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The Mets split a cold doubleheader in Colorado

Game 1? It was nice! Game 2? It was miserable!

New York Mets v Colorado Rockies - Game One Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Game 1

The Mets won the first game of today’s doubleheader against the Rockies 5-1 on the back of some early offense against Germán Márquez, a very strong bounce back outing by Carlos Carrasco, and great work from the Mets bullpen. The Mets got to work against the struggling Márquez right away this afternoon. Brandon Nimmo led off the first inning with a laser that clanked off first baseman C.J. Cron’s glove for an infield hit. Starling Marte followed with a long two-run homer on the first pitch in his first at-bat back from the bereavement list, pointing to the sky and giving the Mets an immediate 2-0 lead. The Mets kept the baseball for Marte from the homer.

The following inning, the Mets scored another pair of runs thanks in part to some shoddy defense by the Rockies—a team well-known for its defensive woes so far this season. Dominic Smith led off the inning and reached on a throwing error by shortstop José Iglesias. Luis Guillorme, who continues to swing a hot bat and would go on to collect three hits on the day, singled to advance Smith to second. Then Patrick Mazeika conjured up a bit of Mazeika Magic, doubling in Smith and Guillorme to double the Mets’ lead, making the score 4-0. Brandon Nimmo then walked on four pitches and Márquez had some words for home plate umpire Tom Hallion, whose strike zone he was not pleased with in this game. But Nimmo was ultimately stranded, as Márquez bounced back to retire the next three batters.

By contrast, the Mets continue to play fantastic defense and this game featured several great defensive plays by the visiting team, including a diving catch by Jeff McNeil in the bottom of the second inning that robbed José Iglesias of a hit.

Márquez settled in after that second inning and even struck out the side in the fourth, but the damage had been done. The Mets added a run in the sixth inning by continuing to put the ball in play. Guillorme led off the inning with an infield single and with two outs and two strikes on him Starling Marte took an emergency half-swing and poked a single through the hole between first and second, advancing Patrick Mazeika (who had grounded into a fielder’s choice) to second base. Francisco Lindor then singled to drive in Mazeika and provide an insurance run. Márquez was done for the day after that sixth inning, having collected seven strikeouts and walking one.

Although he dealt with traffic on the base paths in almost every inning, Carlos Carrasco was both effective and efficient in a ballpark where it is often difficult to suppress offense. He scattered seven hits in 5 13 innings of work on just 87 pitches. Like Márquez, Carrasco settled in more as he went, but Buck Showalter said after the game that Carrasco—as visiting players to Coors Field often do—was struggling with the thin air and weather conditions a bit, which limited his longevity in the game.

In the bottom of the sixth inning Carrasco gave up a lead-off double to C.J. Cron, who continues to rake in a Rockies uniform. Then with one out, Ryan McMahon reached on an infield hit on which Lindor made a nice grab, but had no play at either base. That ended Carrasco’s day and Adam Ottavino was called upon to play fireman. Ottavino did allow a run to score, but it was not really due to ineffectiveness on his part. His first batter Yonathan Daza flew out to right and C.J. Cron tagged up and advanced to third on the play. Then with two outs, José Iglesias hit a dribbler in front of the plate that Mazeika pounced on and threw to first; initially Iglesias was called out at first, but replay review revealed that he was safe by a hair and so Cron scored to put the Rockies on the board. But Ottavino was able to limit the damage to just the one run (charged to Carrasco) to keep the Mets ahead.

The Rockies then handed things off to Jhoulys Chacín, who tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Márquez. Meanwhile, Drew Smith retired the Rockies in order in the seventh inning and Seth Lugo helped save the rest of the bullpen by working two scoreless innings to finish out the game and seal the victory for the Mets. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that Tom Hallion mistakenly made a call that C.J. Cron made contact and fouled the ball at the plate rather than swinging and missing that resulted in Cron blooping a broken-bat single on the next pitch, Lugo would have thrown two perfect innings. Still, Lugo shook that off and retired the next six batters he faced with three strikeouts to give the Mets their third consecutive victory.

With this win in which the Mets held the Rockies to one run, the Mets snapped a Rockies streak of 84 straight home games in which they scored two runs or more—the longest such streak in National League history and the second-longest such streak in baseball since 1900.

Box scores


Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Carlos Carrasco, +22.1% WPA
Big Mets loser: Pete Alonso, -3.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: +36.1% WPA
Mets hitters: +13.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Starling Marte’s two-run homer in the first inning, +13.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: José Iglesias’ infield single that put the Rockies on the board in the sixth inning, -4.3% WPA

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Game 2

A doubleheader sweep is always a difficult thing to get, and in the thin air of Coors Field, where fortunes can change on a dime, it is even harder. The Mets sent Trevor Williams, their ersatz fifth starter, to the hill in Denver, and Williams was not greeted kindly by the Rockies’ hitters.

Two run home runs by C.J. Cron and Brian Serven (his first hit in the majors) in the first and second innings, respectively, put the Mets in an early hole. While the Mets tied the game in the top of the second on an RBI single by Tomas Nido and a sacrifice fly by Brandon Nimmo, Williams couldn’t keep the lead.

After the second, Williams tossed two scoreless innings and kept the Mets in the game by limiting the damage. However, despite six hits, a walk, and a couple of fielders’ choices, the Mets had a hard time bringing in runs while Williams was on the mound.

The Rockies had an atrocious defensive game, but until the top of the sixth, it didn’t come back to bite them. After relieving starter Ty Blach, Ashton Goudeau looked strong over his first two innings of work. In the sixth, he walked Mark Canha, who took off for second and made it, almost taking third base in the process, on a terrible throw by Serven. J.D. Davis was up next, and hit a ball hard up the middle, which Goudeau reached for and deflected into right field, allowing Canha to score and cut the lead in half.

For some reason, Davis tried to steal second on new reliever Justin Lawrence, and was thrown out easily. Le sigh.

Adonis Medina had a tight-rope walk of a fifth inning, but unraveled in the sixth. Randal Grichuk started the inning off with a single, and things devolved from there. A Sam Hilliard double, a Garrett Hampson single, a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, a second two-run shot by Serven, and a Connor Joe double would spell the end for Medina. When Chasen Shrieve entered the game, it was 8-3 Rockies.

Shrieve didn’t have his A-stuff today either, and allowed three two-out hits, allowing three more runs to cross home plate. The sixth was the worst of the season for the Mets: 12 batters, 8 hits, 7 runs. Woof.

The only Rockie who did not have a bad defensive game was Joe, who made two great sliding plays to rob the Mets of some hits.

Jake Reed and Joely Rodriguez each pitched scoreless innings of relief. So there’s that?

The Mets will close out the series in Colorado tomorrow with Taijuan Walker on the mound at 3:10pm ET. He will be opposed by left-hander Austin Gomber.

Box scores


Win Probability Added

Mets Rockies WPA Chart 5/21/22

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: None
Big Mets loser: Adonis Medina, -20.0% WPA
Mets pitchers: -39.9% WPA
Mets hitters: -10.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Tomas Nido’s RBI single, +11.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Brian Serven’s first of two two-run home runs, -17.4% WPA

SB Nation GameThreads

Amazin’ Avenue
Purple Row