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The Pirates choke away a 7-0 lead, lose to the Mets 9-8

Jun 2, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Mets Getty Images

There has been some ugly baseball played in this Pirates-Mets series, and today may have been the ugliest.

The Pirates had a 7-0 lead after three innings. The Mets’ comeback began conventionally enough with a three-run homer by Carlos Beltran. Then things got smaller and slightly unconventional in the sixth, with New York scoring runs on a couple of singles and one on a passed ball. It was tied 7-7 after six.

In the eighth inning it got a lot more nutty:  Ronny Paulino led off with a single and was pinch-run for by Willie Harris.  Chris Capuano was then called on to pinch hit, which obviously meant a bunt. He squared to bunt, and after a foul ball, Pirates pitcher Jose Veras was called for a balk, allowing Harris to advance to second.

Because Terry Collins doesn’t take in Mets games from a barcalounger like Jerry Manuel used to, he realized that the situation had changed and that a bunt was no longer called for given that there was a runner in scoring position and one out.  He pulled Capuano for Josh Thole, who drew a walk. Meanwhile, Harris had reached on a wild pitch and Ruben Tejada plated him with a sac fly. Then it became a parade of walks, with Daniel Murphy, Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran all getting free passes, leading to one more run. At that point it’s 9-7 and the game is pretty much sealed.

That was the Mets biggest comeback in 11 years and their second biggest comeback of all time. Credit should go to Terry Collins, certainly, and to Beltran for that big blast.

The rest of it though? Boy, Pirates, that was exactly the kind of baseball that the Mets got yelled at for playing yesterday.  Just bad, bad stuff.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 2, 2011 at 5:09 PM

    What’s funny Craig, is that I still think your statement that the Buccos can be a .500 team this year remains accurate, even after today. It’s not as much about the Pirates themselves, as it is about the suckitude of the Cubs and Stros.

  2. hermitfool - Jun 2, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    A rookie Little League manager would have done a better job with his pitching staff than Clint Hurdle did today. Colorado Rockies fans have seen this movie too many times: Everyone in the stadium except Hurdle can tell when the starting pitcher is fried. Everyone in the stadium except for Hurdle can see the relief pitcher, when he finally shows up, can’t hit his ass with either hand, let alone the strike zone. Hurdle leaves him in. This is exactly the kind of boneheaded managing that caused Hurdle to lose the confidence of his players in Colorado. Too bad. He’s done a terrific job of getting the Bucks to respectability this year, but it won’t last once he loses his players.

  3. goldensombrero3000 - Jun 2, 2011 at 7:37 PM

    The Pirates are starting to unravel later and later each year. They’re staring to run into the June Steeler season.

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