For a while there, it looked like Chris Capuano would make up for the Mets lineup. He cruised through six innings, pitching very efficiently without allowing a run to score. Then came the five-run seventh inning from hell.
The Pirates only hit the ball out of the infield twice in the inning, but they scored five runs that were all charged to Capuano. It all began on a soft ground ball my Andrew McCutchen on which Daniel Murphy ranged way over to his right side to field the ball. As it usually the case when Murphy goes that far from first base, the play ended poorly. His throw and Capuano couldn't meet up at first base, and McCutchen was safe.That was only the beginning.
Neil Walker, the Pirates' cleanup hitter this evening, followed up by pushing a not-that-great bunt towards third base, but he reached safely with an infield single of his own. Then came Matt Diaz, who channeled Alex Rodriguez from the Sunday afternoon disaster as Yankee Stadium III a few weeks back and dribbled a ball short of the mound just slightly to the third base side. Capuano couldn't field the ball, and the Pirates officially had their third straight infield single on what could have been ruled an error.
So the bases were loaded, but the Mets still had a two-zip lead. Chris Snyder hit a ground ball that Tejada ranged very deep into the hole between him and Willie Harris to field. He threw to Harris, who somehow managed to fail to record the force out at third base. Whether or not Harris stepped on the bag, he made an attempt to tag out the runner. If there was any doubt in the mind of the umpire, that tag attempt sold the play in the Pirates' favor. The Pirates had scored their first run, and the bases were still loaded with nobody out.
Lyle Overbay followed up with a sharp line drive to right-center field, which Angel Pagan awkwardly half-dove at and failed to catch, allowing the Pirates to tie the game. That was the end of Capuano's night, and his line in the box score in no way indicates how he performed.
Pedro Beato came on to try to put out the fire, but he didn't. Xavier Paul hit a sharp, legitimate single to right field to put Pittsburgh up by a run. Jose Tabata then grounded to Harris at third base, and Harris tried to turn the ball into a double play but only got the force out at second base. 4-2 Pirates. Josh Harrison hit - what else? - an infield single to short to put the Pirates up 5-2 before McCutchen mercifully struck out to finally end the inning. The headline on the recap over at Bucs Dugout reads, "Luckiest. Inning. Ever."
The bullpen - Beato, Mike O'Connor, and Dale Thayer - then allowed the Pirates to score four more runs in the eighth inning, sealing the deal on the game, if it hadn't been sealed already.
At some point earlier in the evening, the Mets had scored a pair of runs thanks to an awful play by Neil Walker. Other than that, a few notable things happened: Andrew McCutchen made an outstanding catch on a long fly ball by Jason Bay to right center field, Justin Turner hit a solo home run in the eighth inning, and then Turner turned a double play on a very nice grab on a line drive in the ninth inning.
Big winners: Ruben Tejada, +18.6% WPA
Big losers: Chris Capuano, -29.2% WPA (that's just not fair), Pedro Beato, -17.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Ruben Teajda two-run single in the fourth, +22.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Chris Snyder RBI single in the seventh, -16.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -47.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: -2.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Jose Tabata
Nice job by fxcarden; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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