Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2009-09-04

Franklin Morales will be the closer in the absence of Huston Street, who is expected to be out until the middle of next week, if not longer.

Street underwent an MRI exam Thursday that showed inflammation in his right biceps but no structural damage. He won't pick up a baseball until Sunday, and there is no telling just when Street will be able to return.

"It's really going to be a day-to-day thing once I start throwing," Street said. "But I won't be out long enough to lose the feel for pitching."

Street is 33-for-34 in save opportunities this season. On Tuesday, he retired the side against the Mets in a non-save situation. It was his first outing since Aug. 24 against the Giants. Not pitching for six games was due to a lack of save opportunities, not any health issues.

But after pitching Tuesday, Street suspected something was wrong when he felt tightness in his arm prior to Wednesday's game, which the Rockies won 5-2 against the Mets.

Morales earned his first save in the big leagues in that game when Street couldn't work through the pain and tightness while warming up in the bullpen prior to the ninth inning. Bullpen coach Jim Wright alerted manager Jim Tracy of Street's problem, and the manager turned the ninth inning over to Morales.

"Rather than take a chance with still a lot of baseball to be played, we chose to go in another direction," Tracy said.

While disappointed, Street understood and agreed with the decision.

"They made the right call," Street said. "It's not easy to live with, but at the same time, they have to do what's best for the Rockies."

Morales, 23, has touched 97 mph with his fastball, and he throws a curveball in the low 80-mph range.

"He has a breaking ball he can throw for strikes, and there's a huge discrepancy in speed," Tracy said. "It's still somewhat of a work in progress, but the next step is to take that secondary pitch and refine it."

Morales' save Wednesday was just the second in his professional career. The first came in 2005 at low Class A Asheville, where Morales, in his first full professional season, made 15 starts and six relief appearances.

METS 8, ROCKIES 3: RHP Jason Marquis gave up five runs in five innings, including four in the fifth when David Wright doubled home two runs and scored on a groundout to complete a rally that put the Mets ahead 5-0.

Chris Iannetta and Ian Stewart hit back-to-back homers in the seventh, and Clint Barmes homered in the eighth for the Rockies, who used six relievers to pitch the final four innings.

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Added: September 4, 2009