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Rocky Mountain Blues

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The Mets’ road trip got off to a disappointing start.

MLB: New York Mets at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

No lead is ever safe at Coors Field, especially not a slim three-run lead, and Steven Matz sure proved that and quickly. A nightmarish fourth inning ended the lead, Matz’s night, and perhaps the Mets’ playoff hopes in one fell swoop.

Matz seemed to be working quickly and looked to be going well through the first three innings, but the bottom of the lineup suddenly became too much for him to handle. A Garrett Hampson single and Drew Butera walk were bad enough, but the hapless-at-the-plate Antonio Senzatela, stuck in an 0-for-44 slump, tied the game with his first hit of the year, a two-run single. It was then perhaps inevitable that Trevor Story proceeded to hit a bomb to give the Rockies the lead.

The Mets tried to bring the power after having to travel after a late game Sunday but it wasn’t enough. Brandon Nimmo led off the game with a home run and Jeff McNeil followed a couple of innings later with a two-run shot of his own to give them a brief lead.

The Mets attempted a rally in the sixth but questionable managerial decisions by Mickey Callaway brought about an inning that went nowhere. With runners on first and third and one out, Callaway sent up the light-hitting Luis Guillorme to pinch-hit for Tomas Nido. Guillorme struck out and then Joe Panik grounded out to end the threat. Panik could’ve pinch-hit first who is known for putting the ball in play and is hitting over .400 at Coors Field but alas Callaway makes the decisions and no runs were scored. Wilson Ramos, Jed Lowrie, and Todd Frazier were also options but nope. Luis Guillorme and Joe Panik got the call.

The Mets were pretty much stymied after that rally until the ninth but again a brief rally ended quickly despite the top of the lineup batting. As for the Mets’ bullpen they were solid but a bad play by Pete Alonso, who didn’t know what base to throw to, led to a Colorado run and then Edwin Diaz added another in the eighth to essentially put the game away.

There was a scary moment when J.D. Davis made a nice catch in the outfield and then slammed into the outfield wall and stayed down. In addition to Brandon Nimmo and Amed Rosario checking on their fallen teammate, Pete Alonso also ran from first base to left to see if Davis was ok. The sand in the bottle is quickly thinning for this team, but a constant remains and that is Alonso. Not only has he produced on the field, the leadership qualities he possesses became increasingly evident as the season went along and he should be a brilliant cornerstone for this organization for years to come.

This loss was a brutal blow to the Mets’ playoff chances which is now thinner than the Rocky Mountain air, but without being mathematically eliminated they still have a chance, slim though it may be.

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Win Probability Added

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jeff McNeil +15.9%, Amed Rosario +12.2%
Big losers: Steven Matz -47.5%, J.D. Davis -11.2%
Total pitcher WPA: -45.1%
Total batter WPA: -4.9%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil home run in third
Teh sux0rest play: Trevor Story home run in fourth