Troy Tulowitzki celebrates with teammate Seth Smith after belting a fifth-inning homer off Jon Niese on Wednesday.
No one on the Mets’ side second-guessed the decision to pitch to slugger Troy Tulowitzki in the fifth inning with two runners in scoring position, two out and Jose Lopez batting behind him with first base open. The result: a three-run homer by Tulowitzki into the short porch inside the right-field foul pole that gave Colorado a one-run lead en route to a 5-4 victory on Wednesday at Citi Field.
Said Terry Collins: “At that particular point in the game, it’s pretty easy -- you start walking guys [and are] setting up big innings. I don’t know where the pitch was. It looked like it was up and away. I guess that’s what good hitters do. I know they tried to go up on him.”
Said Jon Niese: “He put a good swing on it, on a pretty good pitch I thought. I had a down-and-in cutter [on the first pitch]. And then I went up and away. It was off the plate and he just put a good swing on it and barreled it and got it out. … I wanted to pitch to him. Obviously hindsight is 20-20. If I could do it over again, I’d do it different. I went out there with my best stuff and obviously the results weren’t there again.”
Said Josh Thole: “The way Jon was going, we wanted to go after him. He made a good pitch and he got beat to the opposite field. My thinking was I don’t want to get beat in. That was the biggest thing. He beat us to the opposite field and cost us.”
As for the pitch location, Thole added: “I think that was the right zone for Jon to go into with his fastball -- go up and away to Tulowitzki. We were hoping for a pop fly to right. The ball just kept going.”
Tulowitzki has homers in both games of the series so far, the other coming off Bobby Parnell in a three-run eighth Monday.
"It was in the back of my mind that a base was open,” Tulowitzki said about the faceoff with Niese. “But once he threw that first pitch for a strike, I knew they were going after me.''
• The Rockies have won consecutive games in the same series against the Mets in New York for the first time since April 30 to May 2, 1998, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Colorado clinched at least a split of the series. The Mets had won eight straight home series against the Rockies.
• Pedro Beato tossed a scoreless eighth and has not allowed an earned run in seven innings to open his major league career. The lone two runs allowed by Beato were unearned at Philadelphia last Friday.
• D.J. Carrasco said his usage in the ninth inning wasn’t designed as a quasi-bullpen session to set up Friday’s start in Atlanta. Carrasco speculated it probably was to preserve other arms for Thursday’s doubleheader. Carrasco said the usage would not impact his ability to start against the Braves. “I could still throw,” Carrasco said.
• Angel Pagan was encouraged by Wednesday’s 2-for-2 performance that also included a walk and sacrifice fly, which lifted his season average to .220
“Today was a good day for me. Unfortunately we lost,” Pagan said. “Hopefully tomorrow I can bring the same approach. … Sometimes when you don’t get any hits, sometimes you think a little bit too much at the plate. Tonight I felt really good. I was seeing the ball great.”
• The Mets were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, and 1-for-8 in that situation with two out. For the season, the Mets are hitting .173 (9-for-52) with runners in scoring position and two out.