DENVER -- The dramatic walk-off walk Nolan Arenado drew Thursday to give his Rockies a 5-4 victory over the Mets occurred amid postseason implications and in front of 35,276 screaming fans at Coors Field. Yet it took Arenado back to carefree family days.
"On the Wiffle ball field with my cousins, for sure, I had a couple walk-off walks," Arenado said. "They don't want to throw to me."
The Rockies, who entered the day holding the second National League Wild Card spot, took two of three from the Mets in a familiar scenario -- a 5-4 score, with Arenado delivering at the end, and Mets reliever Hansel Robles (6-3) falling victim. Tuesday night, Arenado lashed an RBI single off Robles.
This time, Robles, after cruising through the eighth, hit ninth-inning leadoff man Jonathan Lucroy, and, with one out, walked Charlie Blackmon intentionally and DJ LeMahieu on five pitches. Robles, who said he experienced numbness in his right hand during the inning, worked ahead of Arenado, 0-2. Then he missed with four straight pitches, with the last one sailing past Arenado's ear to the backstop -- even though Arenado came up thinking swing.
"He's a Major League pitcher who throws strikes usually, so the last thing I want to do is act like he's not going to throw a strike," said Arenado, who tallied his 16th game-winning RBI of the season.
"That's certainly not the guy we know," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Robles. "I don't really have any idea what happened to him, and he had Arenado 0-2. … This kid's got too much talent, got a great arm, pitched big, big innings for us in the past."
Rockies closer Greg Holland (2-1), unavailable the previous two games because of a cut on the back of his right index finger that he suffered in what Rockies manager Bud Black had called a "kitchen accident," struck out one and pitched around a hit and a wild pitch in the ninth.
Blackmon singled, doubled and homered -- his 25th of the season -- and Mark Reynolds celebrated his 34th birthday with his 23rd homer. Both solo shots came off Mets starter Rafael Montero, who gave up 10 hits but held the Rockies to four runs in 5 2/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED A great escape: Rockies right-handed starter German Marquez, who fanned five and gave up three runs in six innings, saw the Mets tie the game at 2 thanks to an Amed Rosario leadoff triple and faced loaded bases with one out. But Marquez fanned slugger Yoenis Cespedes, who'd already homered, with a 99.3-mph fastball.
"I didn't think anything but just throw harder," said Marquez, who ended the inning by working Jay Bruce into a fly to left.
It's tied! No wait, it's not, yes it is: Blackmon broke the 2-2 tie in the fifth, but the Mets tied it back up in the top of the sixth when Rene Rivera drove home Curtis Granderson on a long single to right field. Granderson had walked to begin the inning. However, the Rockies again hit a leadoff home run in in the sixth, as Reynolds celebrated his birthday in style. Then in the seventh, the Mets tied it again on Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI double.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Rosario's triple -- the second of his career -- was the fastest home-to-third time by a Met since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015. The young shortstop reached third base in 11.32 seconds.
The Mets tied it in the seventh on Cabrera's RBI double off Pat Neshek. The Rockies' chance to regain the lead vanished when LeMahieu made an ill-fated attempt to stretch a double into a triple in the seventh. Arenado doubled behind him.
But Black had no problem with the aggressiveness, which forced left fielder Cespedes and shortstop Rosario to make perfect throws for the second out.
"If DJ had stayed at second base, they'd have probably walked Nolan, right?" Black said. "They're not going to pitch to Nolan. You can't say that DJ would have scored. You can't do that."
"I've never thrown a pitch like that." -- Robles, on the last pitch of the game to walk Arenado, which sailed to the backstop.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Lucroy, in his first game catching for the Rockies since arriving in a trade with the Rangers on Sunday, made his impact -- with the help of replay -- in the eighth. Jose Reyes, who had walked, was called safe on a steal attempt of second, but the call was overturned when it was ruled that LeMahieu's tag was in time.
WHAT'S NEXT Mets: The Mets get the honor of facing Yu Darvish in his first start as a Dodger Friday night at 7:10 p.m. ET. Darvish last pitched July 26 when he gave up 10 runs to the Marlins. Jacob deGrom (12-4, 3.25 ERA) will oppose L.A.'s new acquisition
Rockies: Left-hander Kyle Freeland (11-7, 3.71 ERA), the Majors' rookie leader in wins, ERA and innings pitched (121 1/3), will open a three-game set against the Phillies -- who will start Vince Velasquez (2-6, 4.91) -- at Coors Field on Friday at 6:40 p.m. MT.