Tag Archives: Pirates

Nationals Pregame: 5/1 vs. PIT

The Game: Pittsburgh Pirates (11-16) at Washington Nationals (11-17)

The Matchup: Zach Duke (0-2, 5.34) vs. Odalis Perez (0-3, 3.31)

The Story: The streaking Nationals look to push their win streak to 4 in a row as they open up against the mediocre Pirates. Perez looks to regain form after starting the season slowly, and if recent times have been any indication, he should get more run support this time than in his previous starts. The Nationals bats are starting to heat up on the backs of Ryan Zimmerman, who is slowly improving from his slow start, and Felipe Lopez, who has been a key part of the Nats offense.

The Nats have been riding on their bullpen, especially on the backs of Saul Rivera, Luis Ayala, and Jon Rauch, and it should be interesting to see how much longer those workhorses can hold up, especially tonight in relief for Perez.

The Bucs are coming off of a 13-1 whopping of the New York Mets, but look for their bats to quiet down significantly this weekend barring any Nats pitching meltdown.

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Mets Postgame: 4/30 vs. PIT

The Mets blew it big time today, losing 12-1 to the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates as nothing went right for the Amazin’s. Oliver Perez got rocked, going just 1.2 with seven runs scored on him (just 2 earned, though, as shoddy defense took care of the rest). Oliver’s line on the afternoon: (2 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO). Nelson Figueroa came out of the bullpen for mop up duty and went 3.1 before handing the ball over to Jorge Sosa. We all know how that went. Sosa’s line: (1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO).

Here’s my rant of the day. When you have an extra starter who’s been as good as Figueroa has, you can afford to pitch him for more than 3.1 innings. Willie obviously gave up on this game along with the rest of the team. What happened to the Mets of two years ago, the team that could be down 7 runs and still come back to win by 3. That team? They play down the road in the City of Brotherly Love. You know what else is a shame? I’d bet a lot of money that Omar decides to send Joe Smith back to AAA when Matt Wise comes back, giving the nod to the veteran Sosa. I’ll save that full rant for when that happens, but it still kills me to see our second most efficient reliever get no respect from the organization.

Pirates starter Tom Gorzelanny came into today’s game with an ERA over 8, and the Mets let him eat them up before he left after 5 with an apparent injury. Apparently the Pirates are stacked with pitching talent because they two-hit the Mets. That’s right, the Mets could only manage two hits off of Gorzelanny, John Van Benschoten, and Evan Meek. I can’t wait to see how they do against Micah Owings, Brandon Webb, and Dan Haren this weekend.

By the way, that Gold Glover on the hot corner? He has five errors on the year and went 0-2 with 2 BB today. The only Met with an RBI was, once again, Ryan Church, who seems to be the only one on the team with any desire to win.

-Jonathan Kraft

Pirates at Mets – 4/30, 1:05 EDT

2:07 pm: Carlos Beltran hurt? Willie Randolph and the Mets trainer headed out to the batter’s box after an odd turnover by Beltran. Beltran stayed in the game and walked during the at bat in the 1st.

UPDATE: The Mets finally get the game underway after a 40 minute delay. Guess the Mets are so focused on Citi Field they forgot to take care of the old place. Oops.

UPDATE: Water Main break at Shea. Oliver Perez hasn’t even started warming up yet.

The Game: Pittsburgh Pirates at New York Mets

The Matchup: Tom Gorzalanny (1-3, 8.46) vs. Oliver Perez (2-1, 3.62)

The Story: The Mets are coming off of an 11th inning win that should have only taken 9 last night against Ian Snell and the Pirates. Shoddy defense and unreliable bullpen pitching blew the game for the Mets in the 9th and forced Willie Randolph to use almost every bullpen pitcher, including 2 innings of Billy Wagner.

Oliver Perez comes off of a shaky start last Thursday night in Washington, when he helped load the bases, allowing Aaron Heilman to give up a grand slam in the 5th. The common theme with Oli this year (and last year as well) has been to pitch well until the 5th before losing confidence and missing the zone. With a depleted bullpen, he needs to go at least 6 today.

Carlos Delgado went 0-5 last night. Expect plenty of boos.

The Lineups:
Pirates: McLouth (CF)Sanchez (2B), Bay (LF), Doumit (C), Nady (RF), LaRoche (1B), Bautista (3B), Gomez (SS), Gorzelanny (P)
Mets: Reyes (SS), Castillo (2B), Wright (3B), Beltran (CF), Church (RF), Delgado (1B), Pagan (LF), Molina (C), Perez (P)

Mets Postgame: 4/29 vs. PIT

Mets 5-Pirates 4 (11)

W: Sosa (3-1)   L: Van Benschoten (0-1)

With their ace Johan Santana on the mound, the New York Mets did not score enough runs to finish off the mediocre Pirates in nine, waiting until the bottom of the 11th before walking off on a David Wright shot to deep right field.

