Melt­down for Chat­wood

METS 10, ROCK­IES 5 Colorado falls apart af­ter grab­bing early 5-0 lead

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pa­trick Saunders

If Wed­nes­day night’s game was in­deed a ref­er­en­dum on Tyler Chat­wood’s sta­tus in the Rock­ies’ start­ing ro­ta­tion, Chat­wood is in deep trou­ble.

Handed a 5-0 lead, the veteran right-han­der cracked in the fourth and fifth in­nings, and then im­ploded in the sixth in Colorado’s disjointed, dis­ap­point­ing 10-5 loss to the New York Mets at Coors Field.

Colorado (61-47) slipped a half game be­hind Ari­zona (61-46) for the top Na­tional League wild­card spot but still holds a 5½-game lead over slump­ing Mil­wau­kee (56-53) for the sec­ond wild-card slot.

Chat­wood, man­ager Bud Black has in­sisted all sea­son, has top­shelf stuff. What Chat­wood lacks is con­sis­tency and an abil­ity to fight through ad­ver­sity. That sce­nario re­peated it­self Wed­nes­day night.

The Mets’ six-run sixth lin­gered like a bad dream. New York sent 11 men to the plate and rapped out seven hits, in­clud­ing a three-run homer to right by Cur­tis Gran­der­son off Chat­wood. Scott Oberg relieved Chat­wood at that point, but the Mets ripped Oberg for two runs on four hits in two-thirds of an in­ning.

“He had three great in­nings for sure, pumping strikes, a good fast­ball-slider com­bi­na­tion and mixed in a cou­ple of curve­balls,” Black said of Chat­wood. “From there, he got some balls up in the strike zone and they rolled some balls

through. The big blow was the Gran­der­son home run.”

Asked about games get­ting out of Chat­wood’s con­trol, Black said: “To­day, the third time through, they got on the fast­ball. As the game went on, the se­condary pitch­ers weren’t com­ing into play and the fast­ball be­came a lit­tle vul­ner­a­ble.”

Chat­wood’s bot­tom line: He was charged with eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits in 5L in­nings. Af­ter 21 starts, Chat­wood wears a 6-12 record with a 5.11 ERA. He’s 2-6 with a 6.75 ERA at home.

“I’m still try­ing to stay pos­i­tive. I have a pretty good life and I have been a pretty good pitcher, for a while,” Chat­wood said. “So you just have to roll with this and keep your eyes ahead. There are still two months of the sea­son left.”

Colorado’s 5-0 lead de­te­ri­o­rated quickly. Two base hits and a solo homer by Jay Bruce put two runs in the Mets’ ledger in the fourth. Home-plate um­pire Ker­win Dan­ley left the game in the in­ning af­ter get­ting hit in the hand by a bounced pitch from Chat­wood. That re­sulted in a 13-minute de­lay and seemed to dis­rupt Chat­wood’s mo­men­tum.

The fifth was messy. Gran­der­son led off and reached sec­ond when first base­man Mark Reynolds mis­played his hot shot down the line. Amed Rosario fol­lowed up with a siz­zler down the line that eluded third base­man Nolan Are­nado, re­sult­ing in a ground-rule triple, thanks to a fan lean­ing over the wall and snatch­ing the ball off the field. A 5-0 lead had shrunk to 5-3. Rosario scored to make it 5-4 on a ground­out.

The evening be­gan in grand fash­ion for the Rock­ies. Chat­wood no-hit the Mets for three in­nings, ben­e­fit­ing from web gems from sec­ond base­man DJ LeMahieu and Trevor Story.

The Rock­ies put a five-spot up in the third, high­lighted by a two-run homer by Car­los Gon­za­lez, his first home run since June 20, cov­er­ing a span of 76 at­bats. Gon­za­lez crushed starter Chris Flexen’s pitch to deep cen­ter field. Reynolds’ RBI sin­gle and a two-run dou­ble by Ger­ardo Parra ac­counted for the other runs.

“I had some good at-bats. I’m just try­ing to min­i­mize things and hit the ball hard to the cen­ter of the field,” Gon­za­lez said. “I was able to drive the ball to cen­ter field on a break­ing ball away, so that’s a good sign. Hope­fully I can con­tinue to get bet­ter and bet­ter as the sea­son goes on.”

Jack Dempsey, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Rock­ies short­stop Trevor Story misses the ball on a sin­gle by New York Mets' As­drubal Cabr­era dur­ing the sixth in­ning of a base­ball game Wed­nes­day at Coors Field.

Jack Dempsey, The As­so­ci­ated Press

The Rock­ies’ Ger­ardo Parra jumps to try to avoid the tag by New York Mets catcher Travis d’Ar­naud dur­ing the third in­ning of Wed­nes­day’s game at Coors Field. Parra was out on the play.

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