Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 4/29/12

New York Mets ace Johan Santana cruised through six scoreless innings in this afternoon’s rubber match game against the Colorado Rockies, but despite allowing just two hits while striking out five, the lefty was unable to pick up his first win of the 2012 season.

With the Mets up by four in the 8th inning, the typically reliable tandem of Jon Rauch and Tim Byrdak were knocked around and blew the lead courtesy of a Todd Helton grand slam.

Todd Helton’s game-tying grand slam is his first HR as a pinch-hitter since 1997. #Rockies about 1 hour ago via webReplyRetweetFavorite @ESPNStatsInfo ESPN Stats & Info

New York battled back in the top of the 10th as Mike Baxter got things started with a pinch hit single and scored on a Kirk Nieuwenhuis double into the left field corner.  Kirk was flat out awesome today with three hits on the afternoon and a tremendous diving play in the left center field gap that kept the Rockies off the board in the 5th inning.  While the rookie is reportedly set to move over to left field when Andres Torres returns from injury tomorrow, his play at the plate and in the field has gotten people talking and the decision cannot be an easy one for Terry Collins.

No disrespect to Andres Torres, but Captain Kirk needs to stay in CF. He’s awesome out there. What a catch! about 3 hours ago via EchofonReplyRetweetFavorite @KBurkhardtSNY Kevin Burkhardt

The Rockies weren’t ready to make Kirk the hero for this game as Carlos Gonzalez lined a home run that barely cleared the right field fence to tie the game in the bottom of the 10th, costing closer Frank Francisco his first blown save as a Met.

New York’s bats refused to crumble after the momentum shift, picking things up back in the 11th as David Wright singled to start the frame and alertly went from first to third on a Lucas Duda single thanks to Dexter Fowler‘s lazy pursuit of the ball.  That set the stage for Ike Davis, who delivered his third hit of the game, an opposite field single that drove in Wright and turned out to be the game-winner for New York.

Ramon Ramirez was brought in to close the door in the bottom of the 11th and earned his first save as a Met as Scott Hairston caught a Marco Scutaro drive at the warning track to end the game.

The win was an all around team effort as these guys picked each other up throughout the contest and gutted out a hard fought series victory on the road.

When you consider the 18-9 drumming the Mets took in the opener, to come back and win two games says a lot about their character and I think Rich Coutinho of SNY summarized things great with the following tweet.

Gut check win for mets if u don’t believe this team has fight in them you’re not paying attention 34 minutes ago via Mobile WebReplyRetweetFavorite @coutinho9 Rich Coutinho


Official ruling on Tejada is a single, his 10th hit of the series. Most by a #Mets player in a 3-game series since Edgardo Alfonso in 2000. about 2 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AnthonyDiComo Anthony DiComo

Josh Thole 1st HR since 8.15.11 off San Diego’s Aaron Harang. about 3 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin

Statistically speaking, Mike Baxter is the best pinch-hitter in MLB. He’s 5-for-11 in that role with two walks. #Mets about 1 hour ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AnthonyDiComo Anthony DiComo

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