Mets Game 73: Loss to Rockies

Rockies 7 Mets 1

Well … what the heck happened?

Pedro Martinez looked brilliant through four shutout innings, and the Mets jumped ahead in the first frame thanks to a leadoff triple by Jose Reyes followed by a Luis Castillo sac fly.

However, everything unraveled in the fifth, when Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe began the frame with back-to-back homers to put the Rockies ahead and spark a six-run inning.

Meantime, the Mets offense was hamstrung by Ubaldo Jimenez — a pitcher unable to win in his previous 13 starts. After Reyes’ triple, the Mets did not get another hit until the eighth inning, when Damion Easley singled. They bunched together another two in the final frame, but by that point it didn’t matter.

The lack of offense was odd indeed here in the “Jerry Manuel Era” — this was the first time since Manuel took the helm that the lineup looked inept. Check that — the second time. With the wild run the Mets have been on, I completely forgot about the first game managed by Manuel, way back on June 17th. I imagine he didn’t call for extra batting practice on that day, either.

Notes

To the Mets’ credit, they did try to be selective against Jimenez, drawing four walks against him. Getting hits, however, was another issue.

The last time Pedro Martinez pitched in Coors was July 29, 1997 — and he pitched one of only three shutouts by opposing pitchers in Denver since then.

Jimenez pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his Major League career, expending only 110 pitches in the process. Interestingly, he threw 110 pitches in his last start as well — though that outing (against the Braves) lasted only five innings. Huh.

Funny how the team looked lifeless after the fifth inning. The game got so arduous that even the umpires were generous in calling strikes and outs in an effort to end the game.

Question: why was Scott Schoeneweis brought in to face Todd Helton with two outs in the seventh inning of a game with the Mets down by five? Was it so vital to set up a lefty-lefty matchup in that situation? Why not just leave mopup man Claudio Vargas in there to finish the frame? I guess Scho needed work, not having pitched in three days … and his “role” is as the LOOGY — apparently even in games long lost.

Aaron Heilman pitched another scoreless inning in his role as the one-inning reliever in lost-cause contests.

As good a hitter Matt Holliday is, he’s just as bad in the outfield. He badly misplayed another ball in this game, allowing Damion Easley to reach third base on a single.

Next Game

The rubber match will be played in Denver at 3:05 pm EST. Mike Pelfrey goes to the mound against Greg Reynolds, whose ERA is a hair below six. The game will be broadcast on CW11, WFAN and XM 183.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.