Takeaways from the Mets 14-9 win over the Rockies on Saturday…


The Mets defeated the Rockies by the score of 14-9 at Coors Field in Denver on Saturday. Here are my takeaways from the win…


Another Denver adventure.

This was another wildly entertaining and predictable circus of a game on Saturday night. Fortunately, the Mets managed to take command of the game early, get out to a huge lead, and fight the fire the Rockies put up in the middle of this game to come away with a series win.

The Mets absolutely demolished Chris Rusin, a guy who pitched a complete game at Coors Field in his last start, and also pitched pretty well against the Mets back in New York last week. They knocked Rusin out in the third inning after he allowed 11 runs and 12 hits, eight of which were for extra bases. He allowed three straight doubles to open the second, and after Jon Niese struck out, Juan Lagares doubled which gave  the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Juan Uribe, Charlie BlackmonAfter Niese coughed that lead right back up in the bottom of the second, the Mets put up eight runs really fast against Rusin in the third thanks to a solo home run by Juan Uribe, a run scoring double by Travis d’Arnaud, a two-run single from Niese, a run scoring single by Lagares, a two run double from Curtis Granderson, and a double play ground out by Uribe.

The first seven runs in the third inning scored without the Mets recording an out, batting around in the process.

The Mets plated three more runs in the fifth inning on an RBI single from Yoenis Cespedes, an RBI ground out from Juan Uribe, and an RBI single from Wilmer Flores.

So, it was 14-3 after only 4 1/2 innings.

But the Rockies began chipping away.

They scored a run in the bottom of the fifth on a sac fly from Nolan Arenado, and then four more runs in the sixth inning thanks in part to a home run from Charlie Blackmon and Jose Reyes and a run scoring single by Brandon Barnes.

Suddenly it was 14-8. Or, in a normal ballpark, 3-1. Then it was 14-9 after Arenado drove in a run on a double in the seventh inning.

But Terry Collins got his bullpen aces in the game in the eighth and ninth inning, and they were able to shut the door on the Rockies and deliver a series win for the Mets.

It’s truly amazing how fast so many runs can score in that ballpark. Between the thin air and the volume of home runs, to the routine flyballs that can’t get caught because there’s so much real estate in that outfield, there are always base runners and always opportunities to bunch together runs.

It’s fun, especially if your team wins, but it can be incredibly exhausting.

Juan Lagares is embracing the role.

Juan LagaresThe less he plays, the better Lagares is, especially against left-handed pitching.

Lagares notched two singles and a double with two runs scored and two RBI. Two of his hits came against Rusin, which is notable because Lagares has excelled against left-handed pitching all year long.

He could have easily mailed it in mentally with his reduced role. Instead, he’s embraced it and taken advantage of pretty much every opportunity Terry Collins has afforded him against southpaws.

He misplayed a ball in the second inning which resulted in a three-run triple from Kyle Parker, which feeds the narrative that he just isn’t as good defensively as he was in 2014. But on the flip side, he arguably created the runs he may have negated on that misplay with his bat throughout this game thanks to the niche he has found against left-handed pitchers.

The point is, Terry Collins has found a way to maximize what he’s got in Lagares right now while protecting his

What to make of Jon Niese?

It’s hard to really gauge Niese from this outing. He got hit pretty hard – he allowed 11 hits, two walks  in 5 1/3 innings. On the surface, that’s very ineffective, but he made some good pitches, and in a normal ballpark, a lot of the hits he allowed would have been outs.

The best way to look at this is he pitched into the sixth inning, and shortened this game for an overtaxed bullpen as much as he could. It would have been nice if he had left them only nine outs, but no pitcher could get out of the way from the offense tonight, as was the case on Friday.

Tejada’s defense.

If not for Tejada’s defense, the Mets may not have won this game. He made two spectacular plays on the infield, showing off both his range and his arm in both instances.

He was helped by good scoops from Michael Cuddyer at first, but in the end he started it and saved some base runners for the Mets. In games like this, anytime base runners can be prevented, you take it.

Taking care of business.

Yes, the Mets have a five game lead, but if the Nationals win, the Mets need to counter with a win of their own. That’s what happened on Saturday and the magic number ticked down to 36.

It’s not going to happen every time. The lead is going to fluctuate up and down. But as long as the Mets win a game they need to win – like this one when they had an 11-run lead but seemed awfully dicey late – that’s all anyone can ask for.

Other notes from Saturday:

All nine in the Mets starting lineup recorded at least one hit on Saturday.

Seven different Mets recorded at least one extra-base hit in this game, and the Mets recorded nine doubles on the night.

For the second consecutive game, the Mets and Rockies combined for 16 extra-base hits.

The eight extra base hits Rusin allowed were the most allowed by any Rockies pitcher in their history. He did that in two-plus innings on Saturday.

The Mets batted around in the third inning without making an out.

The last time Mets had 13 or more runs in consecutive games was June 28-29, 2011 at Detroit.

It’s the first time in franchise history the Mets have allowed nine or more runs in consecutive games and won both of them.

There have been 64 hits and 46 runs scored in 18 innings by the Mets and Rockies in this series.

The Mets are now 18-1 when they score seven or more runs in a game this season.

The Mets have outscored the Rockies 51-23 in the six games they’ve played this season.

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