Originally written on The Daily Stache  |  Last updated 10/24/14

Hello and welcome to another glorious day of Mets baseball. Today the Metsies are in Pittsburgh for a rubber game against the Buccos. On Monday night, New York jumped out to a 4-0 lead but didn’t score again for the rest of the game while Pittsburgh stormed back to win 5-4. Last night, however, the Mets struck back with a thrilling 3-2 victory in which R.A. Dickey recorded a career high 11 strikeouts. Today Jon Niese takes the mound for New York against Charlie Morton for the Pirates. First pitch is a bright and early 12:35 PM, so make sure to schedule an early lunch if you’re at work and fire up your favorite game tracking website for an afternoon full of Alt+Shifting. Of course the game is also availalbe on SNY and WFAN 660. Mets lineup
1. Mike Baxter, LF
2. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Lucas Duda, RF
5. Daniel Murphy, 2B
6. Ike Davis, 1B
7. Ronny Cedeño, SS
8. Rob Johnson, C
9. Jon Niese, LHP Mike Baxter is back in the lead-off spot today, and why not? His double with one out in the eighth inning jump started the small rally that the Mets used to win the game last night. Meanwhile, Ike Davis continued his ridiculous season-long slump with an 0 for 4 night with two strikeouts. Just a game in which Ike didn’t strikeout would be considered a moral victory, I think. Pittsburgh Pirates Lineup
1. Josh Harrison, RF
2. Gorkys Hernandez, LF
3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
4. Neil Walker, 2B
5. Casey McGehee, 1B
6. Rob Barajas, C
7. Yamaico Navarro, 3B
8. Clint Barmes, C
9. Charlie Morton, RHP Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle has emptied the bench and inserted Gorkys Hernandez and Yamaico Navarro into the lineup today. Hernandez is an outfield prospect who has bounced around a little bit and is still looking for his first major league hit, while Navarro has a bit more big league experience, but hasn’t exactly proven to be able to hit at this level yet. Niese would much rather pitch to either of the youngsters than to Andrew McCutchen, who is hitting .465 against lefties this season. Pitching Match-up
NYM — Jon Niese (4.85 ERA, 39 SO, 18 BB)
Niese got rocked in his last start, with eight runs and four home runs allowed to Toronto in just three innings. Niese has already let up eight big flies this season compared to only 14 in 28 starts last season. That equals a ridiculous 21.1% of his fly balls going for home runs, which you have to figure is not going to hold up. The good news is that Niese’s strikeout rate is the best it’s been in his career, but he needs to get his walks under control a little bit. If he can keep getting the strikeouts while keeping the ball in the yard, Niese should be just fine this season. PIT — Charlies Morton (4.35 ERA, 24 SO, 10 BB)
Like Niese, Morton has been killed by the home run ball this season. Even though he’s been an excellent ground ball pitcher since last season (61.8% ground ball rate this year), he’s already allowed five home runs compared to just six last season. Assuming the home runs normalize, Morton seems like your standard worm burner who deals a lot of ground balls and few strikeouts. After a good start in April, Morton has been knocked around a bit in May, when the homer bug has hit. A lot of the Mets’ success today will depend on hitting the ball hard and hopefully finding a hole in the infield.
  • leroydyno123

    Well another game where offense was missing, Clint Hurdle probably said the hitting will come around and that is probably when all Pirate fans are dead and gone. I emphasise Mickey Hatcher is still available. Hitting instructors must be like hitters if you get it right 3 out of 10 times it will get you to the hall of fame. I'm sure Ritchie is a nice guy but where is the accountability that Pirates organization speaks of.
    Well we sent Pressley down, yes and he needed it. Ritchie should be sent to minors as well. I keep hearing getting a bat is to expensive right now then a pitching coach would be much cheaper. A player who doesn' t husle should be held accountable not out of line up one day let him rot on the bench and when it starts hurting his numbers he will spend the time in the cage that is required. Hurdle stop coddling them need a little tough love last year maybe when the boys from Altoona just came up but they are men now time to stop the fielding ,base running gaffes, and these guys have speed but could not steal a base if life depended on it. They can't read a pitcher and get max lead without getting pickrd off. Hurdle your still our boy but fix it! Division is yelling take me if you wait till other teams make moves you just stay the same.
  • leroydyno123

    Marte should be there Hague should be there what happened to rewarding a player for good performance. Ido understand sometimes a guy can be overmatched but that happens baseball is a game of adjustments you get a streak going and then the scouts figure out your not good with a curve or stuff down and away the good hitter will adjust. One day don't swing first pitch next day maybe even next at bat make switch keep pitcher guessing. Most of all when I step into batters box that plate is mine the pitcher can use it but if i'm looking in I still have to be able to drive balloutside to right or left respectively. Hitting is an art and Every at bat matters not just when somebody is watching thats how you judge character of the hitter.
  • leroydyno123

    Pitching will suffer by not having outfield of Pressley, McCutchen ,and Tabata. Hernandez deserves a chance and then get Marte up there and when Pressley comes back if McClouth has it figured out if not send him down or release him. Like McClouth you were great for Pirates keep working hard and study tapes of when you were having success. Try live batting practice rather than cage spray ball to all fields. Glasses maybe next step if striking out due to lack of contact.
    I'm not joking with age stuff wears out and they have Lasik surgery today.
  • leroydyno123

    I have been a Pirate fan all my life and will take that one with me to the grave.

    I was talking to a young man the other day about the Pirates and he told me he was born in 1991 so basically he has never been around for an over 500 season but yet he is as big a fan as I am. My point is with Fielder and Pujols moving to American league this division can be had and instead of making a move to fix the offense Front Offices hands are tied.
    Cardinals won't wait Berkman goes down they know they must get bat why does our management not get it. Pitchers are saying all the right things but the reason starters are not getting wins is due to the lack of run production. This is why E. Jackson turned down a 3 YEAR contract with Pirates, talk is cheap and so is this organization. Organization says they want to win but body language says otherwise. Prior management made mistakes and you are paying for it,so instead of crying about it do what is necessary to fix. Example Bedard is pitching out of pocket but he is not getting wins due to not getting runs. ,now at trade deadline you should move him and get 3 prospects for him but other clubs are going to say well his record is 2-5 , he has pitched well enough to be 6-1 but he got about 1 run each appearance. If you start spending money other clubs won't know what your doing its called cost of doing business. If all clubs spend 150 million and you spend 60 million do you really think you will win. Last year was fun and the fan base was buzzing even ESPN was talking. Stands were feeling up and sales were up. Don't let it slip away. "If you build it they will come" keep that in mind. Go BUCS !
  • leroydyno123

    I would like to issue a challenge! Carlos Lee can be had for just money step up! Pirates offense strikes out 10-15 times a game. EL CABIELLO does not and hits 275 to 295. Adds protection for McCutchen and Alverez and would be here for two years. He is a 5-10 player so might not come to Pirates. Houston said it would pick up some of salary if half you get him for about 18.5 million for two years. Now thats what should have happened in February and did not. Trade pitcher to Baltimore and prospect for Machado or step up and go after Castro. This is thinking out of the box.

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