The Mets pounded out ten hits in front of the third-largest crowd in PNC Park History, but they were just 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and the Bucs dispatched them in time to enjoy the sweet post-game concert by Huey Lewis.
The Mets got on the board early again despite Jose Reyes leading off the game with a single to center (good) and subsequently getting thrown out trying to steal second (bad). Ruben Tejada walked and Carlos Beltran singled him to third, and Tejada scored on Daniel Murphy's fielder's choice grounder to third.
The Pirates evened things at one run apiece on a Neil Walker lead-off walk in the bottom of the second and an RBI double by Garrett Jones which landed in the right-center power alley in between the mutually trepidatious Angel Pagan and Beltran.
In the bottom of the third, Wyatt Toregas struck out swinging and James McDonald tapped a ball in front of the plate which Ronny Paulino grabbed and fired to first for the second out. Jose Tabata then singled to right and Josh Harrison walked on five pitches to move Tabata into scoring position, and Andrew McCutchen hit a grounder sharply to third which Murphy misplayed in what can only be described as the fielding equivalent of a shart. Inexplicably, Murphy slid towards the batted ball, which ball was then deflected by Murphy's knee down the left field line into foul territory. Tabata and Harrison scored and McCutchen scrambled all the way to third on Jason Bay's parabolic throw home. Neil Walker grounded out to shortstop so no further damage was done.
In the top of the fifth, Jose Reyes led off with his second single of the game and moved to second on a James McDonald wild pitch and then to third on a right-side ground out by Tejada. Beltran followed with an infield single up the middle which was snared by Brandon Wood to keep the ball on the infield but Reyes still trotted home with the Mets' second run of the game. Murphy singled to right but Pagan flied out to left and Bay struck out looking to end the inning.
The Mets threatened in the top of the eighth when Pagan drew a one-out walk and Lucas Duda smashed a double down the line in right field, but the ball was played perfectly by defensive replacement Xavier Paul and Pagan was held up at third by the occasionally conservative Chip Hale. The rally went up in smoke when Paulino struck out with the bases loaded to strand two runners in scoring position.
The Mets went quietly in the ninth, as pinch-hitter Jason Pridie flined (yes) out to second, Reyes struck out swinging on three pitches, and Tejada tapped out to closer Joel Hanrahan to seal the 3-2 defeat.
R.A. Dickey pitched eight solid innings in the losing effort, walking two and allowing eight hits.
They're back at it again tomorrow at 1:35pm when Chris Capuano takes on Kevin Correia.
Unintentionally sexual quote of the game: "Dickey with a good grab." --Gary Cohen
A few other notes:
- Jason Bay snapped his 0-for-24 streak with a single in the fourth, but started a new streak in his next at-bat and is now at 0-for-2.
- Ruben Tejada has a .398 on-base percentage which is likely not supported by his well-above-average .371 BABIP and his decidedly average 19.8% line drive rate, but it's nevertheless fun to watch.
- Jose Reyes's .517 slugging percentage is the highest of any player on either team.
- R.A. Dickey threw 16 fastballs at an average speed of 84 MPH and a top speed of 87 MPH. He has no ulnar collateral ligament.
Big winners: Ruben Tejada, +5.0% WPA, R.A. Dickey (pitching), +3.1% WPA
Big losers: R.A. Dickey (batting), -15.6% WPA, Ronny Paulino, -11.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Duda double in eighth, +9.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: McCutchen two-run "double" in third, -20.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +3.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: -53.1% WPA
GWRBI!: Andrew McCutchen
Nice job by Spike Davis; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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