Originally written on Raise the Jolly Roger!  |  Last updated 11/10/14
You have to feel good about the Bucs taking winning on a day their spot starter went against an ace on the road, and that’s exactly what happened on Sunday afternoon as they finished off a series victory in New York. Phenom Matt Harvey had a solid afternoon, but was far from dominant. After the Bucs fell behind early, they answered with a home run in the third inning by Clint Barmes. Barmes has now homered twice on the year – against Harvey and Stephen Strasburg – the two hardest-throwing starting pitchers in the league. Go figure. The rally continued when Starling Marte drew a walk (he had two today!), and moved to third on a nice hit-and-run with Travis Snider. Cutch walked and Garrett Jones brought in the go ahead run with a sac fly. That was the extent of the damage against Harvey, but Jeanmar Gomez allowed even less. Lucas Duda took him deep in the second but Jeanmar allowed just two other baserunners over five innings. He was excellent, working efficiently and keeping the ball on the ground (9 groundouts). Once again, though, he was pulled after five innings despite having thrown just 65 pitches (the same thing happened in his last start after 66 pitches). It was incredibly baffling, but the Pirates later said he had tightness in his right calf. David Wright had lined a ball off of that calf in the first inning, and apparently it tightened up on him. Regardless of when or why he came out, Gomez has been brilliant in his spot starter role. He’ll surely get another start and will probably remain in the conversation going forward. The bullpen had to take care of the next four innings, and it was an adventure. Vin Mazzaro and Justin Wilson combined for a clean sixth, but a walk, a wild pitch, and a bloop single tied the game off Wilson in the seventh. The Pirates answered back in the eighth – their first shot at the Mets pen. McCutchen and Gaby Sanchez drew one-out walks, and after Jose Tabata struck out, Pedro Alvarez came up HUGE with a beautiful line drive to left off closer Bobby Parnell. It was a wonderful piece of hitting for Pedro, who also crushed a double earlier in the game and had a very good series. He’s over .200 now! Mark Melancon took the ball in the eight, as usual. After a one out double and a passed ball by The Fort, though, he found himself in some rare trouble. Mark issued what looked like an unintentional - intentional walk to David Wright, then got the key strikeout against Ike Davis. With two outs and two in scoring position, Duda then bounced one to first, and it kicked right off the bag to Brandon Inge at second, who then fired to Melancon for a crazy and extremely significant out. Inning over. The game had quite a few strange plays like that – the liner off Gomez’s leg that turned into an out, a crazy catch by Mets CF Juan Lagares, and that heads up play by Inge and Melancon. Grilli took over for the ninth and was dominant. He struck out two and earned the save with ease, making his parents very happy in the stands (thanks to @thescottlewis for the GIF): SERIES WRAPUP Once again, the Pirates dropped the first game of a four game set only to come back and win the next three. Not the easiest way to win series but it certainly works for me. Winning a series against the Mets isn’t exactly a big deal, but it was on the road (and the Bucs have struggled at Citi Field) and ace A.J. Burnett wasn’t used in the series (while they beat the Mets ace Harvey). This was a nice bounceback after a somewhat difficult homestand, and now the Bucs head to the Burgh for a long homestand against losing teams. Time to make a move. Pirates 3, Mets 2 / Box / 2013 Record: 21-16 / Next: Monday, vs. Brewers, 7:05 Source: FanGraphs
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