DENVER — For all the future bullpen help the Mets acquired before the non-waiver trade deadline, the present situation remains dicey.
Navigating the final two innings became an adventure for manager Terry Collins and Co. on Tuesday night, when Paul Sewald and Hansel Robles couldn’t get the necessary outs in a 5-4 walk-off loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.
Nolan Arenado’s RBI single off Robles won it, moments after Amed Rosario mishandled a grounder — ruled a hit — off DJ LeMahieu’s bat.
The Mets (48-56) lost their third straight, on a day their top prospect Rosario was promoted to the club. Rosario went 1-for-4, recording his first major league hit on an infield single in the eighth.
Jay Bruce’s homer leading off the eighth put the Mets in position for the victory, with a 4-3 lead before the bullpen crashed.
Or did it?
“Our bullpen did a nice job,” Collins said. “They held them down and unfortunately [the Rockies] got the last at-bat, which happens in this place.”
In the ninth, Robles walked Charlie Blackmon leading off. LeMahieu then hit a grounder to shortstop, but with Rosario breaking to cover second as Blackmon took off on the play, the ball kicked off his glove on an attempted back step. Arenado followed with the game winner.
Sewald was charged for a run in the eighth, as Carlos Gonzalez’s infield single against Jerry Blevins scored the tying run. Sewald had allowed consecutive singles to Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra to begin the inning.
Steven Matz rolled into the sixth, but was removed before he could record an out in the inning, surrendering a three-run homer to Arenado that put the Mets behind 3-2. Matz was removed after the ensuing batter, Mark Reynolds, doubled.
Steven MatzGetty Images
Overall, Matz allowed three runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts in the five-plus innings. But it was hardly the kind of performance that screamed “rebound” after a four-game stretch in which Matz had pitched to a 14.18 ERA.
“It was good for the first five [innings], but it’s frustrating,” Matz said. “You have to limit the damage in a close ballgame.”
Matz didn’t allow a hit until the fifth, when Trevor Story beat out a grounder on which Rosario ranged into the shortstop hole and briefly hesitated. Originally scored an error, the play was changed to a hit. Ryan Hanigan delivered a two-out single in the inning before Matz retired pitcher Jeff Hoffman to keep the Mets’ lead at 1-0.
Yoenis Cespedes gave the Mets a first-inning run with an RBI double. Michael Conforto walked leading off the game and scored on Cespedes’ shot into the left-field corner.