Rockies fall flat in series finale vs. Mets

Rockies fall flat in series finale vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- It's not that the Rockies weren't in a groove heading into the series against the Mets. Winners of seven of their last 11 games, they emerged in New York with gloves up and ready for a fight.

Nonetheless, little did Colorado know it would find itself matched up against a team that seemingly descended from another level of baseball. Three games boiled down to three losses, capped by Sunday's 7-0 defeat, leaving the Rockies feeling heavy-handed.

They were hit -- but they couldn't hit back -- and by the end of this series, all the Rockies could do was throw in the towel.

"We weren't able to throw any punches back on offense," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We scored one run in three games -- I don't know how you can expect that we could win."

While Friday's 2-1 loss was the one that got away -- and Hurdle would recall Saturday's 3-0 defeat as one the team just didn't have coming -- Sunday's display was a lesson in being overpowered.

Starter Mark Redman was knocked out quickly, lasting 3 1/3 innings after giving up five runs on eight hits, the first batch of tallies coming on a three-run home run by Carlos Beltran in the first inning. Since starting the season 2-1, Redman has now lost his last four decisions.

"It doesn't put us in a good position, a three-run deficit in the first," Redman said, "but that's not exactly something you want to do."

And the Mets just kept on rolling on their way to their ninth straight win, with Carlos Delgado pounding the final blow with a two-run home run in the fifth inning.

On the other end, the Rockies were frustrated by a blossoming young pitcher in Mike Pelfrey. Since watching him in the 2007 season, Hurdle said he hasn't ever seen a pitcher improve as quickly as Pelfrey, whose mid-90s fastball and sharp breaking pitches left Colorado baffled.

Another shutout from the New York pitching staff, coupled with another dud from the Rockies' bats, conspired to ruin their road trip.

"You have to give them credit, they are hot," Hurdle said. "They are playing good ball. They are doing things a team needs to do, they are coming to play, they are picking each other up, the starters, the bullpen -- everything happens. All the execution you want to see to get on a roll."

Conversely, it's a lack of execution on the Rockies' end which Hurdle said has suddenly stunted their progress coming out a series split in Milwaukee. Redman admitted after the game he should have made an adjustment to the Mets, who were sitting on pitches in the zone and trying to drive the ball up the middle.

He should have backed his opponents out of the box with a few pitches inside, Redman added, but it's all old news heading into the All-Star break. Most of all, Hurdle just wants his players to forget about baseball for a few days. The Rockies will not have organized team activities until Thursday, Hurdle said, telling a reporter who asked that there will be nothing until then, unless the writer "wanted to run it."

"Just a time to reset the trap," Hurdle said. "When we come back, we need to come back we need to come out a play with some energy."

With the way the Rockies have finished this first half of the season, Hurdle said he couldn't think of a better time to regroup. There's no better way to wake up, get off the mat and stand up to the season's second half.

Right now is the time to forget.

"It's a real good time," Hurdle said. "We're bent right now."

Jon Blau is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.