Lots to talk about here: Chad Kuhl’s start, Brendan Rodgers’ double, Elías Díaz’s heroics... it should have been a great win, but instead bullpen struggles and an untimely error allowed the Mets to claim victory over the Rockies 7-6 on Friday.
Baty, Mets begins the scoring
Chad Kuhl matched Chris Bassitt pitch-for-pitch throughout most of their respective starts, minus one early mistake. Opening the bottom of the third inning, rookie Brett Baty jumped on Kuhl’s first pitch, a center-cut sinker that Baty did not miss. His second career home run gave New York a 1-0 lead and swung the momentum in the home team’s favor. James McCann followed with a base hit to keep the pressure on, but Kuhl induced a double play from Brandon Nimmo and allowed no further damage in the frame.
Unfortunately, the Mets added to their lead in the fifth. Starling Marte stepped to the plate with two runners on base and two outs. Marte, who entered the game having hit .358 against the Rockies in his career, struck again with a two-run triple to extend New York’s lead to three.
You are cordially invited to tonight's Marte Parte. pic.twitter.com/TEDrpGnsAP— New York Mets (@Mets) August 27, 2022
Kuhl’s start was far better than his line score would suggest - five innings pitched with three earned runs allowed on five hits and one walk against four strikeouts.
Strike back in the sixth
Bassitt had looked untouchable all start, garnering nine ground ball outs and allowing almost no Colorado offense as the top of the sixth began. A Wynton Bernard single and Ryan McMahon walk set things up nicely for Brendan Rodgers, who doubled off the very top of the center field wall to score two runs and put things at 3-2.
Brendan Rodgers 2-run double! pic.twitter.com/0v5GByfGZo— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) August 27, 2022
Rodgers, who continues his phenomenal 2022 campaign, would move to third base on a Charlie Blackmon fly out before scoring on C.J. Cron’s game-tying base knock.
C.J. Cron ties up the game! pic.twitter.com/9l0WDE39ni— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) August 27, 2022
Colorado would not score again in the frame, but things were all tied up as each team dipped into their bullpen arms in the late innings.
Gilly falters, Mets pounce
Lucas Gilbreath entered out of the Rockies bullpen in the bottom of the sixth hoping to keep the game square until the next frame. He’s struggled with walks of late though, and unfortunately that bad habit appeared again as a free pass to Darin Ruf and a single to Jeff McNeil put runners on first and second for Mark Canha. He doubled to center, scoring Ruf easily to put the Mets back up 4-3.
It would have been worse if not for a phenomenal relay. Bernard fielded the ball in center field and quickly got it in to Rodgers, who fired a strike to home plate that was grabbed by Elías Díaz. Díaz was able to tag McNeil as he dove to the plate, preventing a second run from scoring on the play and keeping the Rockies within a run.
Wynton Bernard ➡️ Brendan Rodgers ➡️ Elias Díaz pic.twitter.com/BkBHr7BcXV— RoxGifsVids (@RoxGifsVids) August 27, 2022
Díaz with the dagger
In the top of the eighth, it was old friend Mychal Givens toeing the rubber for New York. He recorded the first out without difficulty, but consecutive singles by Blackmon and Cron quickly put pressure on the reliever. After hitting José Iglesias with a pitch, the bases were loaded with one out for Randal Grichuk, who had a prime opportunity to give Colorado its first lead of the game. The hearts of Rockies fans sank as he struck out, but Díaz picked up his teammate with a clutch two-out, three-run double that flipped the game on its head as the visitors went up 6-4.
8th inning…— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 27, 2022
Down to the last strike...
Down to the last out…
DÍAZ DELIVERS pic.twitter.com/2CJYFkAeg8
Pivotal error in the eighth, and a walk-off loss
Carlos Estévez was on fire in the bottom of the eighth as he struck out the first two batters he faced. As Ruf grounded to third, it appeared the inning would end without fanfare, just as the Rockies intended. Unfortunately, Ryan McMahon was unable to handle the ball cleanly and Ruf reached on the untimely error. McNeil would then record a base hit, and both runners would score on Canha’s two-RBI double. What seemed a sure Rockies win was ripped away just as suddenly as it had arrived. Neither run was earned, but the damage was done as the game now sat 6-6.
Daniel Bard then struggled in the bottom of the ninth, putting multiple runners on base before allowing a walk-off single to Pete Alonso on an 0-2 pitch. The Mets finished the Rockies in what is reasonably one of the more painful losses of the season. Sigh.
The Mets and Rockies go at it again on Wednesday when Kyle Freeland (7-8, 4.93 ERA) does battle with David Peterson (6-3, 3.44 ERA).
First pitch is at 5:10pm MDT. See you then!