In a game like today’s game, it’s important to get straight into the last inning because it will be what is mostly discussed around MLB. In the bottom of the ninth of a game tied at 4, with Hansel Robles working his second complete inning of work, the Rockies won by just letting Robles give it to them. The inning started by Robles hitting Jonathan Lucroy, who was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Pat Valaika. Leadoff man Charlie Blackmon was intentionally walked to set up the double play, but that strategy was foiled when DJ LeMahieu walked on a 3-1 pitch loading the bases and bringing up Nolan Arrenado. While the Mets broadcasters tried to prepare us for the worst by pointing out Arrenado’s 88% success rate on scoring a runner from third with less than two outs when the MLB average was 55%, no one expected Robles to totally become undone and an entire team to stand around watching it. Robles started the atbat with a straight fastball right down the pipe that Arrenado, swinging out of his shoes, fouled off over the third base dugout. Robles then threw a high fastball and Arrendao fouled that off. So, up 0-2 in the count, Robles misses by four pitches that weren’t even close and Robles overthrowing more and more on each one. Ball one was a fastball way inside; ball two is a slider off the plate away; ball three is a chin high fastball. Ball four went a foot and a half over the home plate umpire’s head. Ball game.
Now if you’re still interested in reading what actually was a very well played game by both teams with good Mets defensive execution, follow along.
The game started with the Rockies getting the first two hitters on base. The top of the Rockies’ order was a problem all game for the Mets pitchers with Blackmon and LeMahieu being on base nine times between them. However, Rafael Montero got through it on the weight of getting Arrenado to hit a rocket grounder that Jose Reyes sneered moving to his left and starting a 4-6-3 double play.
With both pitchers rolling and the game scoreless, Montero got two quick outs in the third inning. However, Blackmon doubled, LeMahieu singled him home, Arrenado singled, and Gerardo Parra hit a fly ball to the right of center, not too deep, but it dropped. Michael Conforto was playing too deep and over to left in spacious Coor’s Field and couldn’t get to it. Keith Hernandez wondered why a quicker player like Curtis Granderson wasn’t in centerfield but rather in right. It took a nice charging play on a slow roller by Ahmed Rosario to get the Mets out of the inning and keep the deficit 2-0.
But, the Mets started their scoring in the top of the fourth inning when Yoenis Cespedes hit a frozen rope deep to left field to make it 2-1, and again in the fifth inning when Rosario led off with a stand-up triple into left center on a hanging curve, Rene Rivera coaxed his ninth walk of the year, and with the Rockies in double play formation, Montero hit a screaming bullet that totally ate up LeMehieu and went into rightfield scoring Rosario and sending Rivera to second. One out later, Cabrera singled to right and with one out and the bases loaded, up stepped our $27 million dollar man. He struck out. Jay Bruce then lined out to left and a golden opportunity was missed.
In the bottom of the fifth, Blackmon led off with a homerun giving the Rockies the lead back. LeMahieu then walked, but Arrenado hit a double play on a slow roller that Rosario flipped quickly to Reyes who overcame a hard charging runner to throw out the jogging Arrenado. The impressive glove work continued with Jay Bruce ranging into the hole to smoothly field a grounder and lead Josh Smoker to the bag.
In the sixth, Granderson led off with a walk. Two outs later after advancing on a slow Rosario grounder, Rivera hit a clutch single to right to tie the game once more at 3. That lasted a few minutes because Mark Reynolds led off the bottom of the inning with a long bomb to left and the Mets were behind again, until the Mets’ next at-bat.
In the seventh, a Conforto single and a booming Cabrera double into rightcenter retied things. But, three straight hitters didn’t advance Cabrera a single base. In the bottom, a long one-out drive into the left centerfield gap by LeMahieu that Cespedes chased down on two bounces and thrown into Rosario, who relayed a perfect throw to Cabrera to get the greedy LeMahieu. That was big because the next batter Arrenado followed with a long ground rule double and when Blevins came in to get Parra, the Rockies were kept off the score board and the game was still tied at 4 until the bottom of the ninth.