Mets' pitchers get rainy reprieve from Rockies

The Mets' shaky pitchers were spared for a night from the Colorado Rockies.

Tuesday night's game in New York was postponed by rain and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader Thursday, giving the rolling Rockies a rest on the road and the Mets a rainy, if temporary, reprieve.

New York has lost five out of six, and the bullpen has a 5.21 ERA, allowing 50 hits and 18 walks in 38 innings. The .323 opponents' batting average against Mets relievers in the highest in the major leagues.

General manager Sandy Alderson has already refashioned the 'pen. Among the newcomers is a familiar face — former Mets prospect Jason Isringhausen.

He's one of two players who earned manager Terry Collins' confidence in an otherwise discouraging 7-6 loss to Colorado on Monday night.

"I'm not afraid to use Izzy at any time," Collins said before Tuesday's game was rained out.

That's in part because he aced his return to the Mets, escaping a jam in the seventh inning Monday night and pumping his fist in celebration.

Also back in the bullpen is Ryota Igarashi. He was called up from Buffalo on Sunday after Alderson designated for assignment reliever Blaine Boyer after he was the losing pitcher in the 11th inning against Washington.

Also gaining Collins' confidence recently has been second baseman Daniel Murphy, who was slated to hit second for New York on Tuesday night.

"I think Murph played very, very well last night," Collins said. "His energy ... is infectious."

It will have to wait. Meanwhile, the Rockies don't mind cooling their heels a bit.

"It's nice to get an off day," shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "We're in the middle of 16 days in a row, so we'll take one if we get one. It's not breaking up any momentum at all."

If it were, Tulowitzki would have plenty to lose. He has four home runs already, including a shot on Monday night that wound up providing the margin in Colorado's 7-6 win.

The Rockies' cleanup hitter is getting excellent protection in the lineup from No. 3 hitter Carlos Gonzalez (hitting .306) and No. 2 Daniel Herrera, who has an absurd .636 on-base percentage.

"He's a tremendous bat handler," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "The guy gets it. He understands how to work an at-bat."

The game was called off in Queens shortly after the Yankees scrubbed a scheduled start against the Orioles in the Bronx.

Mets lefty Jonathon Niese and New York's beleaguered bullpen were going to face Rockies righty Esmil Rogers.

Instead, the two will face off Wednesday, pushing New York's R.A. Dickey back to the opener of the traditional doubleheader on Thursday. Chris Capuano will take the ball for the Mets in the nightcap.

The Rockies haven't announced pitchers for Thursday.

Lefty Jorge De La Rosa, originally scheduled to pitch for the Rockies Wednesday night, will now get at least one extra day for his finger to heal.

This is Colorado's only visit to New York. Tuesday night's game was to be the second of a four-game series.

Thursday's doubleheader will start at 12:10 p.m. in place of the originally scheduled 1:10 getaway day start.

NOTES: New York ranks second in the majors with 46 walks, and its bullpen has blown three saves already. ... Alderson said Tuesday that he tentatively expects that OF Jason Bay could be available on April 26 for the start of a series in Washington. That's when backup catcher Ronny Paulino is scheduled to return, too. Alderson said Paulino's expected date of return was firmer. ... Dickey had trouble controlling his knuckleball April 8, when he caught his index fingernail on a seam while throwing a pitch in the first inning. He showed off the healed nail in the clubhouse on Tuesday and credited his mother-in-law for telling him to use a glass nail file, which is smoother than a standard emery board. ... If Colorado wins Wednesday, the Rockies will match the franchise's best road start at 5-1, set in 2006. ... The Rockies have been in sole possession of first place for six days, a longer streak than they had at any point in their pennant-winning 2007 season.