Chacin makes impressive return, Rockies beat Mets
August 21, 2012
NEW YORK (AP) — Jhoulys Chacin didn’t pick up where he left off. Far from it, fortunately for him.
Chacin made an impressive return from an extended absence and the Colorado Rockies backed him with a pair of sharp defensive plays, beating the New York Mets 6-2 Tuesday night.
Chacin had not pitched in the majors since May 1 because of inflammation in his right shoulder. He came off the disabled list earlier in the day and held the Mets to one run and four hits in six innings, ending his seven-game losing streak that began last September.
“It was so good, No. 1, to see him out there,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “It’s been quite a while. It’s been a long time.”
Chacin has showed plenty of promise in the past. Yet the 24-year-old righty had a 7.30 ERA when the Rockies shut him down more than 3½ months ago.
“I was trying to push too much,” he said.
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Against the Mets, Chacin resembled the pitcher who’s had “his fair share of success,” Tracy said.
“It was really fun,” Chacin said.
Chris Young retired the first 15 Colorado batters, but his throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Chacin led to the Rockies scoring four times in the sixth.
“That bunt cost us the game. It’s frustrating,” Young said. “We’re here to win. I’m certainly frustrated because I helped contribute to a loss.”
Center fielder Dexter Fowler made a sparkling catch and hit a pair of RBI singles as the Rockies won their third in a row overall, and sixth straight at Citi Field. The Mets lost their last three, and gave away another run on a botched rundown.
Chacin (1-3) twice got help on balls hit hard by David Wright.
Fowler jumped to the top of the wall in left-center to snare Wright’s drive leading off the second. The Mets’ cleanup man later singled on Chacin’s final pitch, but left fielder Andrew Brown made a strong throw to cut down Ruben Tejada at the plate.
Chacin walked none and struck out two. He threw 73 pitches, two under Tracy’s proposed limit in Colorado’s four-man rotation.
“I really think, in reality, the kid went back to the drawing board and worked on a lot of things,” Tracy said.
Chacin also spun after Andres Torres broke early from second base in the fifth, making a throw that trapped him. Torres prolonged a rundown and was originally ruled safe as he made a dive back into second, then was called out. Mets manager Terry Collins was ejected for arguing.
Torres hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh as the Mets scored against relievers Matt Reynolds and Josh Roenicke, ending an 18-inning scoreless streak by the Colorado bullpen.
Young (3-7) struck out the first four Colorado hitters and had no trouble through the first part of the night.
“We didn’t do much offensively against Chris,” Tracy said. “Actually, nothing through the first five innings.”
DJ LeMahieu opened the Rockies sixth with a grounder up the middle that Tejada gloved, but the shortstop had no play. It was an infield single, and the crowd gave Young a nice cheer for his perfect pitching to that point.
Jonathan Herrera followed with a single that put runners at the corners. Chacin bunted and Young overthrew first base, allowing the tying run to score. Charlie Blackmon and Fowler hit RBI singles and a sacrifice fly by Ramon Hernandez made it 4-1.
Fowler singled home a run in the eighth. In the ninth, with Brown on third and one out, Herrera hit a grounder and first baseman Ike Davis threw home. Brown retreated toward third, reversed course chased by Wright and scored on a high toss.
Daniel Murphy’s sacrifice fly put the Mets ahead in the fourth.
NOTES: Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez was expected back from Venezuela late at night. He went on the bereavement after the death of his grandfather, and could be activated for Wednesday’s game. … Colorado SS Troy Tulowitzki (groin surgery) will see a doctor Wednesday to check on his progress, Tracy said. … The Mets did not announce the results of the MRI on LHP Johan Santana’s stiff back. An update was expected Wednesday, a day before his next scheduled start. … Young is 0-4 at home this season. … Chacin was 1-3 in minor league rehabilitation assignments before rejoining the Rockies.