Last night, the Mets rode a classic Coors Field offensive eruption to overcome a 5-0 deficit and knock off the wild-card-leading Rockies in a fun come-from-behind win. Chris Flexen got off to a decent start, wiggling out of tight spots in both of the first two innings. He worked around doubles in each inning and didn’t allow a run to cross in either frame. The game was scoreless going into the third, but that was when the Rockies turned Coors Field into a No Flexen Zone (sorry). After he got the first batter of the inning out, Flexen then gave up a hit to each the next six batters. It started with three consective singles, followed by a double, then another single, and capped off with a home run. By the time that sequence was over, Colorado led 5-0.
But, as we’ve learned through the years, no lead is ever safe in Coors Field. The Mets chipped away in the top half of the fourth when Yoenis Cespedes drove in a run on a double play, and then Jay Bruce hit a solo shot, his 29th of the season, to make it 5-2.
In the fourth, after Curtis Granderson reached on an error, Amed Rosario chopped a ball down the third base line that went under the glove of Nolan Arenado and bounced in the corner. It was a triple for Rosario, his first MLB extra-base hit, and it scored Granderson from first to lob another run off the deficit and make it 5-3. Rosario then scored on a Travis d’Arnaud groundout, and it was 5-4.
The Mets were back at it in the sixth, and that’s when things really took off. Asdrubal Cabrera led off with a single, and then Cespedes doubled him home to tie the game. After Bruce walked and Brandon Nimmo grounded out, Granderson stepped in and launched one into the right field bullpen. The three-run dinger gave the Mets their first lead of the game and made it 8-5.
Four runs were already home in that sixth inning, but the Mets still weren’t done. Later in the inning, d’Arnaud singled, Jose Reyes singled, Michael Conforto singled d’Arnaud home, and then Cabrera doubled Reyes in. Two more runs scored before the side was finally retired. It was a six-run inning for the Mets, and they led 10-5.
Meanwhile, the Rockies never scored again after the third inning. Here’s something you haven’t read much this year: the Mets’ bullpen was staunch all night long. Flexen was pulled after the five-run third, and the bullpen—even with its best pitcher now pitching for the Red Sox—had one of its best showings of the season. Chasen “Don’t Call Me Chase” Bradford entered in the fourth and delivered two shutout innings. Fernando Salas pitched a scoreless sixth. Paul Sewald handled the seventh and eighth innings without issue, and A.J. Ramos closed out the win with a scoreless ninth.
Imagine reading that paragraph in April.
The Mets are now 49-56.
Let’s face it: the main reason to watch the Mets going forward is really to monitor the progress of Amed Rosario and, eventually, Dominic Smith. We already talked about Rosario’s RBI triple last night. Overall, that was Rosario’s only hit at the plate. He went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and a groundout. He hasn’t looked totally comfortable at the dish yet, and even his two hits so far have been weakly struck balls. That said, it’s been literally eight plate appearances.
However, Rosario has looked totally comfortable in the field, aside from his misplay in the ninth inning Tuesday night. He’s made every play, he’s looked smooth, and even made a nice diving catch going to his left last night on a liner ticketed for center field in the third inning. There was also a base hit up the middle by D.J. LeMahieu in the third inning that Rosario couldn’t reach on a dive; he probably gets to that on a non-Coors Field infield. Through two games, we’ve seen the evidence of Rosario’s high floor; even if he doesn’t hit, he’s still got his glove, and he’s still got his speed.
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
ALERT: DAVID WRIGHT IS DOING BASEBALL THINGS IN PORT ST. LUCIE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. DAVID WRIGHT IS DOING BASEBALL THINGS.
Okay, this is probably nothing, and we don’t know how well this will go this time around. But it’s nice to see the captain still giving it the ol’ college try and doing his best to get back on the field to help the team. I could talk about the how wholly unfair it is that Jose Reyes is the one passing the metaphorical torch over to Amed Rosario instead of Wright, but we get good news on Wright so little nowadays that I refuse to put a negative spin on even the smidgen of positive developments we get.
Rafael Montero takes on German Marquez in the rubber game of this series. First pitch is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET.
Photo credit: Ron Chenoy – USA Today Sports