The Mets lost to the Pirates last night at Citi Field, but there were at least a few positives to be mined from the game. Bartolo Colon pitched well, with his only mistake coming in the second at-bat of the game, when Neil Walker placed a first-pitch fastball over the right field fence to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead.
Other than that, Colon was splendid. He recovered from the homer by striking out Andrew McCutchen. In the fourth, after issuing his first walk in almost thirty innings to McCutchen and allowing a bloop single to Jung-Ho Kang, he induced a 1-6-3 double play to quell the threat. Other than that, he cruised, striking out seven and scattering seven hits over seven innings of work.
On the offensive side, the Mets made plenty of contact against Pirates starter J.A. Happ, as the former Phillies pitcher coughed up seven hits over five-and-a-third innings of work. The Mets blew a huge opportunity in the third after Juan Lagares led off with a single and Curtis Granderson doubled to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Sadly, Yoenis Cespedes, Juan Uribe, and Daniel Murphy went down in order.
Both Cespedes and Murph redeemed themselves nicely in the sixth. The former led off with a high solo homer to left that tied the score at one, and a batter later, the latter doubled to knock Happ out of the game. Jared Hughes came on to end the threat though, and the score remained tied as the Mets took the field for the seventh.
After Hughes set the Mets down 1-2-3 in the seventh, Tyler Clippard came on the eighth for the Amazins, worked around a leadoff walk to Michael "Weren’t you with the Dodgers?" Morse and held the Bucs scoreless in the eighth. To make the whole thing even sweeter, Clippard struck out Andrew McCutchen with a full count with a great changeup—the biggest pitch of his young tenure with the Amazins—to end the inning.
Antonio Bastardo—a perfect name for a member of the Pirates—came out to pitch the eighth. Unfortunately, only Cespedes managed to get on against the swashbuckling reliever, thanks to a diving stop on a Daniel Murphy grounder by the notoriously graceful Pedro Alvarez. After Bastardo exited for the ninth, the equally-epically named Arquimedes Caminero came out and gave Anthony Recker his first hit since June 3, but other than that, he set the Mets down without incident.
The tenth is when it all fell apart. Bobby Parnell came on for the Amazins and allowed three straight hits: a single to Chris Stewart, a hit-and-run single to pinch-hitter Francisco Cervelli that advanced pinch runner Starling Marte to third, and finally, a single to Gregory Polanco that plated the go-ahead run for the Bucs. Terry Collins removed Parnell after that, and though Carlos Torres did his best to minimize the damage, another run scored on an Aramis Ramirez sacrifice fly that gave the Bucs a 3-1 lead heading to the bottom of the tenth.
Juan Lagares led things off for the Mets in the tenth, and, after a great at-bat, doubled off of Pirates closer Mark Melancon. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, and Curtis Granderson brought him home on a sac fly to make the score 3-2. That was all the Mets could muster, though, as Cespedes struck out and Juan Uribe grounded out to give the Mets their first loss on this home stand.
SB Nation GameThreads
* Amazin' Avenue GameThread
* Bucs Dugout GameThread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Bartolo Colon, +21.1% WPA; Yoenis Cespedes, +15.9% WPA
Big losers: Bobby Parnell, -41.3% WPA; Juan Uribe, -25.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Yoenis Cespedes homer, bottom of the sixth
Teh sux0rest play: Francisco Cervelli single, top of the tenth
Total pitcher WPA: -1.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: -48.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Aramis Ramirez