Denver — The Colorado Rockies rode a five run third inning all the way to their second straight win over the New York Mets, and the third consecutive win at home after losing seven in a row. They pulled to even at 18-18 in 2016, appearing to have slayed their home demons for the moment at least.
Eddie Butler was very good, though not spectacular. He showed some guts on a night when he clearly didn’t have his best stuff but he refused to give in as evidenced by the fact that he did not walk a batter. This is a sign of his maturity. He finished with 5 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, and 3 K. He threw 51 of his 87 pitches for strikes.
The Rockies were gifted a run in the first when Trevor Story was allowed to score on a Nolan Arenado ground out after moving over to third on an error from pitcher Logan Verrett, trying to pick Story off of second. They plated a second run in the second inning on a double from Mark Reynolds and a sigle from DJ LeMahieu, both of whom have been quietly excellent on offense for the Rockies.
The third inning saw a strange bout of good fortune come the Rockies way. They certainly did their part in the execution department, beginning things with singles from Arenado and Gerardo Parra. Carlos Gonzalez continues to slump and flew out but Reynolds drew a walk as did LeMahieu with the bases loaded to make it 3-1.
Then Tony Wolters came to the plate and battled hard but ultimately struck out. Or did he?
On a 2-2 pitch, Wolters swung and miss — as was confirmed by the replay — but the home plate umpire ruled a foul ball and he was given another opportunity. After working the count to 3-2, Wolters smashed a double into the right-center field gap, scoring two runs and blowing the game open at 5-1. After Butler made the expected pitcher-out, Charlie Blackmon followed with a two-RBI single as a part of the hot streak he is on and the Rockies led 7-1.
The Mets scratched and clawed their way back into the game. Neil Walker hit his 10th home run of the year off of Butler in the fourth and a sixth-inning rally involving a Yoenis Cespdes double and singles from Walker and Lucas Duda chased Butler from the game. But after Gonzalez Germen allowed an inherited baserunner to score, the Rockies bullpen was on absolute lockdown.
Boone Logan and Carlos Estevez earned their seventh and fifth Holds of the season, respectively, and Jake McGee notched Save 11. He has still only blown that one against the Dodgers.
Considering the Mets gave the Rockies a few scares late, it’s hard not to look back at that missed foul-tip call as the turning point in the game. Had that been the second out, Butler likely makes the third and the inning ends before four more runs score. Mets manager Terry Collins clearly wasn’t happy about the call, getting tossed from the game after an extended argument.
But with how tough the Rockies have had it in the luck department so far in 2016, they will absolutely take this reversal of fortunes.
Eddie Butler and Jon Gray are doing exactly what so many hoped and so few believed they could do. There is a long road ahead but beating the defending National League Champions on back-to-back nights with your young duo of pitchers is about as good as it gets at this stage.
Tyler Chatwood takes on Jacob DeGrom at 1:10 MST. The Rockies have a chance to sweep the Mets and move back over .500 on the year.