Rockies 8, Mets 4
Being nearly 40 now, Todd Helton doesn’t particularly care for
It takes him longer to warm up, he can’t stay loose in the field
and his grip feels all wrong at the plate.
”You just feel it a little bit more,” Helton said.
That’s why he wasn’t too disappointed when he was given the
nightcap off Tuesday. Hey, he did his part.
Helton hit a go-ahead single and the Colorado Rockies beat the
New York Mets 8-4 in the opening game of a doubleheader that was
delayed 2 hours as 8 inches of snow was cleared off the field.
”That’s big,” said Helton, whose team is 4-0 at home this
season. ”But this game’s even bigger. The conditions aren’t going
to do anything but get worse.”
One day after a spring storm postponed the first game of the
series, the teams were scheduled to play two in frigid conditions.
The temperature at first pitch was 39 degrees and dipped even lower
to 36 to begin the second game. That was the fourth-coldest
temperature at first pitch in the Mile High City.
”I used to love these games when I was younger, not so much
anymore,” said Helton, who will turn 40 in August.
David Wright homered twice for the Mets, finally back on the
field after cold weather postponed two straight games. Wintry
conditions in Minneapolis on Sunday prompted their game against the
Twins to be called off and rescheduled in August.
Juan Nicasio (2-0) struggled with his command, unable to locate
his fastball, but still earned the win. He lasted five innings and
allowed four runs before being lifted for a pinch hitter.
Dillon Gee (0-3) had another rough outing, going 4 2-3 innings
and giving up five earned runs. He yielded seven runs in three
innings at Philadelphia a week ago.
”Seems like every time they hit a ground ball it finds a way
through,” Gee said. ”That is the way it is going right now.”
Early on Tuesday morning, Rockies owner Dick Monfort took the
field with a shovel and helped clear the way for the game to be
played. A crew of team employees lent a hand as well, as did Sandy
Alderson, the general manager of the Mets.
Asked if he thought about helping out, Mets manager Terry
Collins simply answered, ”No.”
”I don’t shovel,” he added. ”I grew up shoveling snow. When I
moved to Florida, I sold my shovel.”
Players tried everything to stay warm. Some wore extra layers
and others kept close to the dugout heaters as much as they could.
Colorado second baseman Jonathan Herrera even wore a ski mask, just
to keep the biting wind off his face.
The teams originally scheduled a split doubleheader to make up
Monday’s postponement. But all the snow and the late start Tuesday
turned it into a traditional twinbill, with just a short break
A sparse crowd showed up for the day game, bundled up in heavy
coats and stocking caps. The Rockies didn’t plow the upper deck and
allowed all fans to sit in the lower level. Even then, the stands
looked awfully empty even though the attendance was announced as
Helton put the Rockies ahead with a two-run single that chased
Gee in the fifth. Eric Young Jr. added two late RBIs for
Carlos Gonzalez had a solo homer, a triple and scored two runs.
Young knocked in runs with a single in the sixth and a triple off
the fence in the eighth.
The Rockies had a reason for concern in the fifth when Troy
Tulowitzki was hit on the left elbow by a pitch from Gee. Manager
Walt Weiss came out to check on his All-Star shortstop, along with
the trainer, before Tulowitzki motioned that he was all right.
Tulowitzki missed the majority of last season with a groin injury
that eventually required surgery to remove scar tissue.
He wasn’t in the lineup for Game 2.
”I think he’ll be fine. He’s going to be sore,” Weiss said.
”They got him right on the elbow. Got him pretty good.”
Colorado scored three runs in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead.
Helton had the big hit, a two-out single that just rolled under the
glove of second baseman Daniel Murphy.
Wright hit his first homer of the season in the first, a two-run
liner into the bullpen in right. The Mets have hit at least one
homer in every game this season, the only team to accomplish the
In the fifth, Wright hit another to center for his 19th career
This much is certain: Wright enjoys hitting at Coors Field. He
finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs on Tuesday and is batting .398
with 10 homers in the ballpark.
Because the Mets and Rockies didn’t celebrate Jackie Robinson
Day the day before, the players all donned No. 42 on Tuesday.
”It’s an honor,” Collins said. ”I really believe what
somebody said yesterday – it’s one of the most important days in
the history of baseball. I agree with that. Every ethnic person who
plays the game should respect what Jackie had to go through and
what he meant. It’s an honor to have No. 42 on for one day.”
NOTES: Rockies OF Dexter Fowler rested a tender left foot.
Fowler fouled a pitch off the foot on Sunday and had precautionary
X-rays that came back negative. … The coldest game in Denver was
28 degrees on April 12, 1997, against Montreal.