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Rockies hurt by HR ball, drop opener to Mets

MLB.com

DENVER -- Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson couldn't match Mets starter Jacob deGrom on Monday night, and the Rockies watched a two-run deficit turn to 10 in their 12-2 series-opening loss.

Anderson gave up two home runs -- one an inside-the-park homer to Brandon Nimmo on the third pitch of the game -- and the Rockies bullpen gave up nine runs in the team's eighth straight loss at home. Manager Bud Black, whose team is 4-12 in June, doesn't plan to make any drastic changes.

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DENVER -- Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson couldn't match Mets starter Jacob deGrom on Monday night, and the Rockies watched a two-run deficit turn to 10 in their 12-2 series-opening loss.

Anderson gave up two home runs -- one an inside-the-park homer to Brandon Nimmo on the third pitch of the game -- and the Rockies bullpen gave up nine runs in the team's eighth straight loss at home. Manager Bud Black, whose team is 4-12 in June, doesn't plan to make any drastic changes.

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"This group is pretty much the group that we're going to have going forward," Black said. "So for them to gain confidence, they're going to have to put a zero up and pitch well, and just sort of build on that. That's where this has got to go with all the guys that are here as veteran relievers."

Before the bullpen struggled, Anderson pitched a 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs, including homers to Nimmo and Wilmer Flores. When Anderson left, the Rockies were down 3-1.

Video: NYM@COL: CarGo lays out for a diving catch in right

"I felt like in terms of execution, which is what I try to look at, it was pretty good," Anderson said. "The pitches they hit, I executed pretty well, they just put a good swing on it."

deGrom continued his stellar run, allowing five hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out seven. deGrom's 1.51 ERA is the best in the NL, and he lived up to his reputation on Monday.

"He has those numbers for a reason," shortstop Trevor Story said. "He has a lot of good stuff. He shut us down tonight."

Video: NYM@COL: Anderson strikes out Cabrera swinging in 1st

Harrison Musgrave and Jeff Hoffman are the two young pitchers on the veteran-filled staff; both began the season in the Minors before coming to Denver. On Monday, Musgrave relieved Anderson and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, but then gave up a run in the seventh on Nimmo's second homer of the game. Veteran reliever Jake McGee gave up a two-run shot to Devin Mesoraco in the eighth, and Hoffman walked in two runs and gave up five in total while managing one out in the ninth.

"We have each other's back and we're always there to try to help them out," McGee said. "Especially these guys, Musgrave and Hoffman … it takes a little bit of adjustment up here. But once you get the hang of it, especially with a veteran bullpen, when it feels like it turns around it's going to stay turned around."

Video: Parra's run-scoring double

Last year, the pitching was good enough to help the Rockies to their first postseason appearance in seven seasons: 4.51 staff ERA, 4.59 starter ERA and 4.40 bullpen ERA. At home, the Rockies had a 4.93 ERA. Although those numbers might seem inflated, they're nothing compared to this year.

The overall staff's ERA (5.02) is last in the NL. The home ERA is 6.13 -- not only last in the NL, but the next-to-last is the Reds' 5.01. The bullpen's ERA is also last in the NL at 5.49.

Injuries have not helped the staff, either. Right-handed pitcher Scott Oberg was pitching well before going on the 10-day disabled list with lower back problems. Lefty Mike Dunn is also on the 10-day DL with upper back issues. Carlos Estevez (right elbow) and Zac Rosscup (middle finger wart) are working their way back from the 60-day DL. And Antonio Senzatela was optioned to Triple-A, but he's had two occurrences of a right groin strain in Albuquerque.

For all those ugly numbers, though, the Rockies players are fairly confident that the pitching will turn around.

"It's hard to stay even-keeled, but at the same time as long as everyone's together, everyone's on the same page, we're going to get out of the funk," McGee said. "For how close our clubhouse is, we're going to get out of it. Once we get out of it we're going to be stronger than we were before."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning, the Mets escaped the inning on a controversial double play Black wasn't too happy about.

Video: NYM@COL: Black ejected after Story ruled out in 4th

First-base umpire Bill Welke called Story out for running outside of the baseline, and Black was ejected after arguing with Welke.

"I didn't think Trevor was three feet out of the baseline," Black said.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Rockies would rather have third baseman Nolan Arenado's breathtaking plays occur during wins, but you take what you can get. And Arenado gave the Coors crowd something spectacular in the fifth, right after Black was ejected.

Video: NYM@COL: Arenado makes a great throw to turn 2

Amed Rosario and Nimmo opened the inning with singles off Anderson, then Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-hopper toward third. On a play when many third basemen would have either stepped on the bag or thrown to first, Arenado pulled off a slick double play. He rolled to his right, then used his quick release to fire to first and beat Cabrera.

The previous inning, Arenado had a barehand pickup on Michael Conforto's roller, then went left, took a spin toward the outfield, and threw to first to retire Mesoraco.

Video: NYM@COL: Arenado charges for a great barehanded stop

UP NEXT
The challenge for Rockies righty German Marquez (4-7, 5.13 ERA) -- who will face the Mets and lefty Jason Vargas (2-5, 7.39) in the 6:40 p.m. MT game -- is to keep the ball in the park. In 16 innings over his last three starts, he has given up seven home runs. Marquez also must improve a 7.71 ERA in seven home starts.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies