Rockies top Mets again
NEW YORK -- The Rockies' 5-2 win over the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday night was a perfect demonstration of small ball. Timely hits, manufacturing runs and an overall solid pitching performance all came into play for a Colorado team that has struggled this season and is back to playing fundamental baseball.
Starter Jeff Francis delivered five quality innings, stumbling only in the first. After a leadoff double by Ruben Tejada, Scott Hairston hit a sacrifice fly to right three batters later to give New York a short-lived 1-0 lead.
But Colorado battled back with a run in the fourth and four more over the final three innings, highlighted by Wilin Rosario's tiebreaking homer and a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by DJ LeMahieu in the seventh. Winners of four straight and eight of 10, the Rockies' recent style is that of a postseason contender.
"A squeeze play when you're five runs down doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but to get an add-on run in situations where we're pitching effectively, it's a completely different dynamic," manager Jim Tracy said. "And it's all related to the way that we're pitching and staying in baseball games."
"As a pitching staff as a whole, we're keeping our teams in games a lot more, and the way we can hit, we're going to win a lot of those games," Francis said. "I think before we started playing well, we might have been out early; it's hard to come down from five or six runs down. But if you're tied at 1, or only a run down or even winning, with the team we have, we're going to take advantage of a lot of those opportunities."
The Rockies certainly did just that. They just had to wait for the right moment.
Mets rookie righty Matt Harvey dominated for six innings, surrendering just one run -- a sacrifice fly by Rosario in the fourth -- and striking out nine.
But barring a complete game by Harvey, the Rockies would get their chance. And like clockwork, New York's league-worst bullpen unraveled again.
Leading off the seventh in a tie game, Rosario homered off reliever Ramon Ramirez to give Colorado the lead, and three batters later -- following a double by Tyler Colvin, who advanced to third in the next at-bat -- LeMahieu laid down the squeeze.
In all, Colorado scored four runs against the Mets 'pen -- including two in the ninth after New York cut the lead to one an inning earlier.
"It's not just tonight. We've wasted a few of them," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "R.A. Dickey the other night was a great game. We didn't score any runs. But certainly [Harvey], he knew he did his job."
Harvey has 43 strikeouts through his first six Major League games -- more than any other pitcher in franchise history, Nolan Ryan included. But New York's consistent lack of offensive production has dampened what has been a fantastic start to Harvey's career.
"I feel like there's more that I could have done, and more that I could have helped the team with," Harvey said. "Going eight innings and not giving up a run would have been nice. But we're battling. We're all working hard and we're going to continue working."
Colorado got a scare in the fourth when Dexter Fowler sprained his right ankle running into second-- he hit a soft ground-ball single to right, then cruised into second after an errant throw by Mets right fielder Hairston -- and had to be helped off the field.
As Fowler slowed into second, his right foot slipped off the bag and his ankle twisted in a manner that looked as painful as it was to watch. X-rays came back negative, but Fowler was on crutches and said he expected to miss at least a few days.
© 2014 Rural Radio Network. All rights reserved. Republishing, rebroadcasting, rewriting, redistributing prohibited. Copyright Information