|Mets second basemen Ruben Tejada avoids a slide by the Pirates' Matt Diaz in the second inning. (NYTimes.com)|
In what has become a trend across this homestand, the Mets blew a lead late, giving up 9 Pirate runs in 2 innings on the way to losing their 30th game of the year, 9-3.
The Bad Stuff:
- Chris Capuano pitched great for 6 innings, holding down the fort on a 2-0 lead. But just like R.A. Dickey last night, the wheels came off int he last third of the game. The Pirates racked up 7 singles in the 7th, 5 of them on infield hits, and came up with 5 runs when the dust finally settled, all of them charged to Capuano.
- The 8th didn't go much better for Pedro Beato and Michael O'Connor, who combined to surrender 4 more runs and dig a trench deeper than Flanders.
- It's hard to top 9 runs in a game, especially when your offense can't hit with runners in scoring position. Yes, once again, RISP spelled doom for the Met bats. 2-10 just won't do.
- The biggest holes appeared in the bats of Willie Harris and Jason Bay, who combined to go 1-8 with 5 strikeouts. Admittedly, Bay was robbed in the 1st of an extra base hit and RBI when Andrew McCutchen raced to the deepest part of the ballpark and made a sliding catch against the wall. Still, that would have only been Bay's 4th extra base hit in the past 31 games. And this guy is still batting cleanup?
- New York banged out 10 hits to go with their 3 runs. Ruben Tejada came through with a bases-loaded bloop single in the 4th to score 2. And Justin Turner ended the Mets' 10-game long homer-less drought with a solo blast in the 8th, his second of the year and first at the cavernous Citi Field.
- Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy also went 2-4 with a run scored each.
Four times now on this week-and-a-half-long homestand have the Mets led late and haven't been able to finish it out. The bullpen, which had been so stellar all May, begins the month of June as cold as ice. And great performances from starting pitchers are being wiped out when those same pitchers stay in there just one inning too long. Unfortunately, that creates a sort of pick-your poison-type atmosphere for Terry Collins: lose with your starters, or your relievers? We need to get to the point where he can say "I'll win with my starters and relievers" instead. How far off is that? Hopefully just a day.
Perhaps the Amazin' fortunes will turn tomorrow with the return of Jose Reyes. All I can say is he can't get back fast enough.