*Hopefully* the last loss of 2012

The Pirates have now pushed their luck to the limit.  They lost to the Mets 6-5 for their 80th loss of the season.

Rod Barajas and Jordy Mercer got the Bucs an early lead against R.A. Dickey with RBIs a piece.  Ike Davis got one run right back against Kevin Correia, but Barajas neutralized it with a solo shot in the fourth.

To beat a pitcher like Dickey, you have to get a few runs early and hope your starter can keep the lead.  The Pirates just couldn’t follow through on the latter.  The score was 3-2 heading to the fifth thanks to an absolutely unreal catch by Travis Snider.  He scaled the RF wall to rob Mike Baxter of a home run and preserve the lead for the time being.  Definitely one of the best catches ever by a Pirate.  But despite help from his defense, Correia couldn’t hold off the Mets.  A single tied it up and David Wright mashed a three-run bomb that gave the Metropolitans the 6-3 lead.

That would be all Dickey, who locked in and made the Bucs look foolish at the plate, would need.  He struck out 13 batters in 7.2 innings on his way to his 20th win of the season.  Alex Presley got the Pirates within a run in the ninth with a two-run shot, but Bobby Parnell came in to get the last two outs and hold off the Buccos.  Congrats to R.A. on his milestone-win.  He’s definitely been one of the best stories in 2012 and is a likable guy.

That’s it.  Gotta win out to get that winning season.

Pirates (76-80) – Mets (72-84)

Win: Dickey (20-6)
Loss: Correia (11-11)
Save: Parnell (5)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

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Mashing the Mets

The Buccos busted out the lumber in New York and got back within two games of .500 with a 10-6 win over the Metropolitans.

Gaby Sanchez got the Pirates out to a quick lead with a sacrifice-fly in the first.  Next up was Pedro Alvarez, who stroked his 30th home run of the year to LF off of Collin McHugh.  With an early 4-0 lead, Wandy Rodriguez took the hill.

Wandy gave up back-to-back homers in the first to Justin Turner and David Wright in the first as the Mets got three runs right back.  He settled down after the first and went on to shut the Mets out for the next five innings.  He allowed just four hits over six innings, and the offense kept adding on.  Josh Harrison tripled in two runs in the second, and another run scored thanks to an error.

Pedro walked with the bases loaded in the fifth to make it 8-3, and Chris Resop entered after Wandy was pulled.  He got through just a third of an inning and was charged with three runs.  Jared Hughes got out of the inning, but the lead was down to just two.

Jason Grilli pitched a quick eighth inning, and Garrett Jones got Joel Hanrahan some breathing room with a two-run bomb to make it 10-6.  Hammer breezed through the Mets in the ninth, keeping the Bucs’ hope of a winning season alive.  Definitely a much-needed win, but winning the next two in Queens would really help.

Pirates (76-78) – Mets (70-84)

Win: Rodriguez (12-13)
Loss: McHugh (0-3)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

Bucs fall in Flushing

Pretty disappointing game again tonight.  Not much excitement at all as the Mets basically steamrolled over the Bucs.

Kyle McPherson pitched a pretty solid game up until he allowed a leadoff walk in the fourth.  Ike Davis made him pay with a two-run bomb, which broke the 0-0 tie.  McPherson recorded one out in the fifth before being pulled, and with two outs, David Wright drove in a run off of Jeff Karstens in a relief-appearance.  The next batter was Davis again, who clobbered his second home run of the game – a three-run bomb to the deepest part of the park.

The Bucs got shut down by Jenrry Mejia for five innings, before finally getting a run in the eighth against the bullpen.  After Cutch tripled, Garrett Jones singled him in to get the Pirates on the board.  Jose Tabata tacked on a two-out RBI in the ninth to make the final a little more respectable at 6-2.

Realistically, the Pirates need to win at least two of the remaining three games in New York to have any shot of a winning season.

Pirates (75-78) – Mets (70-83)

Win: Mejia (1-1)
Loss: McPherson (0-2)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

Bucs lose a boring one

The Bucs and Mets played the rubber match of a three game series at 12:35 yesterday, with the winner taking the series.  The Mets took the lead early, with Lucas Duda driving in a run in the first off Charlie Morton.  Jon Niese absolutely shut down the Pirates through five innings, and the Mets picked up two more runs on a Kirk Nieuwenhuis sac fly and David Wright double.

Josh Harrison stayed hot picking up a double in the sixth, and Andrew McCutchen drove him in with a single.  Morton went seven innings, and Jason Grilli struck out the side in the eighth.  Clint Barmes lead off the eighth with a single, and Gorkys Hernandez, making his first career start, walked.  They both moved up on a missed pickoff attempt, and Cutch came up with two down.  He worked the count full, but struck out looking with both runners in scoring position.  Brad Lincoln pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, and Frank Francisco came in to get the save for the Mets.  He got the Bucs in order, and the Mets won 3-1.

Pirates (20-24) – Mets (24-20)

Win: Niese (3-2)
Loss: Morton (2-5)
Save: Francisco (12)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs

Knuckleballer K’s 11 Pirates

The Pirates had a chance to win the series against the Mets tonight, but R.A. Dickey wasn’t so sure about that.  James McDonald gave up an early run in the second after striking out the side in the first.  From there, both pitchers settled down and started to cruise through five innings.  Dickey had 7 strikeouts through five innings, but the Pirates were able to tie it up in the sixth.  Josh Harrison, who started in right field for the second straight night, had a one-out triple, and Andrew McCutchen drove him in with a sacrifice fly to right.

The eighth inning was when the wheels started to fall off for the Pirates.  Juan Cruz replaced McDonald, gave up a “double” to center.  Mike Baxter lined a ball directly over Cutch’s head, and he didn’t get a good jump on it.  He got turned around and eventually had the ball deflect off his glove, allowing Baxter to get into scoring position.  Cruz walked the next batter, but got David Wright to strikeout.  Lucas Duda then singled to right, scoring one.  After a few defensive changes and a pitching change, Chris Resop gave up an unearned run on a Pedro Alvarez error.  The score was 3-1 Mets going into the bottom of the eighth, and Jon Rauch replaced Dickey.  Jose Tabata doubled with one down, and got to third on a groundout.  Cutch popped up to shallow right, and Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy couldn’t make the over-the-shoulder catch, making it 3-2.  Pedro struck out to end the inning, and Frank Francisco got the Bucs in order in the ninth.

McDonald’s final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 2 BB
Dickey’s final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 11 K, 0 BB

Pirates (20-23) – Mets (23-20)

Win: Dickey (6-1)
Loss: Cruz (1-1)
Save: Francisco (11)

BOX SCORE

Go Bucs