NEW YORK -- A Mets team that has not won consecutive games in three weeks is reeling. A Rockies club looking to establish itself as a postseason contender was more than happy on Thursday to take advantage.
The Rockies scored the game-tying run on a fielding error and the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the ninth inning at Citi Field, tagging Jeurys Familia for his second blown save in as many days in a 2-1 win over the Mets.
Prior to Wednesday's loss to the Cardinals, Familia had converted 52 consecutive save opportunities, the third-longest streak in Major League history. Mets manager Terry Collins said after that game that Familia would be unavailable Thursday, but the closer began warming up in the bottom of the eighth. By the time Familia exited with one out in the ninth, the Rockies were well on their way to improving to 1-45 when trailing after seven innings, and 1-41 when trailing after eight. Colorado is 10-4 since the All-Star break, and has won seven of eight.
"That's one of the best wins of the year, if not the best," said manager Walt Weiss, whose team played a night game in Baltimore on Wednesday, got to bed in New York at 3:30 a.m., and didn't prepare properly for Thursday's game because the team bus was late after being stuck in traffic for 70 minutes.
"We've got to win games and stay in this thing. Tough circumstances with the turnaround. But typically we handle that stuff pretty well."
Starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Tyler Anderson both thrived in the early innings for the Mets and Rockies, respectively. But Anderson made one more damaging mistake than deGrom, allowing an RBI double to Rene Rivera in the second inning. That put him on the hook for a loss until the Rockies rallied off Familia in the ninth, plating the game-tying run on a James Loney error. Moments later, David Dahl came racing home on a wild pitch.
"Every time I come into the game, I just want to do my job and do the best I can," Familia said. "I couldn't get my job done."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Rookie pluck, plus veteran luck: Rookies Trevor Story and Dahl -- called up from Triple-A Monday -- started the ninth-inning rally with a single and a walk. Then it seemed fortune was on the Rockies' side when veteran Daniel Descalso's two-strike, one-out bunt against Familia spun toward the first-base line but somehow stayed fair. Rookie Cristhian Adames' bouncer, which Loney mishandled, drove in the tying run, and Dahl scored the go-ahead run on a Familia wild pitch.
Descalso had solid reasons for the daring bunt attempt.
"I didn't want to hit into a double play there with the guy throwing a big-time sinker, so I took a chance and it worked out," Descalso said. "I knew it had a lot of english on it, and I was looking back to see if it was going foul and it stopped right on the line.
"This is a game that good teams win, if that makes sense."
Oh yeah, Oberg: Second-year righty Scott Oberg, who spent much of this year as closer at Triple-A Albuquerque, has a chance to prove he can be trusted in tight spots. Oberg made a case Thursday, when he entered after the Mets loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh against Jake McGee. Oberg coaxed Kelly Johnson to bounce to Story, who forced a runner at the plate, then fanned Curtis Granderson and worked a popup from Wilmer Flores.
"It definitely got the guys excited, and even more so in the ninth when they got to Familia and took the lead," Oberg said.
Backup front and center: Starting in place of scuffling starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud for the second time in four games, Rivera plated the Mets' lone run in the second inning with the first of his two doubles. That scored Loney, who like Rivera, was cut from a big league roster earlier this year. More >
Leaving 'em loaded: Though Yoenis Cespedes was out of the starting lineup with a sore right quad muscle, he appeared as a pinch-hitter with two men in scoring position and no outs in the seventh. The Rockies promptly intentionally walked Cespedes, who gave way to a pinch-runner -- starting pitcher Steven Matz, of all people.
The move knocked deGrom out of the game after 97 pitches, forcing Addison Reed to pitch the eighth inning and Familia the ninth. That backfired when the Mets left the bases loaded.
"We hadn't been scoring," Collins said. "I didn't need to have [deGrom] go in there and hit into an easy out and set up a situation that wasn't good for us. I just said, 'Listen, let's load them up.' We got to the ninth inning. We still had the lead in the ninth."
Said deGrom: "I guess I should be a better hitter if I want to stay in."
"Early this morning, I was like, 'I'm tired.' But after the fifth inning, you forget about all the tired stuff and you think, 'We can take the lead. We've done it before.' Then I started getting ready for the ninth inning. Like the flip of the coin, we got the lead, in a nice stadium, with my mom and dad here from the Dominican Republic. I was like, 'Let's go.'" -- Rockies rookie closer Carlos Estevez, who struck out one during a perfect ninth inning for his 11th save
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Anderson gave the Rockies' rotation its 17th quality start this month -- two shy of the club record for one month, set in June 2009.
The Rockies ended a 10-game road losing streak against the Mets. It was tied for second longest in team history. They dropped 13 straight at the Giants from April 23, 1999-May 23, 2001.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: The last three starts for righty Tyler Chatwood (9-6, 3.65 ERA) have been eventful -- two bad (0-2, 12.38 ERA) and one oddly satisfying (five innings, six strikeouts, one hit, eight walks in a win over the Braves on Sunday). But Friday night, when he faces the Mets at 5:10 p.m. MT, he'll return to the comforts of the road, where he is 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA in eight starts.
Mets: The Mets' weekend-long celebration of Hall of Famer Mike Piazza will begin when they host the Rockies in a 7:10 p.m. ET game Friday at Citi Field. Matz will start that game for the Mets, in advance of Saturday's ceremony retiring Piazza's No. 31.