DENVER, CO - APRIL 29: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies is welcomed home by Ramon Hernandez #55 of the Colorado Rockies after his pinch hit grand slam home run off of relief pitcher Tim Byrdak #40 of the New York Mets to tie the score 4-4 with two out in the eighth inning at Coors Field on April 29, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Well, that was a fun one.
I do mean it; while the end result is somewhat agonizing to think about, the Rockies scratched, clawed, and gritted their way back into a game that seemed out of reach for the first two-thirds of it. After being shut down for six innings by a rejuvenated Johan Santana and his downright nasty changeup, Colorado fought back in the eighth inning and loaded the bases on reliever Jon Rauch. After Mets manager Terry Collins decided to lift Rauch for Tim Byrdak for a left-on-left matchup against Todd Helton, the Toddfather made him pay by launching a 2-2 slider off the second deck facade in right field to tie the game.
Unfortunately, Todd's blast was what finally got the Rockies on the board, as they were only able to come up with two hits through the first seven innings, compared to the Mets' 13. Jamie Moyer, as we all have expected, finally got hit around like a pitcher of his type should at Coors Field, as the ageless one surrendered four runs on 11 hits in five innings. Oddly enough, Moyer was able to rack up seven strikeouts, and several Mets were caught swinging out of their shoes on some Moyer changeups and BP fastballs.
Because Moyer was only able to go five innings, the Rox had to dip into their bullpen early once again. It didn't come back to bite them until the tenth inning, when Matt Belisle gave up consecutive hits to Russ' childhood friend Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, the latter a run-scoring double that was sort of BABIP'd into the left field corner. The Rockies had a possible shot at getting Baxter at the plate, but Troy Tulowitzki eliminated it by bobbling the relay throw from Carlos Gonzalez.
The Rockies had a little bit of magic left in them in their half of the tenth, as with one out, Gonzalez hit an absolute laser off of Frank Francisco just over the out-of-town scoreboard for another game-tying homer. After Tulowitzki reached via an infield single and Helton walked, Michael Cuddyer struck out in a rather rough-looking at-bat for the second out. Ramon Hernandez was left with the opportunity to drive in the winning run, but he hit an infield pop-up instead.
Trying to gut himself through another inning, Belisle instead allowed consecutive singles to David Wright and Lucas Duda to start the eleventh. After retiring Scott F***ing Hairston, Belisle induced a groundball off the bat of Ike Davis. However, instead of going into somebody's glove for a possible inning-ending double play, it trickled into left field, scoring Wright and giving the Mets the lead once again. In torturing fashion, Belisle got the next batter, Josh Thole, to hit into the inning-ending GIDP.
In the bottom of the inning, Chris Nelson went down easily via strikeout before the real trauma took place. Wilin Rosario pinch-hit for Belisle and hit a deep fly ball to center field, but Nieuwenhuis caught it a couple of feet in front of the wall. Marco Scutaro stepped to the plate next, and he launched one into left field. Unfortunately, Hairston saw the ball into his glove about three feet in front of the wall. Ugh...THAT close. It was a cruel, cruel game which saw the Mets rack up EIGHTEEN hits compared to the Rockies six, even though a lot of times their contact wasn't much better. These ones will happen.
10 - 11
The Rockies welcome the Dodgers to town tomorrow for a 3-game set. Hopefully Matt Kemp very temporarily forgets how to hit, or the Rockies' starters remember how to pitch, or it could be a long series for the hometown nine.