Mets Game 50: Loss to Pirates
Pirates 8 Mets 5
Early on, it looked like it was going to be a laugher, as the Mets put up five quick runs in the first three innings off starter Ian Snell, who was getting no relief from the Pittsburgh bullpen at that point of the ballgame. But, in the end, it was the Pirates laughing last.
Snell settled down to pitch three scoreless innings, and the Bucs scored three times in the fourth to begin their crawl back, then plated another five in the eighth against Pedro Feliciano and J.J. Putz to take the lead.
Four members of the Bucco bullpen shut out the Mets over the final three innings.
Livan Hernandez pitched five and two-thirds innings before running out of gas, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out five.
Offensively, the bottom of the lineup did the bulk of the damage for the Mets, led by Jeremy Reed and Wilson Valdez in the #6 and #7 spots, who combined for four extra-base hits, three runs, and three RBI.
The Pirates sent 10 batters to the plate in that fateful eighth. Feliciano was charged with one, Putz the other four. Putz did not retire a batter in his 12-pitch performance.
Putz had a special bullpen session around 3pm prior to the game, supposedly to work on a glitch in his delivery that caused him to tip his pitches.
Prior to the game, Angel Pagan was put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin. No word on who would replace him, though Alex Cora is scheduled to come off the DL on Tuesday.
Carlos Beltran was a late scratch due to a stomach virus.
Gary Sheffield is definitely suffering from some kind of leg injury, because he’s running about one-quarter speed on the bases.
I realize the Mets are shorthanded and playing a makeshift lineup, but it’s hard to use that as an excuse in this contest. The Mets were cruising early, and the 100% healthy bullpen blew the game.
Bobby Parnell came in during the bottom of the sixth and struck out slugger Ramon Vazquez with the bases loaded to end the inning and preserve the Mets’ two-run lead. At the time it was a huge out. Oh well.
Two of the Pirates’ hits were deflected off the gloves of Mets pitchers.
I noticed that Wilson Valdez wears a Wilson glove. Coincidence?
Valdez failed to run on a chopper off the plate in the 8th, presumably because he thought the ball was foul. As it was, the ball was fair, and he was thrown out by 88 feet. But hey, he didn’t know where it was, and that’s a fine enough excuse for Omar Minaya’s dog pound known as the New York Mets. (Note to youngsters: run immediately, and keep running until the umpire makes a call.)
Nate McLouth, who is arguably the best young centerfielder in the National League, looked terrible, striking out three times.
PNC Park was looking empty; I would guess there were less than 10,000 people at the game — it was reminiscent of a 21st-century Montreal Expos game. And it should be noted that ticket prices are the same regardless of what team the Pirates are hosting (what a novel concept!).
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Pirates play again on Tuesday evening at 7:05 PM in Pittsburgh. Johan Santana faces Zach Duke.