Takeaways from the Mets 8-1 loss to the Pirates on Sunday…

Sean Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell

The Pirates swept this three-game series against the Mets with an 8-1 win at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon. Here are my takeaways from the loss…


Terrible, sloppy play in the seventh inning.

It’s hard to beat a team like the Pirates if the Mets are going to give them outs.

In the seventh inning, after a leadoff walk to Pedro Florimon, the Mets bungled an easy 1-6-3 double play, which would have given Bobby Parnell two outs and nobody on. Parnell threw the ball to the bag, but Ruben Tejada never got to the bag, and the ball went into center field to give Pittsburgh runners at the corners and one out.

But that was only part of what was a disastrous inning for the Mets. Travis d’Arnaud allowed a passed ball and a run to score, and Yoenis Cespedes launched a ball over the catcher’s head in which Parnell did not back up. Then on a roller by Travis Ishikawa to the right side and Eric O’Flaherty fielding the ball, Michael Cuddyer was standing around watching, as was Murphy, and they gave away an out there.

When the Mets headed back to the dugout, Parnell had allowed four runs, and the Mets could do nothing but listen to the smattering of boos after a very embarrassing inning.

It was very well deserved – they have not had an inning like that in a long time.

Bobby Parnell is lost out there.

Bobby ParnellFor the second time in this series, Parnell was absolutely ineffective. And, for the second time in this series, Terry Collins left him out to rot on the mound. He was fooling nobody – his fastball was straight as an arrow, his knuckle-curve was not being thrown for strikes, and the Pirates just teed off on him when he wasn’t walking batters.

Yes, Collins’ options were thin after the last two nights, but there are situations when he has to realize 50-60 percent of another guy is better than what he has out there. It just looked like a complete mis-read of the situation, especially after Parnell walked the leadoff batter.

Right now, the Mets have a tough situation on their hands with Bobby, as he is unquestionably the weak link in the bullpen and is very hard for Collins to turn to in any kind of situation not involving a lopsided situation.

If that’s the case, it’s hard to justify a roster spot for him right now, as sad as that is to say.

A good enough #HarveyDay.

Matt Harvey was not dominant by any means on Sunday afternoon, but he got the big outs when he needed to to keep the Pirates off the board.

He allowed only a second inning solo home run to Pedro Alvarez, worked around a double and two triples, battled his own command issues, but like all great pitchers do, he found a way to beat those demons, make some big pitches and strand the Pirates on the base paths.

Matt HarveyHe got big outs to strand runners in scoring position in the first, third, fifth and sixth. The Pirates – who are a really good offensive team – did an outstanding job waiting him out, fouling off some good pitches and spitting on some of his breaking balls out of the zone. But he stayed aggressive and went after them anyway, and the Pirates really couldn’t get it done against him.

Harvey lacked that good life on his fastball and general crispness with his slider and curveball. There was a moment in the fourth inning when it looked like he was about to kick it in gear but he kind of got stuck in second gear. Fortunately, his second gear is better than most when they’re firing on all cylinders, and he was able to provide quality length to give the Mets a good chance to win this game.

Unfortunately, the club did not support his effort whatsoever on Sunday.

An absent friend.

The Mets offense has been terribly absent for more than a week, short of their 12-run outburst on Thursday afternoon against the Rockies. It’s a very all-or-nothing kind of offense at the moment, as they’re really only producing when they hit home runs. They’ve been striking out way too much and haven’t really been working a lot of quality at-bats, either.

The Mets are a different team right now with all of these new weapons, but they’re going to have to find a way to start scoring runs without the benefit of the long ball, even as they head into the bandboxes of Camden Yards and Coors Field over the next week.

A beatdown by the NL Central.

Pedro AlvarezThere’s no denying it – the Mets have a problem against these National League Central teams. They were swept by the Cubs and Pirates this season, which almost seems impossible. But it happened and its a very loud alarm for the club.

While the team played well and lost in their first two games of this series, the Mets really fell flat on Sunday and were spanked in the process for a stinging and humbling loss. Fortunately, they’ve built a little pad in the division and the Nationals are not playing well, but the Mets weaknesses were exploited pretty badly by the Pirates in this series.

Now the Mets hit the road for a long, nine-game road trip. They have to reboot and and hit the ground running against an Orioles team that is scorching the ball right now.

And this is not the tone the Mets needed to go into Camden Yards with, either.

Other notes from Sunday:

The Mets went 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position and struck out 37 times in this series.

The Mets fell to 9-20 against the National League Central, and went 0-6 in their season series against the Pirates.

The Mets were outscored by the Pirates 16-6 in this series, and 37-10 in the six games between them this season.

Curtis Granderson went 0-for-4 on Sunday, and went 1-for-13 in the series against Pittsburgh.

Juan Uribe went 0-for-4 in Sunday, and 1-for-15 in the series against Pittsburgh.

Michael Cuddyer went 0-for-8 in this series.

1 Comment

The Mets weakness showed this weekend. Bullpen not strong enough to carry beyond closer. Pirates showed what a good bullpen is like.


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