After avoiding a sweep at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds, the Pirates traveled to New York for a four-game set against the Mets, one of the more disappointing teams in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately for the Pirates, the Mets played this 4-game series like one of the league’s best, and the end result was a 4-game sweep of our beloved Buccos.
Monday, September 13: The first game of the series was an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel, which ended with a pinch hit, game-winning single by the Mets’ Nick Evans in bottom of the 10th, sending both teams into their respective clubhouses in walk-off fashion.
The Pirates got a wonderful performance from James McDonald, who only gave up 5 hits through 8 innings, but after an inning to perfect pitching from Chris Resop, Chan Ho Park gave up 2 hits in the 10th, including the game-winner. Obviously, from a hitting standpoint, Garrett Jones tallied a pair of hits, leading the team. But as a collective effort, the Pirates couldn’t muster anything…and it cost them the ballgame.
Tuesday, September 14: The Pirates didn’t come out of their hitting slump in the second game of the series…and unfortunately, the Mets did. New York scored in the first 4 innings of the game, which was more than what they needed as they obliterated the Pirates, 9-1. Carlos Beltran led the charge for the Mets, going 2-4 with 1 HR and 3 RBI. Garrett Jones earned another pair of knocks for the Buccos. Zach Duke fell to 7-14 on the season, giving up 8 runs on 9 hits, further inflating his ERA to 5.78 for the season.
Wednesday, September 15: The Pirates’ offense finally exploded in the 3rd game of the series, but they couldn’t quite match the Mets punch for punch, as they lost for the 3rd straight time, this time 8-7 in a shootout.
Andrew McCutchen went 2-4 with 1HR and 3 RBI, Pedro Alvarez slated the first triple of his career. John Bowker and Ronny Cedeno chipped in 2 hits as well, but for the second straight night, the starter wasn’t effective. Paul Maholm fell to 7-15 after his 3.2 inning performance, giving up 7 runs on 7 hits. The Pirates now found themselves in the position, for the second straight series, trying to avoid a sweep on the road.
Thursday, September 16: The Buccos’ bats went back into hibernation in the final game of the series in New York, and the Mets solidly beat Pittsburgh, completing the sweep, 6-2.
Charlie Morton could’ve pitched better, but he certainly could’ve thrown worse. The Pirates’ right-hander gave up 2 runs on 5 hits through 5 innings, which gave the Pirates a chance to win the game. Unfortunately, the bats were nowhere in sight. No Pirate tallied more than 1 hit, as Ronny Cedeno and John Bowker each earned an RBI, but it was far too little of an attack to compete with the Mets’ offense.
So the Pirates complete the road trip at 1-6, which is pathetic. While the majority of the games on this road trip were close, the Bucs need to win some of these contests. This is a young team with a lot to learn, but September is the month of opportunity…an opportunity to grow up and take that next step forward…and hopefully garner some momentum going into the 2011 season. So far this month, this has not been the case. The Pirates return home to PNC Park for their final home stand of the season, one that hopefully will yield some slightly more positive results.
Current Record: 48-98
And…As Always…Let’s Go Bucs!