After an out, Kyle McPherson was touched up for a Daniel Murphy single to right. K-Mac caught a break when David Wright's blast to center ended up in Cutch's mitt instead of the seats. He put down Ike Davis looking. Murphy was on the move during the strikeout pitch; no one covered second, and apparently not by plan. Clint Barmes stepped up and had a chat with J-Hay about that play in the dugout.
Neil Walker opened the second with a knock up the middle on the eighth pitch of his at bat. Gaby went down looking, the third K in six batters for Mejia. Pedro bounced into a 6-4 force, and went to third when The Fort singled. At least he turned the order over as K-Mac was punched out. Two innings, two runners left on third. With two down in the Met half, Ruben Tejeda drew a walk. McPherson left one down the middle and Josh Thole gave it a ride to deep left, but The King settled under it to keep it scoreless after two frames.
With an out in the third, Harrison was issued a four pitch walk; it may be his first of the season. He went to second on a passed ball, and Cutch joined him on the base paths after drawing a nine pitch walk; Mejia is up to 70 pitches. Jones banged a ball to third; Wright tossed to second for the force, and J-Hay took a tumble rounding third; the return throw behind him resulted in a run down to end the frame. McPherson served up a clean inning.
The Bucs went down quietly in the fourth, grounding out to the right side three times. Wright opened with a full-count walk for NY. It cost; Davis hammered a 3-1 heater to left center and out of the yard. A couple of outs later, Tejeda finished an eight pitch at bat with a bloop knock to center, but was erased trying to steal second. The Fort has been picking it up lately; he now has a 19% throw-out rate. But it's 2-0 NY after four.
With two down in the fifth, Presley singled to center, but didn't stay there long as Harrison flew out on the next pitch. Thole started the Mets off with a five pitch walk. An out later, Fred Lewis singled to put Mets at first and second.
That was it for K-Mac, who went 4-1/3 innings giving up four runs on four hits and three walks with three K, tossing 83 pitches. He had trouble with a fairly tight strike zone and the Mets' patience tonight. Hisanori Takahashi came on to get a lefty matchup, and escaped a long fly out by Murphy. Jeff Karstens came on to face Wright. That move didn't work as well; JK fell behind 2-0 and gave up a run scoring knock to left center on a change, sending Lewis to third. It got even worse when lefty Davis pounded another changeup into the right center bullpen to make it 6-0.
Manny Acosta came on for the Mets in the sixth. With two outs, he lost The Kid, but Sanchez bounced out to end the frame; the Bucs haven't visited the OF with many balls tonight. JK put away the Mets, fanning a pair, though the cows are out of the barn by now.
Justin Hampson toed the rubber in the seventh. He surrendered a two out, four pitch walk to Starling Marte. That brought on Jeurys Familia to face Presley; September is the mother of all long games with its expanded rosters. Clint Hurdle answered with Jose Tabata. Marte swiped second, and was left there as JT flew out to right. Justin Wilson climbed the hill and struck out a pair, though working ahead in the count doesn't appear to be in his DNA.
Cutch banged a triple of Familia with one down in the eighth, and that brought on Robert Carson to face Jones. We half expected Clint Barmes to grab a bat, but GI stepped to the dish. It took eight pitches, but after a battle Jones found one he liked and singled McCutch home. The Kid followed with another knock, and that brought in Bobby Parnell for the Mets. Good pick; Sanchez grounded to up the line to first; Davis stepped on the bag and threw to second for a run down out on Walker. Chris Leroux got the call from the Bucco pen and tossed a clean inning, getting three fly outs.
Ramon Ramirez took the ball in the ninth. He walked The Fort with an out, and McKenry strolled to second on defensive indifference. It helped when JT singled him home with two away. J-Hay bounced out and the Mets took the lid lifter 6-2.
Tough to score when you can't get the ball out of the infield; 24 of the Bucco outs came on grounders or whiffs. Wandy Rodriguez takes on Collin McHugh tomorrow night.
- Maybe Neil Walker is getting back into shape; his two hits led the team and he's 6-for-16 in his last four starts. The bad news is that he hasn't had an extra base knock since August 21st.
- You can go home again: Pedro's dad, from the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, was at tonight's game.
- Ike Davis become the first Met to hit 30 homers since the team moved to Citi Field.
- Jenrry Mejia will remember tonight; it was his first MLB win.
- One suggestion we like for the expanded rosters in September is one to call up the same number of players, but to activate just 25 per game. That gives you plenty of leeway to look at players, especially when you can knock four starting pitchers off the game roster every night.