Santana pitched well but couldn’t keep his pitch count down, going only 5.2 (2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO), giving up both runs on solo shots to Nate McLouth (on the first at bat of the game) and Jason Bay.

Pirates starter Ian Snell wasn’t great, going 4.1 (5 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO) before getting into a jam. The Bucs pen held up very nicely until the 11th when John Van Benschoten (who?) gave up the winning hit to David.

Jose Reyes broke out of his slump, going 3-3 with 3 walks and a triple and providing the momentum the Mets needed on the bases, especially late in the game. This is what the Mets need–like I’ve said time and time again, when Reyes gets on base, the Mets win.

Ryan Church continued his hot streak, homering off of Ian Snell in the 4th. Carlos Delgado received a huge ovation for his first at-bat but was booed for the rest of the game as he went 0-5 and killed many a rally. Delgado continues to look dead at the plate. He has flashes of his old self, which was clearly evident the other day. But he is clearly just a shadow of what he used to be.

The real story tonight is the Mets bullpen, which blew this game for Johan. Sure, Billy Wagner takes the bulk of the heat with his first blown save of the year. But each reliever tonight got into a sticky situation before getting bailed out. Duaner Sanchez is obviously Willie’s new choice for a set up man, but could barely get the ball over the plate tonight. Aaron Heilman continues to struggle mightily and got a nice round of boos tonight. Joe Smith was nowhere to be found, even though he has been the team’s second most consistent reliever this year. It’s not my intention to go on a rant, but I’ll say this. Willie needs to understand that relievers are inconsistent. If they were more consistent, they’d be starters (or elite relievers like Wagner, who is the only elite reliever on the team). Therefore, when you’re in a tight situation, you go with your “hot” relievers. Also, why Willie didn’t bring Wagner in for the 8th when Duaner was stuck in a tight situation in the middle of the Pirates order, I have no idea. It’s incredibly frustrating.

Oh and by the way, Raul Casanova‘s defense is subpar, to say the last. Get well soon, Brian.

Check out the Liveblog I kept for more information on the game (until I got too frustrated to write, anyway).

-Jonathan Kraft

Mets Pregame: 4/29 vs. PIT

The Game: Pittsburgh Pirates (10-15, 6th place NL Central) vs. New York Mets (13-11, 2nd place NL East)

The Matchup: Johan Santana (3-2, 3.12) vs. Ian Snell (2-1, 4.45)

The Story: The Mets look to take their third in a row as their ace Johan Santana takes the mound. Santana goes for his third win in a row, and has collected a decision on each of his starts so far this year. In Pittsburgh, Santana faces a mediocre team that has gone 3-3 in its last 6 games. Notables on the Pirates include Nate McLouth, who has homered in back to back games, slugger Jason Bay, and former [and hopefully future] Met Xavier Nady, who has lit opponents up this year with 23 RBIs.

The big story for the Mets will be Carlos Delgado, who will probably be booed after “snubbing” Mets fans by not taking a curtain call Sunday after homering twice. Other than that, look for the Mets offense to return to form against a mediocre opponent.

Lineups:

Pirates: McLouth (CF), Gomez (SS), Sanchez (2B), Bay (LF), Nady (RF), LaRoche (1B), Bautista (3B), Paulino (C), Snell (P)

Mets: Reyes (SS), Castillo (2B), Wright (3B), Beltran (CF), Church (RF), Delgado (1B), Casanova (C), Chavez (LF), Santana (P)

How about Heilman for Nady?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlights players who the Pirates might try to unload at some point this year, including 1B/OF Xavier Nady.

I’ve talked about getting Nady back a lot, maybe too much, but he really would be such a perfect addition to the Mets this season. MLB Trade Rumors suggests a possible Nady-Aaron Heilman swap, saying that Heilman could be converted into a starter for the Pirates (they could really use one right about now).

I’d personally be surprised if Pirates GM Neal Huntington would want to try and convert Heilman to a starter, but obviously every team has a different philosophy on player development. As far as the Mets losing Heilman, I wouldn’t lose too much sleep–it’s time to move on from Aaron. I would support using Joe Smith or Duaner Sanchez to set up Billy Wagner (assuming each continues to be effective), looking for the possible promotion of Eddie Kunz later this season. As far as the extra roster spot, Matt Wise or Carlos Muniz would be more than adequate candidates.

-Jonathan Kraft

Mets vs. Pirates RAINED OUT

The weather isn’t going to cooperate tonight for Mr. Santana, so he’ll have to wait until tomorrow night. No word yet on how or if this is going to affect other pitching matchups later this week.

-Jonathan Kraft