|Terry Collins, right, questions umpire Jerry Layne, center, about an obstruction call on shortstop Jose Reyes during the first inning. (NYTimes.com)|
Paul Maholm and the Pirate pitchers finally got the lid on the Mets offense and the Bucs got just enough against Mike Pelfrey, delivering the Mets a 3-1 loss and splitting the season series.
The Bad Stuff:
- The southpaw Mahlom kept the Mets' bats off balance and off the board for 7 innings, limiting them to 3 hits, walking 2, and striking out 4.
- New York's biggest threat came once Mahlolm left in the 8th, but the most unlikely case of deja vu cut the chance short. With no outs and runners on the corners, Jose Reyes knocked a hard blooper to left...right into the sliding Jose Tabata's glove. Ruben Tejada scored from third, but Lucas Duda, who apparently learned nothing from Angel Pagan's gaffe yesterday, left too soon from first and was doubled off for the second out. Threat ended. Justin Turner then flew out, and Pittsburgh was out of the jam.
- In the bottom half of the 8th, Manny Acosta made his second appearance of the year. You remember 8 days ago when he allowed 2 of Atlanta's 3 runs in the 9th? Well, this one wasn't much better. After getting the first out, Acosta allowed three straight singles and was pulled for lefty specialist Tim Byrdak. Byrdak struck out the first batter, but walked Neil Walker to force in a run, charged to Acosta. Remember when Manny's ERA was 54.00? Well, it ain't much better, sitting at an elephantesque 40.50.
There you go making up words again, MM.
So sue me. Like Barney Stinson did when I borrowed "Possimpible."
- Pirate closer Joel Hanrahan continued his perfect start, retiring the heart of the Mets' lineup 1-2-3 in the 9th for his 17th save. And that was all she wrote.
- She may be done writing, but I certainly am not. Mike Pelfrey continued New York's string of impressive starts, but picked up the hard-luck loss by allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings. He didn't walk any and struck out 6.
For the second time in three days, the Mets had a chance to get back to .500. And for the second time in three days, they ran into a wall. A wall of Pirates. With only 4 hits, New York fell waaayyy short of extending their 10-hit streak to 5 games.
Outsiders will look at this series and not be surprised. After all, New York and Pittsburgh had nearly identical records. A 4-4 season split was the logical prediction. But Mets fans will look on this and see a missed opportunity. We could have easily swept the home series a couple weeks ago, and just as easily could have taken 3 of 4 at PNC. But instead of 7-1, we went 4-4. File this under "disappointing."
The Mets now take their 32-34 record into Atlanta to face the Wild Card-leading Braves. New York took 2 of 3 last weekend at Citi Field, but Turner Field is far from friendly confines. Taking 2 of 3 will be tough, but that's why they play the games. And a sweep would put us over .500. Bring it on.