Angel Pagan lost a fly ball in the sun. Scott Hairston appeared to lose another in the clouds. Brad Emaus bobbled a ground ball that could have started a double play, and it seemed like every other inning a pitch was hitting the backstop.
The New York Mets bumbled their way to two more losses Thursday, dropping both games of a doubleheader to the hot-hitting Colorado Rockies. They left the bases loaded in the ninth inning of the opener, losing 6-5, before dropping the second game 9-4.
"We're lucky we play every night. We don't have to stew on it for a week," manager Terry Collins said dejectedly after the Mets' fifth straight defeat. "That's a good baseball team on the other side of the field."
With at least one very good player.
Troy Tulowitzki clobbered a home run in every game of the series, going 10 for 16 with eight RBIS. He also scored five times and drew four walks against balky Mets pitching, as the Rockies rallied from a deficit in each of the four games.
"They're swinging the hot bats right now, especially Tulowitzki," said Mets starter Chris Capuano, who took the loss in Game 2. "He's covering both sides of the plate pretty well."
The Rockies have won five straight and 10 of 11, the lone defeat coming against Pittsburgh in extra innings, while the Mets are heading the other direction. They've lost eight of nine and are floundering on the mound, at the plate and especially in the field.
"Depressing," 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.
In the opener, the Mets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning and still led by a run in the sixth, when Hairston inexplicably stopped chasing Jose Morales' fly ball to right field, 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.
Game 2 didn't pack 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 a double moments later.
The Rockies tied it in the third on Dexter Fowler's RBI single and Gonzalez's run-scoring fielder's choice, 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 Emaus at second. He fumbled the play and could only get the runner at second, allowing Helton to score and the inning to continue.
"That was a play I make a thousand times in my life," Emaus said. "It was a routine double play. It kicked up on me a little bit, but I should make the play."
The miscue, one of several by the Mets' defense, proved costly.
The Rockies added another run off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning.
"It's tough, especially because our team has been doing such a good job of getting us early leads," Capuano said. "I gave a couple of leads away, and it's upsetting."
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.