Roberto Alomar drew a walk against Colorado starter Darrin Oliver. With one out, Mike Piazza set a screaming drive over the right centerfield wall and the Mets were off and running with a 2-0 lead. Enter Jae Seo. He proceeded to stifle the Rockies until the bottom of the fifth inning, allowing them virtually nothing.
In the fifth inning, matters took a turn for the worse, however. As he was in Tuesday's game, Brent Butler once again proved to be a tough out. He doubled with one out and moved to third on a single by pitcher Oliver. Then came the critical play of the game. Chris Stynes grounded to Alomar at second, who flipped to Joe McEwing for the force on Oliver. Little Mac then made a fantastic pivot and just missed doubling-up Stynes, with Butler scoring on the play.
Ex-Met Jay Payton, up to that point hitless in the series, made the Mets pay when he tied the game with a triple to right, driving in Stynes. Seo pitched very carefully to both Todd Helton and Preston Wilson, and wound up walking them both to load the bases. Larry Walker was severely jammed by Seo, but managed to dump a little flare in front of Tsuyoshi Shinjo in center. Payton and Helton scored, and when the Mets played patty cake with the baseball, Preston Wilson also came home and Walker moved to second. The Rockies led 5-2 and Seo was snakebit.
The Mets began to battle back. Alomar continued his torrid series with a one-out double in the sixth, and with two outs came home on a Piazza two-bagger. The Mets were within two runs at 5-3. Colorado Manager Clint Hurdle then replaced his starter with Javier Lopez. Lopez struck out Cliff Floyd to end the inning. Floyd, however thought otherwise and the ensuing argument with umpire Bruce Froemming resulted in his ejection.
Seo meanwhile held the Rockies at bay. He struggled through seven tough innings, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and three walks. It will be very, very difficult for Art Howe to remove him from the starting rotation, if and when David Cone returns. He has earned the right to start.
And he almost went home a winner. The Mets staged one last dramatic comeback in the eighth inning, and once again Alomar played an integral role. Robby singled two outs and stole second. Raul Gonzalez doubled and plated Robby with the Mets fourth run. Piazza was walked intentionally and with Floyd having been ejected, he fell upon the shoulders of Roger Cedeno to keep the rally alive.
Hurdle removed Justin Speier and replaced him with Steve Reed. Cedeno promptly made Reed pay as he singled in Gonzalez with the tying run. The Mets were all even at 5-5! Ty Wigginton popped out to end the inning and it was back to the drawing board for the Mets bullpen.
Mike Stanton got the call from the pen. The veteran of four Yankee world championships, has been less than stellar so far for the Mets. And he imploded once again. The Colorado eighth began with a walk to Charles Johnson. Speedster Gabe Kapler was brought in to pinch run. Brent Butler struck out trying to bunt Kapler over, but managed to move up anyway on a Stanton wild pitch. Stanton fanned pinch hitter Ron Belliard for the second out, bringing Stynes to the plate, and Chris won the battle as he singled in Kapler with tie-breaking run.
Jose Jimenez stalked out of the pen and made quick work of the Mets for the second straight day. Tony Clark, Shinjo and McEwing went down without a whimper. The Mets were one-run losers for the second straight day.
They now move on the Pacific Bell Park to face the San Francisco Giants and the task will be immense. The Mets have yet to win a regular season game there. Al Leiter (4-1) will oppose Kirk Rueter (3-1).