Mets cooled off, swept by Rockies

Daniel Murphy slides into home plate to score Daniel Murphy slides into home plate to score a run during the sixth inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies. (April 18, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

DENVER -- The frostbitten Mets ended their miserable road trip in appropriate fashion Thursday, falling to the Rockies, 11-3, in one of the coldest games ever played at Coors Field.

The 28-degree temperature at first pitch (23 with wind-chill included) tied the Rockies' franchise record for the coldest game ever played, sharing the mark with a 1997 game against the Expos. Indeed, it has been that kind of week for the Mets.

Hitters marveled at the sight of frozen pine tar on their bats. Pitchers likened gripping baseballs to getting a handle on cue balls. Manager Terry Collins walked a fine line between making excuses while also factoring in harsh conditions barely passable for baseball.

"This has been a tough trip for us," Collins said. "We're glad it's over."

The final tally after the Mets' brutal three-city swing: five losses in eight games, three postponements, two brutal losses in a doubleheader through snow and freezing cold, and one spent bullpen.

In Thursday's series finale, starter Jon Niese (2-1) scattered nine hits in six innings and allowed three runs, a performance deserving of praise considering the harsh conditions. He departed with his team trailing by only one run.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

But at one point, Rockies starter Jon Garland (2-0) retired 15 of 16 batters on the way to allowing two runs in seven innings.

The Rockies eventually blew the game open, scoring six runs against three relievers in the seventh inning. Scott Atchison allowed two runs when he failed to retire any of the three batters he faced in the seventh and Jeurys Familia allowed another run in his first game since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.

But nobody struggled more than lefty Josh Edgin, who allowed two runs in two-thirds of an inning to continue what has been a rough stretch that has raised his ERA to 9.45.

"I'm obviously not where I need to be," said Edgin, who Collins hoped would play a key role in a revamped bullpen.

Instead, after the game, Collins wondered why Edgin hasn't shown the same consistent velocity as last season.

The lefty was one of several Mets pitchers to struggle against Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who made the cold sting even more.

In leading the Rockies to a three-game series sweep, Gonzalez went 8-for-13 with two doubles, a triple and a homer. He scored seven runs and knocked in three, including the one that put the Rockies ahead for good in the sixth.

"They had to deal with it too, but they did a better job of dealing with it," John Buck said.

The Mets return to Citi Field Friday night at 7-7, hardly an encouraging sign considering their schedule featured the likes of the Padres, Marlins and Twins.

The competition gets tougher immediately, with the Nationals and Stephen Strasburg in town to face Matt Harvey.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

"Let's reset and go home," Buck said. "That's how we have to look at it."

You also may be interested in: