New York Mets-Colorado Rockies: Mets' Defense Spoils Troy Tulowitzki's Return

Patrick MurraySenior Analyst IJune 20, 2008

Three weeks ago, Aaron Cook baffled the New York Mets. He earned a complete game win, allowing just four hits and one run.

Friday night was a different story.

Carlos Delgado started the scoring early for the Mets. With a man on in the second inning, Delgado launched a Cook pitch into the left field stands to tie the game at two.

Damion Easley and Brian Schneider quickly followed with singles. But, after pitcher John Maine failed to get a bunt down to move the runners over, it looked like Cook might escape the inning with the score tied.

However, the Mets followed with three consecutive RBI singles by Jose Reyes, Endy Chavez, and David Wright.

The newly acquired Trot Nixon extended the Mets' lead to four with a solo homer in the third that reached the second deck in right field.

New York then turned to John Maine and the bullpen who combined to hold the Rockies scoreless from the second inning until the end of the game.

After allowing a two-run homer to Jeff Baker in the first, Maine settled down and allowed just four hits for the rest of the way until he was removed from the game with two outs in seventh.

Maine stood out on the mound and waited for reliever Joe Smith to arrive. He then handed Smith the ball and gave him a few words of encouragement.

Smith came in with two men on, and quickly retired Colorado's star hitter Matt Holliday to end the threat.

Jose Reyes drove in Damion Easley in the eighth to extend the lead to five.

Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Heilman finished off the game for the Mets as they won the first game of this three-game weekend series.

Troy Tulowitzki looked good in his return to the big leagues after missing 47 games with a torn quadriceps, though you couldn't tell from his 0-4 line.

Trot Nixon made an excellent diving catch to rob Tulowitzki of an extra base hit that likely would have driven in Brad Hawpe in the fourth.

Later, in the ninth, "Tulo" ripped a line drive down the third base line, but David Wright made a diving backhand grab that might appear on ESPN's "Web Gems."

The win brings the Mets to an even .500 (36-36) on the season. New York trails the first place Phillies by 4.5 games in the NL East.

The loss drops the Rockies to 31-43 in a disappointing, injury-ridden season.

Tomorrow, the veteran right-hander Pedro Martinez (2-0, 5.31 ERA) will take on the Rockies' youngster Ubaldo Jimenez (1-7, 4.85) at 8:05 P.M. at Coors Field.

Player of the Game: John MaineW, 6 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 Ks