Gut Reaction: Rockies 5 Mets 4 (8/1/17)

If Amed Rosario tries to tell you, years from now, that his first Major League at bat was a home run, don’t believe him. While Rosario didn’t blast out of the box as spectacularly as we’d hope, this night was memorable for him and the Mets nevertheless. Just not in a good way.

Steven Matz squared off against Jeff Hoffman, looking to reverse a horrid trend. Over his previous four starts, Matz was sporting an ERA over 14.00. He was better than that tonight. He took a no-hitter one out into the fifth and didn’t allow a ball into the outfield until the hitter after that. By that time, he’d been staked to a 1-0 lead. Starting off the game, Michael Conforto drew a five-pitch walk. After Asdrubal Cabrera lined out hard to center, Yoenis Cespedes hit a rope into left that Gerardo Parra couldn’t cut off. It rolled all the way to the wall and Cespedes had an RBI double. The Mets added on in the top of the sixth, with almost a carbon copy of the first. This time, Cespedes led off with a single and Jay Bruce doubled into the right field corner to chase him home.

Now, remember, this game took place in Colorado. Two runs ain’t gonna cut it up there, unless you throw a perfect game. Matz did not throw a perfect game. Whatever mojo he may have had in the first five innings left him abruptly in the sixth. Centerfielder Charlie Blackmon led off with a single to right. DJ LeMahieu hit a long double past Cespedes and both runners scored when Nolan Arenado lined a homer just over the fence in right center. When Mark Reynolds hit another double down the left field line, that was it for Mr. Matz. Josh Smoker got two outs and Erik Goeddel finished the inning with a strikeout of catcher Ryan Hanigan — who always seems to look like he has gas. But I digress.

The Mets tied it in a whacky, very Metsian way in the seventh. With one out, Jose Reyes struck out on a shoulder-high fastball, but the ball ticked off Hanigan’s mitt and rolled a long way to the backstop. Reyes scampered down to first, easily beating Hangian’s throw. Conforto then hit a looper to Blackmon, who might have had a play on Reyes at third, but double-clutched and ended up tossing it to second. Cabrera hit the next pitch to medium center. Reyes raced home as Blackmon spiked his throw to the infield — literally. He made a huge throwing effort and the ball ended up at his own ankles. Bruce led off the eighth with his 28th homer of the year and the Mets had the lead again. Later in the inning, Rosario would finally get that first hit, an infield single to short.

Mark Reynolds singled off Paul Sewald to start the bottom of the eighth. Terry Collins replaced him with Jerry Blevins to face the lefty Parra, who singled to the opposite field. Story grounded out to Rosario and Parra was forced at second. With men on first and third, Blevins got Carlos Gonzalez to hit a soft bouncer to Cabrera and the game was tied again. After the Mets went out in order the ninth, newly appointed closer Hansel Robles — it’s tough to type that — came in to keep the game going. It didn’t work out that way. He walked Blackmon leading off. LeMahieu hit a sharp grounder to short. Rosario, though, had taken a step toward the bag instead of the ball and that small miscue prevented him from getting anyone out. Arenado ended it with a line drive base hit to Conforto in center.

Welcome to the Mets, Amed.

It’s Chris Flexen vs. Tyler Chatwood tomorrow night in Denver.

7 comments for “Gut Reaction: Rockies 5 Mets 4 (8/1/17)

  1. Metsense
    August 2, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Steve Matz has not pitched through the sixth inning for the past five games. In his first five games he pitched 7 innings 4X and six innings once. He is a good pitcher as evidenced by his first five games of the season but this pattern is disturbing. Starting pitchers have to go at least six innings to be effective starting pitchers. There is value in the the Quality Start statistic.
    Rosario looked very athletic and the play in the ninth inning was a learning experience in a lost season. Better to learn now then in 2018. That is why Smith belongs up also.
    Bruce is an RBI machine (but RBI’s are not considered highly in the sabermetrics world) . Scoring runs is how you win games and Bruce delivers.
    Conforto, Cespedes and Bruce would make a good 2-3-4 in 2018.

    • Jimmy P
      August 2, 2017 at 8:23 am

      Rosario also misplayed a ball in 5th, waiting on Story’s grounder and not getting rid of the ball fast enough. Ruled a hit but a good SS has to make that play.

      That’s why I never put much stock in the “is he ready or not” debate.

      Of course he’s. It ready. He’s not a steak on a grill. There are lessons that can only be learned by playing at the highest level.

      I hope it works out for him and the Mets. I’m hopeful, but it’s not a sure thing.

      • Jimmy P
        August 2, 2017 at 10:46 am

        Edit: Meant to say, “of course he isn’t.”

        Stupid phone, careless Jimmy. Bad combo.

    • Pete In Iowa
      August 2, 2017 at 1:51 pm

      I completely understand and agree with you on where you are coming from on the importance of six innings from a starter, however if pitching to a 4.50 ERA is representative of “quality” in any way, shape or form, I’ve been a fan of the wrong game for the past fifty years.
      The “quality start” is very likely the most useless stat ever invented.

  2. Pete from New Jersey
    August 2, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I’m on the road in Denver watching the game on the local network. We should all be very grateful for the professionalism of the SNY announcers, Our announcers not only give proper analysis of the game but are fun to listen to. Just to throw it out there : the locals call him Nolan and they sure love him our here.


  3. TexasGusCC
    August 2, 2017 at 9:33 am

    The best comparison for playing in Denver must be playing at the Boston Garden; it seems something will happen to the visiting team. The Rockies have the approach that 28 other teams have: make contact and hit it hard. Arenado hit a homerun on a pitch away, in fact because I was distracted that split second, I thought I saw him hit it off balance but it really was him diving across the plate for it. His game winning bloop single was a pitch three inches outside. These guys don’t look for walks nor do they swing for the fences, they look to make contact in that hitter’s paradise.

    Parra’s hit off Blevens was a letter high inside pitch that he had no business swinging at but blooped it over third. CarGo’s roller to third that scored the tying run was hit off the tip of the bat and barely rolled to Cabrera who made a very good effort on it.

    Robles opened the ninth with a walk to Blackmon and those always hurt, but they happen. Robles has been better lately and last night I felt he was being squeezed in a hitter’s park to begin with. Also, yesterday during the top of the ninth, Ramos was warming up in case the Mets took the lead. I don’t think Robles is the closer but rather Ramos; get ready for many more walks from him.

    I have a hard time trusting Bruce because his last several years were not very productive, and have seen walk-year production evaporate afterwards. I feel like a letdown coming if we resign him, ala Cabrera, Cespedes, Lagares.

    • Jimmy P
      August 2, 2017 at 10:51 am

      So by this comment I take it that you believe that all ML teams other than the Mets have a “make contact and hit it hard” approach.

      >> The Rockies have the approach that 28 other teams have: make contact and hit it hard. <<

      Is that really what you mean to say?

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