Eighteen innings in the freezing cold of Denver was not enough for the Mets and Rockies on Tuesday. No, after dropping game one of a snow-forced doubleheader, the Mets blew a big lead in game two, mostly because of poor defense, and needed to go to extra innings. Where they lost.
Aaron Laffey somehow earned a second start for the Mets, and once again he was not particularly good. The Rockies scored a run three batters into the game, courtesy of two singles and a sacrifice fly.
The Mets tied the game in the second on a Ruben Tejada single, and in the third they took the lead. Collin Cowgill, who had three hits on the night, led off with a bunt single. Daniel Murphy doubled to put runners on first and third. A throwing error on catcher Yorvit Torrealba made it 2-1. Marlon Byrd later hit a sac fly to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.
Laffey gave back a run in the bottom of a third — a walk, single and fielder’s choice cut the Mets lead to 3-2.
The Mets broke it open in the fifth. With runners on second and third, Byrd delivered a single to make it 5-2. Lucas Duda walked and Justin Turner singled to extend the lead to 6-2. Duda would score on another Tejada single to make it 7-2. Anthony Recker walked to load the bases and pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin legged out an infield hit — 8-2 Mets.
Valdespin was pinch hitting for Laffey, who went four mediocre innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. Laffey needed 77 pitches to get through his four innings, and it is unclear if Laffey was hurt, reached some kind of pitch limit on the frigid night or Terry Collins just wanted to score more runs. Or maybe Collins had just seen enough of the soft tossing lefty.
Josh Edgin came on in the fifth, and he was simply awful. An infield single, a double and a walk loaded the bases. Edgin then proceeded to walk Jordan Pacheco to force in a run to make it 8-3. That was all for Edgin, who gave way to LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins gave up a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 8-4. Then Torrealba hit a ball to left field that Mike Baxter, brought in for defense for Duda, badly misjudged. The ball was hit reasonably well, but Baxter should have caught it, if only he had read it off the bat and taken a better route to the ball. It went for a two-run double and suddenly it was an 8-6 game.
Bobby Parnell entered the game in the eighth inning with runners on first and third and two outs. A steal of second put runners on second and third. Parnell got Cuddyer to hit an easy grounder to short to end the inning, but Tejada airmailed it over Ike Davis’s head. Both runners scored on Tejada’s sixth error of the year to tie the score at eight.
It was on to extra innings. With Greg Burke on the mound in the tenth, Carlos Gonzalez walked. Cuddyer hit a ball to Wright that hit off his glove and was ruled an error. A tough error, indeed. Gonzalez advanced to third. And then Pacheco singled to right to win the game, 9-8.