The Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead but were unable to hold it, as they fell to the Pirates, 8-4, in the opener of their three-game series in Pittsburgh Friday night. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Mets, their longest of the season.
Steven Matz was sharp early but it all fell apart for him in the fourth inning. He did not make it out of the frame, which started with a leadoff walk and ended with five Pirates runs.
Robert Gsellman came on in relief and did a nice job, holding the Pirates scoreless over 2.1 IP. Thanks to a defensive mishap, the Mets scored a run in the top of the seventh to close within a run at 5-4. The Mets had Seth Lugo and Tyler Bashlor warming in the pen, presumably with the idea of bringing in Lugo if they tied the game or went ahead.
Currently, the Mets are carrying eight relievers. But Jeurys Familia is really struggling, they’re not going to use Edwin Diaz before the ninth inning, Gsellman already pitched and Luis Avilan pitched last night.
You want to get Bashlor work but you don’t want to bring him into a close game because, quite frankly, he’s not very good. He’s the type of guy you use when you’re up five runs or down five runs. Or if there’s no one else available.
But to the best of my knowledge, the Mets had Justin Wilson available. And the leadoff batter for the Pirates in the seventh inning was a lefty. It wasn’t a good use of resources, putting in a low-leverage reliever like Bashlor in a game where the Mets had a puncher’s chance of winning.
Bashlor retired the first batter he faced on a fly ball to dead center that landed in Michael Conforto’s glove, two steps shy of the wall. The next two batters singled and Starling Marte clinched the game with a three-run homer.
For the season, Bashlor now has a 7.16 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.