NEW YORK -- Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis proved to be too much for the Mets, and Nolan Arenado crushed a first-inning home run onto the Big Apple structure at Citi Field in Colorado's 2-0 victory Saturday night. The Rockies have won four consecutive games, while the Mets were shut out for the third time this week.
Bettis was dealing over seven innings, allowing six hits and striking out two. The only serious trouble he faced was in the sixth inning. New York had runners on first and second with one out, but Todd Frazier lined out to shortstop Trevor Story, who was able to double off Asdrubal Cabrera at second base to end the threat.
"He had us off balance a bit," Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo said. "His changeup is only 3-5 mph off his fastball, had good arm action off it, and he wasn't leaving it up to us a lot. He was hitting his spots, wasn't leaving a whole lot over the plate and that's tough when anybody is pitching. Hats off to him for a good performance."
While he put up zeros, Bettis wasn't satisfied with the way he executed pitches. As he put it, he was "cute" with some of them.
"I had good command of stuff at times, but it wasn't like I felt like I had everything locked in and ready to go," Bettis said.
Bettis isn't the only one carrying the Rockies' pitching staff. In the past 10 games, Colorado's starting pitchers have a 1.61 ERA (11 runs in 61 1/3 innings) and nine quality starts. And with Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis coming out of the bullpen, the Rockies are tough to score upon.
"All these guys have made a second turn. They have pitched well," Rockies manager Bud Black said about the rotation. "I thought [Bettis] was effective. He shortened some swings. He got in on some guys. He made them reach. It was well-pitched."
Mets left-hander Steven Matz was almost as good as Bettis. Matz lasted six innings and allowed one run on three hits, but that run proved costly in the first inning, when Arenado hit a monster home run over the center-field wall. According to Statcast™, the exit velocity was 106 mph and the ball went a projected 430 feet.
"I hit it as good as I could and luckily it went out," Arenado said. "Thank God I was able to give us the lead there and Bettis pitched a great game."
New York's last opportunity occurred in the eighth inning against Ottavino. Yoenis Cespedes was on second base with one out, but Cabrera struck out and Jay Bruce flied out to deep left field to end the threat. Davis pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save.
The Rockies clinched a winning record on this nine-game road trip -- not bad considering they started the trip at 1-3.
"It didn't start off good in Miami," Arenado said. "We go to Chicago and win a series, and win a series in New York. It's really important going home. We have a chance to win tomorrow. It would be nice to get out there and get another win."
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the ninth inning, the Rockies nearly added a third run on Dahl's RBI single, but Cespedes showed off his cannon arm to throw out Noel Cuevas attempting to score. The umpires reviewed the close play, but replays confirmed the out call on catcher Tomas Nido's tag.
The Rockies lead the National League with 44 home runs, including an MLB-high 31 on the road. Colorado has 10 homers in the past four games.
Left-hander Kyle Freeland takes the mound for the Rockies in the series finale on Sunday (11:10 a.m. MT). In his last start against the Cubs, Freeland pitched well, allowing three runs in seven innings, but the Rockies lost the game, 3-2, at Wrigley Field. Right-hander Noah Syndergaard is on the hill for the Mets. He hasn't won a game since April 9, when he pitched six strong innings and allowed one earned run against the Marlins.