NEW YORK -- Colorado Rockies manager Jim Tracy gushed after the game about his team's situational hitting and offered a warm welcome back not only for starter Jhoulys Chacin, but the right-hander's improved fastball command.
New York Mets manager Terry Collins was spouting off, too, following the Mets' 6-2 defeat to the Rockies on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
But he was focused on what his team had lost rather than anything it had found.
Chacin gave the Rockies a strong start in his first appearance since May 1, and his hitters eventually made sure Mets starter Chris Young was far from perfect with a four-run sixth inning during their third straight win.
The Mets dropped their third in a row, losing Collins in the process, as he was ejected in the fifth inning.
After the game, Collins held a team meeting, later saying he was not pleased with some of the club's sloppy play on a night that began with starter Young throwing five perfect innings.
"I'm really glad you asked the question, because I just addressed it," Collins said, after getting asked whether his team had packed it in following several misplays. "We have not packed it in, but I told our guys, 'In our game, perception's a reality.' And if you're sitting on the outside watching a game like tonight, perception is they packed it in. And I won't stand for it.
"I believe in accountability, I believe in playing the game right," Collins continued, his passion appearing high, but his tone level. "I'm the manager here and when you have a game like that, it looks like they're not prepared, that's my fault. And that's where I come in. As I told them in the room, we'll find the right pieces, because it's there. My teams play the game the right way. They play with energy, they play with enthusiasm, they play with discipline. They're fundamentally sound. They don't play like we did tonight, or like we have been playing."
Chacin picked up his first win of the season after getting activated from the disabled list before the game. In his first start since going on the DL with shoulder inflammation, Chacin (1-3) allowed one run on four hits in six innings. He struck out two and didn't walk a batter, while throwing 73 pitches.
Four Rockies relievers limited the Mets to one run the rest of the way.
Tracy praised Chacin's improved fastball command as helping him to use his slider more selectively as a strikeout pitch, as he did in the fourth inning when he got cleanup hitter David Wright with two on and no one out, limiting the Mets to one run on a sacrifice fly that inning.
"We've had occasions in the past where he would have had to use so much slider to try to get himself back in the counts, the fact that (Wright) had seen it regularly, and other guys had seen it, you may have seen a different type of swing," Tracy said. "But he didn't have to do that tonight because of his terrific fastball command."
Chacin said his healed shoulder allowed him to "feel free and fine," adding while he had the injury, "I didn't feel good and everything just hurt a little bit."
Young (3-7) pitched five perfect innings, but DJ LeMahieu opened the sixth with a single on a hard grounder up the middle snared by diving shortstop Ruben Tejada. The ball slipped out as Tejada tried to make the throw, though, and the Rockies were on their way to a big inning.
Shortstop Jonathan Herrera followed with a hard single to right, putting runners at the corners for Chacin. Young fielded Chacin's bunt, but threw the ball away for an error, tying the game. Charlie Blackmon and Dexter Fowler each singled in a run, and the Rockies made it 4-1 on a sacrifice fly by Ramon Hernandez.
The Rockies added single runs in the eighth and ninth against the Mets bullpen.
The Mets had pulled within 4-2 in the seventh, when Jordany Valdespin doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch before Andres Torres drove him in with a sacrifice fly.
The Mets threatened to score again in the fifth, when Torres reached on an error and moved to second on a grounder. But with Young at the plate, Torres got caught in a rundown. Torres was initially called safe, after seemingly eluding shortstop Herrera's tag. But the call was reversed, and replays also indicated Herrera did make the tag. Collins came out to argue before eventually getting ejected.
Collins later said the call was right, but he had gotten "fed up" with umpires not always choosing to ask for help as they did in this situation, saying the Mets had lost many calls when the umps refused to confer.
While he raised his voice on the field, Collins said he did not "yell" in the team meeting, because he didn't think that was necessary to get his point across.
Some of his players apparently got the message, as Young said Collins was "right in everything he said."
Wright, the unofficial team captain, spoke to reporters for several minutes on the team's need to improve its fundamentals and execution, saying the Mets had to "clean up" their game.
Asked what Collins' message had been in the meeting, Wright drew laughter with his response.
"Just what I told you for the last 10 minutes," he said.
NOTES: The Mets announced after the game that right-hander Collin McHugh would be called up from Class AAA Buffalo and placed on the taxi squad Wednesday, likely as insurance if left-hander Johan Santana cannot make his start Thursday. Santana underwent an MRI on his back, but the Mets announced they would not receive the results Tuesday. ... Rockies outfielder Eric Young Jr. was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left intercoastal muscle, retroactive to Monday. ... Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was scheduled to return from Venezuela on Tuesday night. Gonzalez, who traveled to Venezuela following his grandfather's death, was expected to be available for Wednesday's game.
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