Mets Game 64: Loss to Pirates
Pirates 3 Mets 2
Somehow, the Mets managed to finish this game with less runs than the Pirates. I’m not sure how, because R.A. Dickey pitched well, James McDonald was borderline terrible, the Mets were hitting, and the Pirates weren’t.
In short: what the heck happened?
Mets Game Notes
R.A. Dickey continues to pitch better with plantar fasciitis than he did without, but at the same time, he can’t win. Dickey put forth a complete game, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, expending only 103 pitches (72 strikes). He kept the Bucco batters off balance all night, and was one Dan Murphy error-scored-a-double away from a victory.
Meantime, Pirates starter James McDonald was awful. He was only able to get one pitch over the plate — his straight-as-an-arrow fastball — and he didn’t have great command of it. OK, he did throw his curveball for a strike two or three times — including once for a called strike three on Jason Bay with men on second and third and two out (Bay just can’t catch a break). All the Mets hitters had to do was look for the fastball and sit on it. For the most part, they did, collecting 8 hits and 3 walks. But they couldn’t push runners across the plate. McDonald’s body language screamed lack of confidence and puzzlement, which made the Mets’ inability to score all the more frustrating. McDonald did have the benefit of a few great defensive plays and “at-em” balls, but I still don’t understand how he managed to get through 4 innings, much less 6.
Murphy’s error — which wasn’t scored as an error according to the ESPN boxscore I read — was the difference in the ballgame. I know that Terry Collins was trying to get Lucas Duda’s bat in the lineup while also giving his veteran Jason Bay a chance to right himself, but you have to wonder what the final score might have been if Justin Turner played 3B, Murphy 1B, and Duda LF.
Speaking of Jason Bay, it’s painful and sad to watch his at-bats. I truly like Bay and am rooting for him to get out of this massive slump, but he has zero confidence and is completely clueless at the plate; he looks defensive and confused from pitch one. It might be best for him to take a three-week sabbatical from baseball, if such a thing is possible. Continuing to go to the plate and make outs only buries his psyche deeper and deeper into an unscalable abyss.
Happy 28th birthday to Jose Reyes, who had yet another multi-hit game.
How did Joel Hanrahan get so good? The Nationals can’t be happy they gave up on him so quickly, and sent him away for Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan (ouch). Hanrahan was buzzing the ball at 98 MPH and reminding me a bit of Eric Gagne circa 2003.
Next Mets Game
The rubber match will be played on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 PM. The Mets send Chris Capuano to the mound against Kevin Correia.