Saturday, July 13, 2013

Game #89: Pirates 3, Mets 2 (11)

I suppose we should count ourselves fortunate that the boys only had to play 11 innings tonight.

Jordy Mercer's walk-off single off Gonzalez Germen capped a back-and-forth affair the Mets valiantly failed to stay on top of, as the Pirates took the opener 3-2.

The Bad Stuff:
  • This is not the way you want to start your major league career. But that's exactly what Gonzalez Germen did when he entered the game in the bottom of the 11th: walk to Andrew McCutchen, strikeout of Pedro Alvarez, intentional walk of Russell Martin, strikeout of Gaby Sanchez, walk-off single by Jordy Mercer. After 0.2 innings, Germen's ERA stands at 13.50.
  • The Mets had nine hits on the night but hit just 1-4 with RISP and stranded seven castaways on Basepaths Island (but don't worry, they'll all have a great time with the Harlem Globetrotters).
The Good Stuff:
  • Aside from one pitch in the 1st inning that Pedro Alverez belted for a two-run homer, Jeremy Hefner was as good as ever in his Solid Seven innings, allowing just those two runs on three hits and no walks while striking out three on an efficient 78 pitches. If not for the need to produce runs in the top of the 8th, Hef probably could have pitched the full nine frames.
  • David Wright's RBI single in the 6th put New York on the board, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis's solo jack in the 7th tied the score at 2-2.
  • Eric Young, Daniel Murphy, and Wright each had two hits, accounting for 66% of the team's total on the night.
  • After giving up a leadoff double to Starling Marte to start the 9th, the Met bullpen had one of its most impressive innings of the whole season. Jose Tabata bunted Marte over to third, then after David Aardsma intentionally walked McCutchen, Scott Rice was brought on to face the dangerous Alvarez. But Rice overwhelmed Alvarez, striking him out on five pitches (just one ball). Greg Burke was brought on to face Martin and ultimately failed, issuing a full count walk to load the bases. This brought up Sanchez to the plate and Josh Edgin in from the bullpen. After falling behind 2-0, Edgin got Sanchez to bite on a a fastball and send a weak groundball to Ike Davis at first. Threat averted, extras achieved.
  • Despite the two extra frames, tonight's game only went three hours and thirty-two minutes, highlighting the efficiency of both Hefner and his counterpart, Charlie Morton.
Final Analysis:
It's hard to fault the Mets too much for this loss. They played hard in what's becoming a hostile environment with every Pittsburgh win, fighting back to force extras. Can't argue with that, even if the result isn't what we wanted.

Jeremy Hefner continues to impress. Take away that single pitch to Alvarez and he's probably got a complete-game shutout. A while back people ironically declared joy over "Hefner Day," but he keeps this up and the irony will disappear faster than the opposition lineup against him.


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