Put away your brooms...
The man with the quick pitch count, John Maine, labored through five innings today, as he threw 96 pitches but only allowed two hits. Maine walked four and struck out three, but can't seem to keep his PC below 75 through four innings. Maine didn't factor in the decision, as the Mets offense sputtered and the bullpen played the part of "sieve" and watched the sweep disappear from their grasps.
Maine has been pitching OK lately, but this pitch count issue is something that needs to be addressed. I've never seen a pitcher throw so many pitches in only a handful of innings. He's getting too deep in counts and allowing too many foul balls to work deep into games.
The bullpen from Hell reared it's ugly head again today. Brian Stokes was tagged for a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, erasing any work Maine did on the bump. Scott Schoeneweis finished out the seventh inning for Stokes.
The trouble came in the 8th, when Pedro Feliciano only recorded one out, but allowed one hit before he was removed for Duaner Sanchez. Feliciano and the Mets could only watch as Sanchez faced four batters, intentionally walking one and giving up three hits, including a two-run double for the Pirates final runs. Joe Smith came in and recorded two outs to stop the bleeding.
Sanchez looked like he got his act together recently, struggled with his velocity again. He's just not the pitcher the Mets thought he would be through the entirety of the season. He doesn't have the stamina to get through a whole season like this. Maybe Steven Register could have helped this team through the season...
Wasted chances. That was the theme today for the Mets. The team was only able to scratch out two runs, both on productive outs.
Outside of the sac-fly in the first from Carlos Beltran, scoring Argenis Reyes and an RBI groundout in the fourth off the bat of Carlos Delgado, plating David Wright, the Mets left runners on base in a handful of innings and it came back to bite them in the end.
The Mets had runners on second and third with nobody out twice, both times resulting in one run. The Mets got a leadoff double from Nick Evans in the 6th, and with one out he stood on third while the Carloses struck out, stranding him.
In the 8th, the Mets got a two-out single from Evans, then consecutive walks from Wright and Beltran, bringing Delgado to the plate with the bases drunk, but the Pirates were able to induce a pop up and get out of the jam scott free.
They had a ton of chances to open up this game and put distance between themselves and the Buccos, but they failed to convert. When the bullpen let the lead slip away, the missed chances were enhanced, as always.
The Rest of the Story
Overall, a great road trip, as they went 6-1 and beat up on teams they should have. A sweep would have been great, but 3-4 against Pittsburgh is good. Guess the Mets should never play the Pirates on a Monday in the summer.
Game Ball: John Maine, I guess.