Angry Byrd, anyone?
Marlon Byrd sure fit that description in the eighth inning yesterday as he was lurching toward a Matt Belisle fastball that he sent to disappear into the left-field seats at Coors Field. With one violent thrust, Byrd had given the Mets a lead and made their largely Quadruple-A lineup seem respectable.
After Byrd threw out Michael Cuddyer attempting to stretch a single into a double leading off the bottom of the ninth inning and the Mets had a 3-2 victory over the Rockies, the right fielder made it clear this is what should be expected.
“We didn’t come here to have a 100-loss season,” Byrd said. “We didn’t come here to just play and play for fourth place. We came here to win.”
A game originally postponed by snow on April 17 was played in 95-degree heat that didn’t seem so grueling for the Mets because of Byrd’s late-inning heroics.
With David Wright on the bench for a rest, Byrd carried the lineup and made the big defensive play on Cuddyer. LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Rice and Bobby Parnell combined for three shutout relief innings behind Jeremy Hefner’s solid starting performance, allowing the Mets to finish 7-4 on a road trip through Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago (White Sox) and Colorado.
“This is no disrespect to the Rockies because they have injuries like everybody else and they have a nice club,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “But when you can win a game without David Wright in our lineup, that’s huge for us. That’s enormous. That means somebody else had to really step up and do the job.”
Daniel Murphy singled in the eighth and stole second before Byrd crushed a 2-2 fastball from Belisle for his 12th homer to give the Mets their first lead at 3-2.
After Rice pitched a scoreless eighth, Cuddyer led off the ninth with a sharp single to right against Parnell and didn’t stop running. Byrd fielded the ball cleanly and made a pinpoint throw to second, thwarting a potential game-tying rally.
Angry Byrd, anyone?