June 2nd, 2011
by Andrew Rizzi

The Mets got their biggest comeback win in 11 years as they fell behind 7-0 early, but came back and beat the Pirates 9-8 in the finale of the 4-game series.

I had a whole article written up trashing the team, saying they showed no heart after Terry Collins’ fiery speech Wednesday night, and when I wrote it all it was well deserved. Pittsburgh jumped all over Mike Pelfrey, scoring 3 runs in the 1st, 3 more in the 2nd, and another in the 3rd to make it 7-0. Neil Walker destroyed Pelf in the 2nd for a 3-run bomb off the Dunkin Donuts sign in front of Shea Bridge for a rare no-doubter at Citi Field. The fans were quiet, plastic bags were blowing all over the field, and for all intents and purposes the game was completely over. I know I for one had this one chalked up as a loss.

Carlos Beltran's 3-run bomb was just the start of a historic 7-run come back for the Mets.

And then, a funny thing happened. Carlos Beltran got the comeback started in the 3rd with a 2-out 3-run homer off the facing of the second deck in left to cut it to 7-3, and just like that it was only a 4-run deficit with plenty of time left. It was still 7-3 in the 6th, and Beltran got things started again with a double off the wall that would have been a goner in any other ball park. It started a big rally, and Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy both had RBI hits to cut it to 7-6.

Starting pitcher Paul Maholm was pulled, and a sure fire win was squandered when reliever Chris Resop threw a wild pitch and Tejada came home to tie the game. The 7-run comeback was complete, but the Mets still needed to get over the hump. They did it in the 8th with a big sac fly from Tejada, and a bases loaded walk to Beltran gave the Mets a huge insurance run and make it 9-7.

K-Rod made it interesting (of course) in the 9th when he allowed a leadoff triple to Xavier Paul. He later scored on a single by Walker, but that was all the Pirates got. Lyle Overbay fouled out to end the game, and the Mets had their biggest comeback win since the famous 10-run 8th against Atlanta in 2000.

Three Up:

1) Carlos Beltran- Number 15 hit the 3-run bomb, and should have had another HR in the 6th, but it went off the Great Wall of Flushing. Either way it was HE who got this whole thing started, and HE who is the most powerful bat in the lineup. It’s amazing what the homerun can do. I just wish we hit more of them.

2) Ruben Tejada- The kid is hitting great since getting called up, and he has been clutch as well. Tejada had a big 2-run single, and an even bigger sac-fly that tied the game.

3) Middle Relief- The bullpen has been brutal lately, but today it came up huge. Pelf put the team in an enormous hole, but as the offense started chipping away the middle relievers kept Pittsburgh at 7. Tim Byrdak, Bobby Parnell, and Jason Isringhausen combined to throw 3 scoreless innings. Great job by those guys.

Three Down:

1) Mike Pelfrey- Just a despicable performance from Big Pelf this afternoon. After what transpired Wednesday night I really wanted to see the team come out hot. But when the starting pitcher gets shelled right out of the gate it’s hard for the offense to catch up. Somehow they did it and came back for the win, but it was no thanks to Pelfrey.

2) Jason Bay- It was hidden to the back burner because of the great comeback, but Bay was terrible again at the dish. He went 0-3, and ended the 8th inning by striking out with the bases loaded. He needs to leave the clean up spot immediately.

3) Paul Maholm- I am certainly happy he did it, but Maholm choked away an entire 7-0 lead for Pittsburgh. Awful job by him, but I am thrilled nonetheless.

Rizzi’s Rants:

- WOW! That….. was …. awesome. In the 3rd inning I was sitting in my chair at work with my head in my hands. I was tweeting about how bad the Mets are, and fuming via text message to my friends. I had NO idea they were going to come back like that. But boy, was it good to see.

- Maybe it’s the Murphy’s Law Mets fan in me, but after Terry’s great outburst last night I just had a feeling Mike Pelfrey would give us garbage today. I loved what Terry Collins did last night, and think it was the right move. But I am so used to things going badly for the Mets, and Mike Pelfrey doesn’t step up in the big spot. What a disaster he was, allowing 7 runs and 10 hits over 5 innings.

- It was good to see Jose Reyes back in the lineup- without him we were legitimately a minor league team. He only went 1-4 today, but just having him in the game makes a huge difference.

- I have been trashing Bobby Parnell all year, and deservedly so. But today he was great, throwing a clutch scoreless 7th with the score tied.

- Jason Isringhausen had a big pick-off to end the 8th inning with the score tied. Daniel Murphy slapped the tag on Garrett Jones’ head and knocked his helmet off. It was awesome.

- Chris Capuano came on to pinch-hit in the 8th with the go ahead run on 1st. He was up there to bunt, and couldn’t get the bunt down. But a balk by Jose Veras moved Willie Harris to 2nd anyway. Collins then pulled Capuano in favor of Thole, who drew a walk.

- I told my co-workers that K-Rod would put the tying run on in the 9th, and he did just that. I also had confidence he would eventually nail down the save, and he did that as well.

- Terry Collins was outwardly emotional after the game, giving heavy praise to the players. I continue to believe managers don’t make a big difference, but I love Terry Collins’ fire and passion through 1/3 of a season.

- This win probably won’t mean much in the long run for the standings, as the Mets most likely won’t make a real playoff run. But for today it sure feels good, especially in the wake of Collins’ post-game comments yesterday. Losing 3 out of 4 to the Pirates at home would have been deplorable, and it looked like it was headed that way early.

- The Mets will have to continue their play from the last 6 innings today into this weekend, as they face the Braves and their great pitching staff. If they play like they did the first 2 1/2 innings today they will get swept out of Citi Field.


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Posted in Major League Baseball, NATIONAL LEAGUE, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates | Comments (0)

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