Takeaways from the Mets 5-3 loss to the Pirates in 14 innings on Saturday…

Michael Conforto


The Mets lost to the Pirates by the score of 5-3 on Saturday night in 14 innings. Here are my takeaways from the loss…


BaronA boneheaded play ruined the night.

The Mets and Pirates played another pulsating, competitive game on Saturday night, but unfortunately the home team came up a little short yet again.

This one will be marred by a bone headed play by Daniel Murphy with Francisco Cervelli on second and nobody out. He fielded the ground ball, but instead of taking the sure out at first, he inexplicably threw to third to try and get Cervelli, he wasn’t close and it setup a big mess for the Mets they were unable to navigate.

That just can’t happen. They beat themselves against a good team, and that is very frustrating. That play changed the entire complexion of the inning and crippled any maneuverability Terry Collins had to try and get out of the jam. The Pirates took advantage and ran away with this one as a result.

Not much offense.

Charlie MortonThe Mets really showed up flat against Pirates RHP Charlie Morton on Saturday night. This against a guy who had a 6.43 ERA in his last nine starts. He had them stymied for the first six innings of this ballgame.

But the Mets finally got to him in the seventh inning when Juan Uribe hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, and after Travis d’Arnaud reached on an error by Aramis Ramirez, Michael Conforto made Pittsburgh pay by slugging a two-run home run to tie the game at three a piece.

In fairness, Morton had a dandy of a sinker going, and was throwing everything in his arsenal to keep the Mets off-balanced all night long. The Mets simply could not square up on anything from Morton, and their offense was really looking uninspiring for the better part of this game. But the Mets stayed patient and waited for Morton to get his sinker up in the zone, and once that happened, the Mets got it going against him and clawed their way back into this game.

The problem was, the Mets really didn’t do a think after the seventh inning, which of course contributed to their inability to break through in this game.

Outstanding defense.

Juan Uribe, Sean RodriguezThe Mets really played a nice game behind the pitching staff on Saturday. But there were two specific highlights which cannot go unmentioned.

In the fifth inning, Uribe made an awesome play on Sean Rodriguez, stealing a double from behind the third base bag and throwing him out by a couple of strides for the first out of that inning.

Then in the eighth, Cespedes threw out Rodriguez at third after he hit a ball in the left center field gap with one out (watch). He one hopped Uribe at third to nail Rodriguez and save Jeurys Familia from some serious trouble. It was a game changer for sure, and a big reason why Cespedes is so valuable for any team he plays for.

Quality defense always goes very underrated, yet poor defense always sticks out like a sore thumb. Today, that quality defense saved the Mets and kept them in this game, and the pitchers have everything to be thankful for as a result.

Jon Niese was good enough, but could have been better.

Jonathon NieseThe tone was set early in this game for Jon Niese, who allowed two runs immediately in the first inning.

However, they were two runs that probably shouldn’t have been when he got squeezed on a strike three call by home plate umpire Bob Davidson with two outs to Andrew McCutchen. Niese got mad – and rightfully so – but lost his focus, and he grooved one to Aramis Ramirez who proceeded to drill a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw.

Niese had been very, very good about brushing off this kind of adversity and distraction, but he let this one get to him, he lost his composure and beat himself with an avoidable mistake.

Fortunately, the Mets were able to eventually pick Niese up and get him off the hook. But its something he must continue to improve upon if he’s going to be able to make a valuable contribution when there truly is no more margin for error later in this season.

Concern.

They’ve been an inch away from winning these last two games, and that’s nice, but at the end of the day the Mets are now 0-5 against the Pirates, 3-4 against the Cardinals, and 0-7 against the Cubs, teams they are likely going to have to face in October at some point.

They must demonstrate they can beat these clubs, and they just haven’t done that at all this season. Its going to be a tough sell should the Mets face any one of these three clubs when the leaves start changing.


Other notes from Saturday:

Conforto’s home run was his first at Citi Field and second as a Met, he drove in his ninth and tenth runs since being called up with his home run.

The Mets bullpen pitched seven innings of scoreless relief on Saturday before Gilmartin allowed two runs in the 14th inning.

Murphy went 0-for-6 to conclude his ten-game hitting streak.

The Mets struck out 16 times against Pirate pitching.

The Pirates only had one runner in scoring position the entire game until the 14th inning.

The Mets are still winless against the Pirates in five tries, and are 9-19 against the National League Central in 2015.

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