FLUSHING, NY: Maybe the Wilpon’s should have put a roof on Citi Field.
Once again, the Mets (63-55) returned from a rain delay like a completely different team, giving up 7 runs after the deluge and falling to the Pirates 8-1. Mets blew a 7-1 lead against the Padres a few weeks ago during a rain storm, then returned from the delay to lose the game.
The Pirates completed the sweep of their weekend series with 15 hits – 8 of them in the last three innings when the Mets were charged with only one error, but made several miscues and bonehead plays. Man, it was ugly.
And poor Matt Harvey (ND). He pitched six innings, allowing just one run on 7 hits, a leadoff homerun to Pedro Alvarez in the second inning, but the Pirates had men on base in almost every inning. You really couldn’t say he “struggled”, just that he wasn’t sharp – Matt Harvey sharp.
Travis d’Arnaud homered to tie the game 1-1 in the Met half of the second inning, but the Mets bats were again silent for most of the game, managing just 3 hits until the sixth inning. With one out, Daniel Murphy stroked a single to center and Michael Cuddyer was hit by a pitch. That brought d’Arnaud to the plate again. D’Arnaud had already hit a homer and a double. And then Mother Nature intervened.
The thunder crack was so startling that Murphy began running from second base back into the dugout before the umpires had even called for the grounds crew.
It took 42 minutes before d’Arnaud got back in the batter’s box, and he struck out looking before Reuben Tejada grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The delay (and the pitch count) ended Harvey’s night, so Bobby Parnell got the call in the 7th inning. Parnell didn’t pitch in the 14 inning marathon on Saturday, but did take the loss on Friday when he didn’t record an out and was charged with two runs on three hits. He was equally brutal this afternoon.
After a leadoff walk, Parnell pounced on a slow grounder, but his throw to second to start a double play ended up in center field. You can’t give a team like Pittsburgh extra AB’s and they took advantage – big time. A base hit (one run), a wild pitch (two runs), a walk and another hit (three runs), O’Flaherty relieves Parnell and immediately gives up another hit (four runs). And just like that, a beautiful Sunday afternoon pitching matchup and a 1-1 game became a laugher.
Pirates added three more in the 8th and, well, you get the picture.
Pirates have swept all six games from the Mets, outscoring them 37-10. They never trailed in any game. Their relievers recorded all three wins in the series and in 15 innings of relief struck out 17 batters and gave up only one run and six hits.
Much needed day off tomorrow as the Mets head to Baltimore for a quick 2-game stop. Jacob deGrom (11-6) takes the hill on Tuesday.
POSITIVES: d’Arnaud had two hits (2B, HR) and the only RBI … Cespedes had 5 hits in the series, including homerun and outfield assist on Saturday … Washington also got swept this weekend in San Francisco, so Mets maintain a 4.5 game lead in the NL East. Washington dropped a game below .500 (58-59)
NEGATIVES: Parnell took the loss in two games this weekend, allowing five hits and six runs (four earned) while recording only two outs … Mets had only 4 hits all game … Pirate pitchers struck out 39 Mets in the series (33 innings) … Granderson was 1-13 in the series with 5K