NEW YORK (AP/WFAN) — The thing that Troy Tulowitzki loves most about the Colorado Rockies is that nobody is hung up on individual statistics. So long as the team wins, everybody is happy.
They’ve been winning a whole lot lately.
The numbers Tulowitzki is putting up have a lot to do with it.
The sweet-swinging shortstop clobbered home runs in each game of a doubleheader Thursday, and the Rockies wrapped up a four-game sweep of the New York Mets in style. They won the opener 6-5, hanging on through a wild ninth inning, before taking the second game 9-4.
“A lot of times you can come on the road, you get down late — sixth, seventh inning — and you shut it down, get ready to go home,” Tulowitzki said. “This team doesn’t do that at all.
“We’re a bunch of guys who don’t quit,” he said. “I’ll take that over a more talented team that cares about individual stats and things like that any day.”
Ironically, stats are the best way to describe the stellar series Tulowitzki just had.
He went 10 for 16 with eight RBIs, homering in each of the four games against New York. The 26-year-old also scored five times and drew four walks against balky Mets pitching.
“Am I shocked by it? No,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “When he gets hot, he’s a very, very dangerous player.”
And the Rockies are a very dangerous team.
Off to its best start in franchise history, Colorado (10-2) has won five straight and 10 of 11 overall, the lone defeat coming against Pittsburgh in extra innings.
Meanwhile, the Mets (4-9) have lost five straight and eight of nine.
“Depressing,” manager Terry Collins said. “We’re better than this and we’ll play better than this. I still believe we’re going to straighten this out.”
Greg Reynolds (1-0) won Game 1 despite a couple shaky innings, and Jorge De La Rosa (2-0) held on long enough in the second game for the Rockies’ offense to deliver his win.
The Rockies spotted the Mets 2-0 leads in both games — in fact, New York has scored first in six straight games while winning just once — before pouring it on.
In the opener, Seth Smith got Colorado within 2-1 with an RBI in the fifth, and the Rockies went ahead for good in the sixth. Scott Hairston inexplicably stopped chasing Jose Morales’ fly ball to right, letting it bounce off the warning track for a two-run double.
Colorado added three more runs in the seventh when Carlos Gonzalez drove a 2-2 pitch from R.A. Dickey (1-2) into the right-field seats for his first home run of the year. Tulowitzki followed the two-run shot with a homer of his own off Bobby Parnell.
Jose Reyes homered for the Mets in the eighth, making it 6-3, and Huston Street came on in the ninth to close things out. He gave up a two-run shot to Hairston, a walk to Josh Thole and a single to pinch hitter Carlos Beltran before Matt Lindstrom came in from the bullpen.
He got Reyes to ground into a fielder’s choice, then walked Daniel Murphy to load the bases for David Wright, who flied out to the warning track in right field to end the game.
Game 2 didn’t have nearly as much drama.
New York again took a 2-0 lead on the first career RBIs for longtime minor leaguer Mike Nickeas, after a strange play in which a fan hanging over the railing appeared to touch a drive by Hairston that hit off the orange line on the fence that marks a home run. The umpire crew ruled the play a double, then upheld the decision after watching a video replay.
Nickeas cleared the bases anyway with his double moments later.
The Rockies tied it in the third on Dexter Fowler’s RBI single and Gonzalez’s run-scoring grounder, and the Mets pulled back ahead in the fourth on Reyes’ two-run single.
Tulowitzki led off the sixth with a solo shot to left, Todd Helton added a one-out single, and Ryan Spilborghs singled to right on a ball Beltran misplayed. Iannetta walked to load the bases for De La Rosa, who chopped a grounder to Brad Emaus at second. He fumbled the play and could only get the runner at second, allowing Helton to score and the inning to continue.
The miscue, one of several by the Mets’ defense, proved costly.
Fowler lashed a single through the left side to give Colorado a 5-4 lead and knock Chris Capuano (1-1) from the game. Taylor Buchholz then served up a plumb pitch to Jonathan Herrera, who hit a three-run homer to right field, the second of his career.
The Rockies added another run off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning.
“They’re swinging the hot bats right now, especially Tulowitzki,” Capuano said. “He’s covering both sides of the plate pretty well.”
Notes: The Rockies optioned Reynolds to Triple-A Colorado Springs and purchased the contract of RHP Alan Johnson between games. They also transferred Aaron Cook to the 60-day DL. … Mets RHP Chris Young (right biceps tendinitis) threw a bullpen session before the game. His start Friday in Atlanta has been pushed back to Sunday.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)