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Mets vs. Rockies Recap: Mets beat Mile High Madness

New York played an entertaining video game of a baseball contest on Friday evening and won.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Beep boop boop. Six run swings.

Bweep Bweep BWEEP. Eight home runs total.

Pyoom Pyoom Pyoom. Twenty three total runs.

Yep, it was one of those Mile High nights featuring plenty of video game numbers. As the Mets well know, those numbers can pile up against you really fast. Luckily for New York, Yoenis Cepedes was the glowing yellow Pac-Man, gobbling up the ghosts of Coors Field past.

After a 5-for-6 night with three home runs, seven RBI, five runs scored, fifteen total bases, and a stolen base thrown in for good measure, Nintendo’s original Pro Wrestling might well say about Cespedes, "A winner is you."

The barrel-chested Cuban superhero with the 75-grade arm-band flair got the fun rolling with a double and a run scored in the top of the first, but took it to the next level with the bases loaded in the second. Cespedes launched a full-count pitch to right field, which bounced almost straight up off the top of the fourteen-foot tall wall, leaving an extended moment of suspense as the ball seemed to levitate toward the foul pole and it was uncertain whether it would come back in play or clear the wall. It finally came down in the first row.  If this was indeed a video game, this was the point where you would complement it on its depth of programming.

Now armed with a 7-1 lead, things felt pretty good. But it was an illusion, kind of like when you mow through enemies in the early part of a level only to be confronted with tougher opponents later. And like we always used to say in a one-possession game in Madden and any amount of time on the clock: "You left too much time on the clock."

The Rockies came roaring back, assaulting starter Bartolo Colon with a blinding show of firepower, including a sneak attack where he was struck on his pitching arm during a bunt attempt (he may have lost a couple of bars of energy there). Colon was eliminated from the game before the fourth frame finished, having yielded seven runs and super-sizing his season ERA to 4.90.

Cespedes blasted another rocket to centerfield for a solo home run in the top of the fourth, but Colorado tied the game at 8-8 in the bottom of the fifth and threatened to take the lead. At this point, with Nick Hundley on third and a catchable fly ball coming his way in straightaway right field, Curtis Granderson must have eaten some kind of magic mushroom, because he unleashed his best throw of the year, shockingly reaching all the way to the plate on the fly to cut down Hundley. It would seem the Mile High air gives a ratings boost to throwing distance as well.

Meanwhile, outside of Cespedes, the Mets offense was held in check by reliever Christian Bergman, who posed as the boss at the end of a level that you have trouble getting past. But the Mets found the cheat code to get to the rest of the Rockies bullpen in the sixth, where Cespedes destroyed a curveball away for his third home run of the game. If the announcer for NBA Jam was watching this one, he assuredly exclaimed "He’s on fire!" (Whether anyone would be around to hear him is another matter.)

The question now was whether Cespedes would get the cycle—for home runs. He had already hit a solo dong, a two-run job, and a four-run four-bagger…could he collect a three-run shot as well? Okay, there was another question—was this real life?

Travis d’Arnaud and Michael Conforto engaged the multi-player option in the home run derby with back-to-back no doubters in the seventh, giving the Mets some breathing room with a 12-8 lead. The opportunity for a Cespedes "home run cycle" seemed tantalizingly close in that inning, but with Cespedes in the on-deck circle, Daniel Murphy popped out with a runner on and two outs, which was akin to coming face-to-face with Princess Peach, only to have Bowser whisk her away. (How disappointing was that, like every time?)

There would still be time for fireworks though—Cespedes stroked a single to lead off the eighth, later scoring on a Wilmer Flores double. Cespedes had already set career bests for hits, homers, and RBI in a game, but if he could somehow get one more turn, then the "regular" cycle, the "home run cycle", and the team single-game total base record would all be in play, all things any player would love to see their initials flashing next to.

He was able to secure the much-needed extra life in the ninth, and batting with two outs and no one on in the ninth, he sent a long drive to right-center, but the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez was able to track it down on the run by the warning track.

Still, the final score was something to be proud of. And anyway, Cespedes isn’t aiming for the World Series of Video Games.  He's going after the real thing.

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Win Probability Added

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Big winner: Yoenis Cespedes, +48.5% WPA
Big loser: Bartolo Colon, -32.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Yoenis Cespedes' two-run go-ahead homer in the sixth, +22.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Nolan Arenado's three-run home run in the fourth, -22% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -21.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: +71.1% WPA
GWRBI!: Yoenis Cespedes