OK, let’s forget about the score for moment. Let’s concentrate on a positive.
After pitching at every level in the Mets’ minor-league system, 25 year-old Collin McHugh finally made it to the big leagues, as he made his debut at Citi Field today against the Rockies. And he was nothing short of outstanding.
McHugh showed a polished two-seam fastball and curve to go along with his low-90s four-seamer. He showed good command of those pitches as well. As Wally Backman said, McHugh “knows how to pitch.” It’s a cliché, but it’s usually applied to a young pitcher with good command.
One could observe the poise that Backman (who managed Collin at AA and AAA), Sandy Alderson, and Terry Collins saw in McHugh throughout his minor league career in the Mets’ system. With a runner at third and one out in the first, McHugh struck out Jordan Pacheco, and then one of the best hitters in the game, Carlos Gonzalez.
McHugh’s 9 Ks were the second-most in an MLB debut by a Met. Who struck out the most? Matt Harvey, who struck out 11 in his debut this year.
In all, he went 7 innings, threw 98 pitches, walked 1 and struck out 9. He allowed no runs on 2 hits, and completely carved up the Rockies lineup.
Now to the game. The Rockies completed their 4-game sweep of the Mets at Citi Field, winning 1-0 (Box Score).
After McHugh left for a pinch hitter, Bobby Parnell (L, 2-3) entered the game in the eighth, and promptly gave up a triple to Tyler Colvin. He scored on a single by Chris Nelson, giving the Rockies a 1-0 lead.
The Mets followed a familiar script. Get good starting pitching, make dubious baserunning decisions, make mistakes in the field, and fail to get clutch hits.
For a change, they didn’t commit an error. However, the Mets’ ponderous baserunning continued, as Mike Baxter was forced at second on a bloop to center field by Ruben Tejada in the bottom of the second. Baxter got a bad read on the ball hit to center, hesitated, and was thrown out at second by the Rockies center fielder Colvin.
At the plate, the Mets were 0-10 with runners in scoring position, and as a team, left 12 runners on base. Just more of the same from a group of guys who look like they’ve been swinging wet, rolled-up newspapers since the All-Star Break.
Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood lasted just 3 innings, throwing 65 pitches. The Rockies have a 75-pitch limit on their starters as part of their modified 4-man rotation. He was replaced by Brooklyn native and RHP Adam Ottavino. He pitched 2 scoreless innings. ”Doctor” Rex Brothers picked up the win in relief (8-2).
The Rockies deserve credit. They played tight baseball and got clutch hits all series long, and seemed to capitalize on every mistake the Mets made.
Up next, the Mets will try to avoid more embarrassment as they welcome another dreadful team, the Houston Astros, to Citi for a weekend series.