Vance Worley might not have been good enough for the Minnesota Twins, but he didn’t have many problems against the Mets on Thursday night. The Mets managed just one run on seven hits against him in seven innings.
With Daisuke Matsuzaka starting for the Mets, Worley’s performance was more than enough for the Pirates. Matsuzaka allowed the first run of the game in the third inning on a walk, a sacrifice fly, a wild pitch, and a ground out. Matsuzaka’s walk rate has been far too high not to eventually catch up with him, and this run was just an example of how that might happen.
But the Mets tied the game in the top of the fourth on a solo home run to the left field corner—a very atypical home run for the left-handed-hitting first baseman. Unfortunately, the game turned right back in the Pirates’ favor in the bottom of that inning. Matsuzaka gave up a double to Andrew McCutchen to begin the ininng, but he struck out Neil Walker and got Russell Martin to ground out to short. McCutchen moved to third on the latter play, and after Dice-K walked Ike Davis, the Mets put on the shift with Pedro Alvarez at the plate. The Pirates had Davis break for second, and the Mets fell right into that trap. Matsuzaka threw to Duda at first, who did not check McCutchen at third and threw the ball to David Wright—who was at second base—to retired Davis, but not before McCutchen crossed home plate.
The Mets’ bats were mostly dormant for a while, but the Pirates notched a pair of singles in the bottom of the fifth before Matsuzaka served up a three-run home run to Gregory Polanco. The Pirates led 5-1, and that pretty much wrapped up the game.
In the eighth, Daniel Murphy led off with a double, and David Wright hit one, too, to bring him home. But he didn’t even advance to third from there, as the Mets’ next three hitters were retired in order, effectively ending the team’s last chance at tying the game. Pirates closer Mark Melancon set the Mets down in order in the ninth to complete Pittsburgh’s victory.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Lucas Duda, +7.7% WPA
Big losers: Daisuke Matsuzaka, -32.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Lucas Duda’s game-tying solo home run in the fourth, +14.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Gregory Polanco’s three-run home run in the fifth, -13.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -32.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: -18.0% WPA
GWRBI!: Gregory Polanco