The Mets belted out three home runs over the first four innings—courtesy of Neil Walker, Jay Bruce, and Wilmer Flores—and held on the rest of the way in recording a 4-2 victory.
While there was no additional scoring after the fourth inning, the game did not lack for drama and unrequited scoring opportunities. Robert Gsellman pitched 5.1 mostly solid innings, but tired in the top of the sixth, exiting with runners on first and third and one out. Fernando Salas came on and kept Elias Diaz stuck on six RBIs for the series with a strikeout, then got pinch-hitter Jose Osuna to fly out to the edge of the warning track in right field to hold the lead.
The Mets squandered an opportunity to break the game open with their own first and third situation in the bottom of the sixth—this one with none out—after singles from Neil Walker and Lucas Duda (oh, by the way, now sporting a .999 OPS) started the frame. Wilmer Flores, Curtis Granderson, and Rene Rivera went down strikeout, pop out, strikeout to quell the rally, and the failure to capitalize seemed as if it might loom large as the Pirates threatened in every inning thereafter, leaving two men on again in the seventh and eighth innings and one on in the ninth.
However, Jerry Blevins pitched around an Asdrubal Cabrera error to throw a scoreless seventh, and Addison Reed worked around baserunners in both the eighth and ninth—throwing 36 pitches—to seal the victory and record his first ever two inning save.
Tyler Pill will make his second start tomorrow in the rubber game of the series. The Mets will be desperately hoping for some length from the rookie to get a bit of rest for their beleaguered bullpen.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Neil Walker, +19.8% WPA, Fernando Salas, +15.4% WPA, Addison Reed, +13.5% WPA
Big losers: Curtis Granderson, -7.0 WPA
The aw3s0mest play: Neil Walker two-run home run in the first inning, +18.3%
The sux0rest play: Josh Harrison single in the third inning, -11.3%
Total pitcher WPA: 30.6 WPA+
Total batter WPA: 19.4 WPA+
GWRBI!: Jay Bruce