The Mets 'pen blew a 2-0 lead, losing by a final score of 5-3 Monday afternoon at Citi Field. Veteran reliever Jose Valverde allowed 4 runs, 3 earned in just a two-thirds inning of work. Pirates first baseman Gabby Sanchez drove in 3 of the Pirates runs coming off the bench to pinch-hit for first baseman Ike Davis in the eighth inning.
Before the game the Mets announced that outfielder Eric Young Jr. was placed on the disabled list with a pulled hamstring and outfielder Matt den Dekker was called up in his place.
Leading off the top of the first, left fielder Josh Harrison struck out swinging. Second baseman Neil Walker then singled to left and centerfielder Andrew McCutchen followed with his own single to left. In his first at-bat against his former team, Ike Davis walked to load the bases and catcher Russell Martin grounded into a double play to retire the side.
In the bottom of the first, second baseman Daniel Murphy flied out to left, and third baseman David Wright grounded out to second, advancing Lagares over to third. Left fielder, Curtis Granderson then struck out swinging to end the inning.
Alvarez singled up the middle to start the top of the second. Left fielder Starling Marte followed with a walk. Shortstop Jordy Mercer then flied out to right, starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton struck out swinging, and Josh Mercer grounded out to shortstop to retire the side. Both the Mets and Pirates failed to score in their next at-bats.
Catcher Juan Centeno grounded back to the pitcher to lead off the bottom of the third. Jacob deGrom then singled up the middle, his third hit in as many starts for the pitcher. Juan Lagares reached on an error by Mercer, moving deGrom over to second. Daniel Murphy then grounded into a double play to end the inning. Both teams did not score in the fourth inning and the Pirates didn’t bring in a run in the top of the fifth.
After shortstop Wilmer Flores grounded out to second leading off the bottom half of the fifth, Centeno grounded to third. deGrom then blooped a single to left his second hit of the game. Juan Lagares followed with a walk and Daniel Muprhy lined a single to right. deGrom scored giving the Mets a 1-0 lead. The ball was thrown to third and got away from Pedro Alvarez. Lagares then raced towards the plate and was thrown out to end the inning. With a request from Mets manager Terry Collins, the umpires reviewed the play and overturned the call. Lagares was safe, making it 2-0 New York. David Wright flied to right to officially end the inning. The Pirates were retired in order in the top of the sixth.
Curtis Granderson started the bottom of the sixth with a groundout back to Brandon Cumpton for the first out. Right fielder Bobby Abreu then lined a double to the gap in right center. Lucas Duda then grounded out to first, advancing Abreu to third, but Wilmer Flores then flied out to right to end the inning.
Jordy Mercer grounded to third to start the top of the seventh. Outfielder Travis Snider then pinch-hit for Brandon Cumpton and drew a walk. Josh Harrison struck out swinging for the second out, but Neil Walker walked. At a career high 122 pitches deGrom was removed and young flamethrower Jeurys Familia entered to face Andrew McCutchen, the 2013 National League MVP. Familia got McCutchen to strike out looking to get out of the jam and retire the side. The Mets did not score in the bottom of the seventh.
Lefty specialist Scott Rice entered the game to pitch to Ike Davis leading off the top of the eighth. Davis was called back and Gabby Sanchez came up to bat. Sanchez then hit a high pop up to left. The ball carried and carried, eventually hitting off the fencing at the top of the wall down the left field line for a solo shot, cutting the Mets lead to 2-1. Russell Martin then flied out to center, and Pedro Alvarez grounded to second.
Jose Valverde then entered the game to get the final out of the eighth. Starling Marte then doubled to deep left. Outfielder Jose Tabata then pinch-hit for Jordy Mercer and singled to right. Marte scored to tie the game 2-2. Tabata then stole second with pinch-hitter infielder Clint Barnes at the plate and Barnes flied out to right to retire the side. The Mets failed to drive in a run in the bottom half of the eighth.
Josh Harrison popped a bunt up to third for the first out of the top of the ninth. Neil Walker singled up the middle and Andrew McCutchen followed with a walk. Gabby Sanchez then singled past a diving Wilmer Flores at short and into left field. Walker scored. Curtis Granderson threw home, and the ball got away from Juan Centeno. Valverde failed to back up the play, and the ball rolled all the way to the backstop. McCutchen scored to give the Pirates a 4-2 lead. Valverde was pulled and Carlos Torres came in to put out the fire.
Matt den Dekker came in as a defensive replacement for Bobby Abreu in right. Russell Martin doubled to deep center, scoring Sanchez to make it 5-2 Pittsburgh. Pedro Alvarez was intentionally walked and Starling Marte struck out swinging. Reliever Tony Watson, who pitched a scoreless eighth for the Pirates then singled to left loading the bases. Clint Barnes then flied out to center to retire the side.
Lucas Duda led off the bottom of the ninth by crushing the first pitch over the fence in right center for a solo shot cutting the Pirates lead to 5-3. Wilmer Flores then flied to right, and Juan Centeno and Matt den Dekker both struck out swinging to end the game.
Immediately after the game the Mets announced that they fired their hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who had been with the team since Terry Collins was hired prior to the 2011 season. The team also announced that Jose Valverde was released and Vic Black, who was sent back to AAA Las Vegas earlier in the day, would come up to fill the roster spot.
The Mets and Pirates return to action tomorrow night when lefty veteran Jonathon Niese tries to right the ship for New York against veteran Edison Volquez.
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