat Valaika‘s two-out pinch-hit double in the eighth against New York reliever Justin Wilson was Colorado’s first extra-base hit of the evening and marked the first time a Colorado runner had been on second. It also snapped an 0-for-24 streak by Colorado pinch-hitters, dating back to September 6. Per Elias Sports, the 0-for-24 stretch was the longest hitless streak by Colorado pinch-hitters in franchise history.
The best news of the night for the Rockies? They didn’t get blanked thanks to Blackmon’s solo blast with two outs in the ninth that traveled 445 feet. It was his 29th homer of the season.
What was maybe the other best news of the night for the Rockies? In Milwaukee, the Brewers topped the San Diego Padres 3-1. With that loss, Colorado remains 2.5 games behind San Diego in the race to escape the National League West cellar with 10 games to play.