Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is on such run of sparkling defensive plays -- his latest being a backhand grab and throw to retire David Wright in the seventh inning of a 7-4 victory over the Mets on Thursday night -- that a 21-game hit streak has taken a backseat.
Yes, he's making a play per game to remind everyone that last year he was the first National League rookie third baseman to win a Gold Glove. But he also has fashioned a 21-game hit streak, which is tied for the fourth-longest in Rockies history.
He could have a chance to extend the run Friday night, when the Rockies and left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 5.23 ERA) face the Mets and righty Zack Wheeler (1-2, 3.99) at Coors Field.
"My whole goal is just to try to be as consistent as I can, and so far things have been going good," said Arenado, who is hitting .357 (30-for-84) during the steak.
The glove wasn't the only reason that manager Walt Weiss has said on several occasions that he envisions Arenado playing in multiple All-Star Games.
"I don't think there's any doubt for anybody that's been around him that he's going to be a really good offensive player in this league," Weiss said. "He's always hit. He's got his legs underneath him throughout his at-bats. He's using the whole field, hitting balls from line to line. He's in a good place."
But streaks are hard to hold.
Daniel Murphy's 10-game hitting streak came to end as the Rockies stifled the Mets' lineup during a 7-4 win in the series opener. He entered the game hitting .341 (14-for-41) during the streak, but went 0-for-4.
Murphy's streak followed on the heels of a career-high 14-game hitting streak that started on Sept. 19 last season and ran through April 5, during which he hit .352 (19-for-54).
Murphy never got on base Thursday, but when he does he is effective. Since June 9, 2013, Murphy has stolen 28 bases without being caught, the second-longest streak in team history. Kevin McReynolds has the record with 33 consecutive successful steals 1987-89.
But another active Mets streak reached double figures Thursday. Juan Lagares, who was activated from the disabled list before the game after recovering from a right hamstring pull, doubled in his first at-bat to run his streak to 10 straight games.
Mets: Trying to get Eric Young Jr. going
Eric Young Jr.'s return to Coors Field found him on the bench, as center fielder Lagares returned from the disabled list for Thursday's opener.
Young has started 23 of the Mets' first 27 games -- second in the outfield only to Curtis Granderson's 24 -- but with Young, Granderson, and Chris Young all off to a sluggish start at the plate, manager Terry Collins indicated Eric Young Jr. can be valuable in many roles.
"Young would be a guy that you'd like to have to come off the bench," Collins said. "He's got versatility. The fact that he can play center, he can play left, he can play second.
"The other thing he brings is that it's always amazing how many times late in the game the pitcher comes up to lead off an inning. He's the ideal to go hit in that spot. He can switch-hit, when he gets on, things happen. It's nice to have those kind of guys over there."
That's how Young was utilized on Thursday, as he pinch-hit for reliever Jeurys Familia in the sixth inning, drawing a walk.
Lagares was hitting .314 (16-for-51) with the Mets before his injury, but Collins indicated he didn't want to overdo it as the center fielder returns from a pulled hamstring. Chris Young entered Thursday hitting .205 (8-for-39) with two homers and six RBIs. Granderson was hitting .136 (12-for-88) with a homer and seven RBIs, and Young Jr. was hitting .215 (20-for-93) with 12 stolen bases, second best in the Majors.
Collins was in no hurry to settle into three regular starters, mixing and matching the four while Lagares works back to full strength and the others find their swings.
"I don't mind [juggling] for a while," Collins said. "In the long run, you've got to have three guys you're going to run out there. To pick and choose your spots, and who should play when, you can do that right now. But I think you're going to look up and you're going to want to have three guys that are primarily your guys that are going to be out there."
Rockies: Chacin ready to return Sunday
Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who suffered a right shoulder strain before Spring Training began, threw a bullpen session on Thursday -- his final hurdle before joining the rotation for Sunday's finale of the four-game set with the Mets.
Chacin completed his rehab with Triple-A Colorado Springs by throwing six solid innings, with 96 pitches, at Memphis on Tuesday night.
"I really was just trying to throw innings, trying to make my pitches and get quick innings," said Chacin, who faced some talented hitters with the Cardinals' farm club -- Shane Robinson, Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras. "I was trying to use my fastball as much as I could.
"Memphis had a couple good hitters, too. I was trying to make my pitches and feel like it was a game. The longer I was in the game, I was feeling better and better. That made me really happy."
• An MRI revealed that Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood has a flexor strain with inflammation in his throwing elbow, which is better than any kind of ligament tear or other major injury. Chatwood (1-0, 4.50 ERA in four starts), left a start on Tuesday at Arizona with the injury and was placed on the 15-day DL.
"It could've been a lot worse, so I'm glad it's not too bad," said Chatwood, who said he needed to meet with Rockies head athletic trainer Keith Dugger to map out the rehab plan.
• The Mets have had a starter yield seven or more runs just twice this season. Both times it was righty Bartolo Colon, who gave up nine on April 13 against the Angels and seven Thursday night.
• Rockies left-handed-hitting outfielder Corey Dickerson, whose playing time has become regular because right fielder Michael Cuddyer is nursing a left hamstring injury, had three hits Thursday night to match a career high. He's done it twice this season and six times since debuting last season.
• Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez suffered a contusion to the index finger of his left (throwing) hand and left Thursday's game in the fourth inning. The injury occurred when he fouled off a pitch in the first inning. He finished the at-bat with his sixth home run.