Baseball is a game of ups and downs…perfectly described the past week of play by the Pittsburgh Pirates. After stumbling for weeks, the Bucs reeled off a stretch of four wins in five games to creep closer to that .500 mark. Now, after two straight dismal performances against the New York Mets, the Pirates now find themselves reeling once again as they lost this afternoon, 5-0.
The Mets scored the game’s first run in the second inning, thanks to a walk and a miscue by the Bucs. Lucas Duda led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second and third on back to back groundouts, and then scored on a Charlie Morton wild pitch to opposing pitcher Bartolo Colon. New York took a 1-0 lead without recording a hit in the inning.
More troublesome play from the Bucs continued in the third inning. Daniel Murphy hit a routine ground ball to shortstop, but after Jordy Mercer’s fielding error, Murphy ended up at third base with only one out. David Wright followed with an RBI single to shallow left center, scoring Murphy and giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.
New York returned the favor in the top of the fourth with a miscue of their own. Starling Marte hit a ground ball to third base with one out, but Wright’s throwing error allowed him to advance to second base. Unfortunately, the Pirates weren’t able to capitalize on the mistake, stranding Marte with a strikeout and ground out.
Wright added another RBI in the sixth inning on a solo homerun off Morton. Later in the inning, after issuing back to back walks, Morton was relieved by Jared Hughes with runners on first and second and only one out. Fortunately for the Bucs, Hughes was able to battle his way out of the inning without giving up a run, keeping the Mets lead at three runs.
The Pirates threatened in the eighth inning, bringing the tying run to the plate with only one out. But with Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen on first and second, Ike Davis grounded into a double play to end the threat.
Duda’s two-run homerun in the bottom of the eighth opened up the game, and the Mets went on to win, 5-0. After winning the first game of the series in comeback fashion, the Pirates fell yesterday and trailed the entire game today to lose yet another series on the road.
Morton took the loss for the Pirates today, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits with four walks and four strikeouts in 5.1 innings of work. Colon, who had previous success against the Bucs, was impressive again today, giving up just five hits and striking out nine in 7.1 innings, lowering his inflated season ERA to 4.73. McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez each tallied two of the team’s six hits in a losing effort.
Unfortunately, after a nice winning streak at home, the Pirates have fallen on hard times in the final two games of this series against the Mets. After losing two straight, they head out west for a four game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With their solid pitching staff and power-potential offense, the Dodgers are a tough team to beat…especially for a team struggling to score runs like the Pirates.
Record vs. Mets: 1-2
Record vs. N.L. East: 4-3
Record on the Road: 7-16
Overall Record: 23-29
Let’s Go Bucs!