MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks

Game Recap August 15: Colon and the Mets Snakebitten in the Desert

Arizona scored in six different innings off of Bartolo Colon and the New York bullpen as the Diamondbacks defeated the Mets 10-6 in the series opener on Monday night at Chase Field.

After sweeping the Mets in a three-game set last week at Citi Field, the last-place Diamondbacks tallied 16 hits on a night where all nine starters had at least one.

Bartolo Colon, 1-0 with a 1.32 ERA in his previous two starts, was hit hard right out of the gate. Making his 500th regular season appearance, the 19-year veteran was attempting to become the 18th pitcher in Major League history to defeat all 30 teams.

Third baseman T.J. Rivera booted a routine grounder, allowing leadoff hitter Jean Segura to reach to start the bottom of the first.

“When you play behind Bartolo you can’t make many mistakes because they’re gonna put the ball in play against him,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Michael Bourn, who hit .375 with 5 RBIs on Arizona’s six-game road trip, singled up the middle as the speedy Segura advanced to third. After Paul Goldschmidt lined out sharply to shortstop, Jake Lamb singled in Segura for the game’s first run; snapping an 0-for-22 skid and giving the Diamondbacks a lead they would never relinquish.

Colon (10-7) got Yasmany Tomas to fly out to right for the second out, another hard hit ball that Jay Bruce chased down in the corner. Welington Castillo, playing in his first game in nine days due to the birth of his second child, lined an RBI single up the middle past a lunging Neil Walker to give the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead.

Chris Owings continued the pattern of squaring up off of Colon, clubbing a 2-1 fastball through Bartolo’s legs which drove in Lamb for the third unearned run of the opening frame.

Arizona starter Robbie Ray (6-11), who outpitched Colon on Wednesday at Citi Field by hurling seven shutout innings, struggled as well on Monday but was let off the hook several times by the Mets’ offense.

“We haven’t been hitting,” Collins said. “You’ve got to score to beat anybody.”

New York’s best opportunity came in the third, with the surging Travis d’Arnaud (3-for-4, .700 average in his last 3 games) leading off with a single to left-center. Colon bunted in front of the mound and reached on a fielder’s choice error when Ray’s high throw to second ended up in center field. Jose Reyes singled up the middle to score d’Arnaud and get the Mets on the board.

The struggling Curtis Granderson, batting .127 with runners in scoring position this year, flailed at a slider for strike three. Walker singled to load the bases for cleanup hitter Bruce. Hitting just .160 since being acquired from Cincinnati on Aug. 1, Bruce flied out to center but not deep enough to score Colon from third. Ray ended the threat by striking out Wilmer Flores, leaving the bases loaded and preserving a 3-1 lead.

Colon, who gave up five runs (two earned) on nine hits and two walks over four laborious innings, never looked comfortable while throwing 81 pitches.

Owings, hitting .474 against the Mets this season, doubled in Castillo in the third to give Arizona a 4-1 lead.

d’Arnaud singled to right with two outs in the fourth. Colon, who hit his first home run earlier in the season, followed with a walk. It was the first time the 43-year-old reached on a free pass in 282 regular season career plate appearances. Reyes singled in d’Arnaud for his second RBI of the night, cutting the Diamondbacks’ lead to 4-2.

“That surprised me as well,” Colon said through a translator. “I don’t know why that pitcher didn’t strike me out. He could have.”

Goldschmidt (9-for-15 with a home run and four RBIs against the Mets this season) tripled off of Colon in the fourth and later scored on a Lamb sacrifice fly, giving Arizona a 5-2 advantage. The Diamondbacks tacked on two more runs in the fifth against reliever Erik Goeddel. Castillo crushed a double to left to start the inning and scored on a Brandon Drury ground-rule double. Segura hit yet another double after pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin flied out, scoring Drury and making the score 7-2.

Castillo drove in Arizona’s eighth run with a single in the sixth off of reliever Seth Lugo, his fourth hit of the game.

New York rallied in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs against rookie Steve Hathaway on just seven pitches. Randall Delgado replaced Hathaway, walking Flores and forcing Granderson home for the team’s third run. Rivera and Ty Kelly hit back-to-back sacrifice flies, cutting the lead to 8-5 and giving the Mets some short-lived hope.

Tomas, the only member of the Diamondbacks starting lineup without a hit after seven innings, hammered a Hansel Robles slider into the left-field stands for a two-run homer in the eighth; giving his club a 10-5 advantage.

“We let them get ahead and we couldn’t stop them,” Collins said. “No matter who we put in the game we couldn’t stop them… You’ve got to put up zeroes and we didn’t do it.”

Neil Walker led off the ninth inning with his 22nd home run of the year against Edwin Escobar, closing the scoring at 10-6.


The Mets hit into three double plays on Monday and left nine runners on base. New York is now three games behind Miami for the second NL Wild Card spot.


The field conditions in Phoenix seemed to be an issue for both clubs early on, especially the dirt on the pitcher’s mound. Colon and Ray each appeared to have trouble with their plant foot in the first couple of innings, prompting the grounds crew to add sand and rake the area around and in front of the rubber on multiple occasions. Rivera also lost his footing while fielding a ground ball in foul territory next to the third base bag.

“In that first inning it felt a little humid or moist,” Colon said through a translator.


OF Yoenis Cespedes (.346 TAv, 39.2 VORP, 3.8 WARP), out since Aug. 4 with a strained right quad, began a rehab assignment on Monday night with Class-A St. Lucie. The 30-year-old All-Star went 0-for-3 with an RBI groundout as the team’s designated hitter. The Mets are expected to activate Cespedes on Friday.


Clarence Coleman, better known in baseball circles as Choo-Choo, passed away on Monday at the age of 80. Coleman was a catcher with the Mets during their inaugural 1962 season, batting .250 with 6 home runs and 17 RBIs in 55 games after being selected in the expansion draft.

Photo credit: Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Sports

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