Pittsburgh Gives Mets Fans a Quick and Painless Defeat

June 3, 2009

As a baseball fan, finding enjoyment in your team when they prove themselves victorious is just as important as loathing them when they struggle through a loss. Within a 162-game schedule, even very good teams manage to drop forty-five percent of their games. Mets fans in May were able to experience winning more so than losing as their ballclub produced a 19-9 record for the entire month. With that, subjecting them to an 0-2 start for June may feel as if the whole world is crashing down. It’s no secret that the Mets current roster looks more like a fourth-place team than a ballclub that is built for the post-season.

Ask Mets skipper Jerry Manuel and he most likely will agree. “We need some of our big guys to get hot,” was Manuel’s actual response. Reading between the lines, the Mets manager was probably alluding to David Wright. The Mets third baseman’s offensive output has dwindled during these last five games. Wright is hitting just 2 for his last 21 with no RBI and eight strikeouts. The good thing for Wright though is that he still has a batting average well above three hundred. With centerfielder Carlos Beltran scratched for his third straight start with a stomach virus and their clean-up hitter, Gary Sheffield, battling soreness in his right leg, the Mets are left with very little options in producing a big inning.

In desperation, Manuel called on his pitching staff and pleaded with them to carry the load while the majority of his position players lick their wounds. What Manuel needed most was a signature performance from his ace, Johan Santana, to help stop the bleeding. Santana was cruising along fine for the first four innings. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, he was staked with a 1-0 lead. However, as quick as Santana arrived at that lead, Pirates catcher Jason Jaramillo managed to single-handedly evaporate it. Jaramillo took the left-hander deep with a fastball. It was the sixth homerun surrendered by Santana this season. After a one-two-three top of the sixth inning for the Mets, the Pirates got to the Mets left-hander again. This time around with a string of extra-base hits that plated two more runs and put the Pirates ahead, 3-1.

On this night, it would be the Pirates bullpen not the Mets relievers who would successfully hold down their opposition and set up their closer, Matt Capps, to record his twelfth save.

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