Mets spoil good Dickey start, lose to Rockies 3-1

The Mets fell eight games below .500 and are now tied for fourth place with the Philadelphia Phillies after losing 3-1 to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. R.A. Dickey pitched seven solid innings and left with the game tied 1-1, but the Mets couldn’t score after the first inning and the Rockies broke through against the New York bullpen.

Yuck, what a bad way to lose. There is some sentiment on the internet that this is the low point of the season for the Mets, but really, the team has been out of playoff contention for a while now. We’ve known for a few weeks now that it would require a miracle for the Mets to make the playoffs. This loss to an admittedly bad Rockies team doesn’t change that.

Still, it would be nice to see Dickey become the first Met since Frank Viola to reach 20 wins. The silver lining is that Dickey did help his Cy Young bid by striking out six batters and walking only two in his seven innings. The only tally Dickey allowed was a solo home run in the fifth inning off the bat of Tyler Colvin. Dickey’s 0-2 knuckleball was sinking out of the strikezone, but Colvin drove it off the facing of the Pepsi Porch.

“It wasn’t a terrible knuckleball (on the homer), it went right into his swing plane.”

Asked about his Cy Young aspirations, Dickey said, “I just want to get to 16 wins. Getting ready to pitch against Houston on Saturday is my only concern. It doesn’t go beyond that.”

After Dickey was pinch-hit for in the seventh inning, the Rockies pounced on reliever Josh Edgin in the eighth. Shortstop Jonathan Herrera led off by pushing a punt down the first base line. Edgin attempted to flip the ball to first with his glove, but the toss sailed wide and Herrera chugged on over to second. From there, all it took was a sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch to get Herrera across with the go-ahead run.

The Mets came close to getting that run back in the bottom of the eighth. Mike Baxter blooped a double into left field with one out to set the table. Colorado manager Jim Tracy opted to keep lefty reliever Rex Brothers in the game with David Wright coming up, and the strategy worked out pretty well. Brothers walked Wright intentionally and then struck out Davis to set up a match-up with the left-handed Daniel Murphy. However, Murphy drew a walk to load the bases with two outs.

That complicated matters. With lefty smasher Scott Hairston due up next, Tracy made the switch to the right-handed Matt Belisle. Terry Collins countered by pinch-hitting with Jordanny Valdespin, who of course has had a knack this season for picking up big, clutch hits. This time around, Valdespin hit the ball hard down the first baseline, but Tyler Colvin made a nice play to snag it. Fortunately for the Mets, Belisle was slow off the mound and Valdespin got a good jump out of the box. Valdespin sprinted and eventually dove for the bag, but when the dust cleared, Belisle’s foot had him beat by a split second. Side retired.

Valdespin and Collins hotly disputed the call with first base umpire Adrian Johnson, but no one was sent off. The television replay clearly showed that Belisle won the race to the bag. Valdespin had perhaps cost himself precious milliseconds by diving into the dirt instead of running through the bag like a good fundamentalist.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this loss is that Rockies starter Alex White only lasted four innings (he was limited to 83 pitches because of Colorado’s weird four-man rotation), and yet the Mets only scored one run for the whole game. Murphy hit an RBI single in the first to score Wright and that was it. After White left, Guillermo Moscoso kept New York’s bats quiet until he was replaced by Brothers in the seventh. Rafael Betancourt pitched the ninth for the save.

Tonight at 7:10 p.m., the Mets continue their series with Colorado. Jhoulys Chacin takes the hill against good ole boring Chris Young.

Follow me on Twitter @apy5000 for more lame commentary.

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