DENVER - Well, the Mets are getting closer to winning anyway. But after they rallied to tie the score in the ninth inning Wednesday night on Luis Castillo's sacrifice fly, Jenrry Mejia folded in his first critical relief appearance.
The 20-year-old rookie reliever didn't even make it through the first batter of the 10th inning. After falling behind 2-and-1 in the count, Mejia fired a 94-mph fastball that Chris Iannetta launched into the seats beyond the wall in left-centerfield to hand the Mets a 6-5 loss to the Rockies at Coors Field.
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"Something happened today, but that was today," Mejia said. "We don't know what's going to happen tomorrow."
Coincidentally, Jerry Manuel had talked before the game about giving Mejia more responsibility. Mejia's loss was the fourth straight defeat for the Mets, who slipped to 2-6, their worst start since 1992. They finished 70-92 that year.
"He faced one hitter and he hit it out of the park," Manuel said. "That happens. That's the big leagues."
Despite the comeback, and the Mets showing some life for a change, David Wright didn't want to hear about moral victories.
"I don't and I don't think anybody else in here takes pride in that," Wright said. "We're going in with the preparation, we're going in with the right attitude and we're not executing. It's still early, but we're getting to the point where we need to get momentum on our side. We need to start winning these close games."
Mike Jacobs came within a few feet of giving the Mets the lead with one out in the 10th. Jacobs hit a Manny Corpas fastball that snapped his bat in half - he was left holding the handle - and the high drive still clanged off the top of the rightfield scoreboard.
"I thought it was gone," Jacobs said. "I don't know what's going on with my bats. I've broken a ton of them."
Instead, it was a long double, and after an intentional walk to Jeff Francoeur, Rod Barajas grounded out to short. With Alex Cora headed to the plate as a pinch hitter, Rockies manager Jim Tracy called for lefthander Randy Flores. Manuel pulled back Fernando Tatis, and down 0-and-2, Cora took a weak swing at the next pitch and punched a soft liner directly to second baseman Clint Barmes.
"We saw a lot of good things for an early-season ballgame," Manuel said. "We fought back and we had a few chances. But we have yet to solve the riddle of men in scoring position. [Cora] hit a line drive, but other than that, we haven't solved that riddle yet."
Jon Niese was unable to hold leads of 1-0 and 3-1, but the Mets rallied from a 5-3 deficit and eventually tied the score in the ninth on Castillo's sacrifice fly off Rockies closer Franklin Morales. The Mets were helped by two Rockies' miscues.
Gary Matthews Jr., who entered in a double-switch in the sixth, led off with a hard grounder that Troy Tulowitzki gloved and then dropped. It was ruled an infield single, but when Matthews stole second, Iannetta's throw sailed into centerfield for an error that put Matthews at third.
Jose Reyes struck out, but Castillo followed with a deep drive to center that allowed Matthews to jog home with the tying run. Ryota Igarashi pitched a perfect ninth, striking out Ryan Spilborghs with a 96-mph fastball and cracking Ian Stewart's bat in half with a 90-mph splitter that resulted in a ground out.
Wright homered for the second time in as many days and Francoeur also went deep to give the Mets their first lead in 28 innings. That streak dated to Friday, which also was their last victory, an 8-2 win over the Nationals.
But Niese allowed nine hits and five runs in five innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Niese appeared to struggle with his breaking pitches - perhaps a result of the thin air - and the Rockies feasted on his fastball.
The Mets' rotation is 2-4 with a 6.91 ERA. Some of the Mets' frustration is beginning to show, too. Manuel appeared ready to get tossed in rightfully arguing a questionable call by second-base umpire Tom Hallion in the fourth. But he cooled off in time to remain in the game.
Trailing by two, The Mets cut the deficit to 5-4 in the eighth. Jason Bay led off with a single and stole second before Barajas' RBI single with two outs. But the rally fizzled when pinch hitter Frank Catalanotto flied out to the warning track in rightfield.
The Rockies made it 5-3 in the fourth. Pitcher Aaron Cook got it started with a one-out double and he scored on Dexter Fowler's two-out single to right. Jacobs cut off Francoeur's throw and appeared to have Fowler dead at second, but his throw was late - allowing Cook to hurry home on the play.
"Fowler didn't stop," Jacobs said. "I looked and they had the stop sign up for Cook and I threw to second. I thought we had him."