Ike Davis is beginning to show signs of life again, and for opposing teams...that's not good.
The New York Mets held a 4-0 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth, but a grand slam from the Rockies tied the game sending it to extras two innings later. The Mets got a one run lead once again, but another homerun tied it for the second time. New York got the lead back in the top of the 11th and held on to take two of three from Colorado in their weekend series in the Mile High City.
The Mets started off with a bang sending nine batters to the plate in the top of the first inning against ageless wonder Jamie Moyer. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada started off with back to back singles, and two batters later David Wright double to left field to bring them around. Lucas Duda reached with a walk and Scott Hairston broke a career 0-for-9 against Moyer with an RBI single to open up a 3-0 lead.
Opposing Moyer was another left hander in Mets’ ace Johan Santana who worked around a two out single to the opposite field taken by Carlos Gonzalez. Santana got out of the inning and retired the next three in the bottom of the second as well.
In the top of the third Hairston reached on a one out single, before Ike Davis collected his second hit of the game and pulled his first double of the season down the right field line. Josh Thole struck out for the second straight time before Moyer got his counterpart to strikeout, needing 75 pitches to get out of the first three innings.
The bottom of the fourth saw Gonzalez lead off with a single for the Rox followed by a stolen base, Santana got the next three batters inlcuding striking out 41-year old Jason Giambi to end the inning. Hairston led off the top of the fifth with a rocket to third base that was stopped nicely by Chris Nelson that was scooped out of the dirt by Giambi on the other side of the diamond. Two batters later Thole got some redemption after striking out the first two times before lining a homerun over the right centerfield wall to increase the lead to 4-0.
Nelson doubled with one out off of Santana, followed by pinch-hitter Jonathan Herrera sending one deep into the left centerfield gap that Nieuwenhuis layed out for and robbed an extra base hit. Santana got the next batter on a comebacker to retired the side.
Tejada hit a one out single to start off the top of the sixth off of new pitcher Josh Roenicke, he became the first Met to collect 10 hits in a three game series since Edgardo Alfonzo did it back in the 2000 season also in Denver. Murphy however followed it up by grounding into a double play. Santana then worked around an error by Daniel Murphy who was playing deep in the hole at second and was unable to field the ball cleanly.
To lead off the seventh Wright walked but Roenicke got the next two batters while left-hander Rex Brothers came on to get Davis looking. Miguel Batista came on to pitch the bottom of the seventh and got two of the three batters he faced via strikeout. Meanwhile Brothers came back on in the eighth inning and struck out Thole, followed by pinch-hitter Zach Lutz to strike out as well, Nieuwenhuis got his second hit forcing the Rockies to bring on the right-hander Edgmer Escalona to face Tejada who reached on an error before getting Murphy looking.
–See How the Rockies Tied the Game the first time, and more after the break–
Right-hander Jon Rauch came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning and got former Met Marco Scutaro to fly out prior to Dexter Fowler getting a base knock up the middle and walking Gonzalez. Rauch got Troy Tulowitzki on a comebacker that moved up the runners, then walked Michael Cuddyer to load the bases. With Todd Helton announced as a pinch hitter the Mets went to lefty Tim Byrdak who allowed the pinch hit grand slam to Helton to tie the game at four. Bobby Parnell came on next and struck out Ramon Hernandez to send it to the ninth.
Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt came on in the tie game with no chance at a save and walked Wright to start off the inning, Duda grounded up moving Wright up to second who was running on the pitch. With Hairston up, Betancourt balked and moved Wright to third before Hairston struck out looking. Davis was up next and worked the count before lining out to Scutaro on a bullet, stranding Wright at third. Parnell meanwhile got the Rockies 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings.
The Rockies took out Betnacourt for Matt Belisle in the top of the 10th who got Thole to groundout, then pinch hitter Mike Baxter dunked in a single to reach base and later came all the way around when Nieuwenhuis doubled down the leftfield line. Mets’ closer Frank Francisco came on to seal the deal in the bottom of the 1oth and allowed a one out homerun to Gonzalez to tie the game that just cleared the tall fence in rightfield to even up the game. Tulowitzki reached on an infield single to Wright, and Cuddyer struck out swining to bring up Helton. The franchise first baseman walked, before getting Hernandez to pop up to Davis to send it to the 11th.
Wright and Duda singled off of Belisle with Duda’s hit moving Wright first to third. Hairston replaced Duda on the base paths with a groundout, followed by Davis poking a pitch through the left side to bring home Wright. Thole followed it up by grounding into a double play. Davis was pulled during the next inning as Murphy moved to first base while Jordany Valdespin came on at second base who doubleswitched to get Ramon Ramirez in to pitch. Ramirez got the first two easily and then faced Scutaro who launched one to deep leftfield that made the hearts in every Mets’ fan sink, thankfully for the Mets Coors Field was large enough to hold the ball as Hairston made the catch against the wall to end the game.
Game Ball: Ike Davis…slowly but surely he’s coming back. Today he went 3-for-6 at the plate with the go-ahead RBI in the top of the 11th. Johan Santana comes in for a close second after allowing no runs on a pair of hits in six innings while striking out five.
Up Next: The Mets fly down to Houston tonight and will meet up with their fellow 50-year old organization for the last time as National League foes. Earlier today the Reds defeated the Astros in Cincinnati and will throw Bud Norris against R.A. Dickey who will start the series for the Mets. Andres Torres will be activated from the 15-day DL while it is expected that Lutz will be sent back to Buffalo, after the catch Nieuwenhuis made in centerfield today there will be an outcry about Torres playing center but Nieuwenhuis can handle left just as well. First pitch tomorrow night is set to be thrown at 8:05 p.m.