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Mets Bullpen Implodes As Pirates Salvage Series Split

Pirates 8, Mets 2 (PNC Park, Pittsburgh, PA)

Mets Record: 44-45

Mets Streak: L1

Mets Last 10: 4-6

WP: Mitch Keller (10-5)

LP: Eric Orze (0-1)

Seat On The Korner:

We select the star of the game and virtually invite him to a Seat on the Korner, just as Ralph Kiner used to do for his studio postgame show on WOR-channel 9 broadcasts in the early decades of the Mets.

Today's Seat On The Korner goes to Pirates' starter Mitch Keller, who toyed with a mostly full-strength Mets' lineup over eight innings of work. The only damage Keller allowed came in the sixth inning, when Brandon Nimmo hit a two-run homer off of him, as he scattered seven hits and struck out six to earn his tenth win of the year.

Need To Know

  • The Mets split their four-game series with the Pirates to conclude a 4-4 road trip.

  • The Mets have finished their season series with the Pirates and won it 5 games to 2.

  • Nimmo's homer in the sixth inning was the first time he ever made contact on a 3-0 pitch in the major leagues according to the SNY Broadcast.

  • Eric Orze made his major league debut in relief of Christian Scott with two outs in the sixth inning. Things didn't go well for Orze, who failed to record an out and was responsible for three earned runs and picked up a loss to boot.

  • Keller is now 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.

  • Pirates' SS Oneil Cruz, who went 2 for 3 with a two-run homer off of Scott, left the game in the eighth inning for a pinch hitter. There is no word as of post time why Cruz was removed from the contest.

Turning Point

The turning point of this game came after Orze was pulled with runners on first and second with two outs in favor of Adrian Houser, who needed just one out to end the inning and keep the deficit at one. Nick Gonzalez changed the tone of the inning quickly, ripping the first pitch he saw from Houser for a two-run double to extend Pittsburgh's lead to three runs. The Pirates would add two more in the frame to put the game out of reach but the big blow from Gonzalez was today's turning point.

Three Keys

A Short Stint For Christian Scott

The Mets saw another good effort from Scott, who allowed just two runs in 5.2 innings pitched, but most fans will be curious about the fact Carlos Mendoza pulled him with no one on after just 77 pitches. The SNY broadcast revealed that the Mets had a pitch count of about 75 on Scott in an effort to manage his innings, which is something to monitor as the season bears on. Scott, a converted college reliever, has already thrown a combined 80.2 innings between the minors and majors this season and hasn't thrown more than 87.2 innings in a professional season, so don't expect the Mets to push him too hard for a while.

Another Bullpen Meltdown

With Scott limited in pitches and the Mets' top three relievers (Edwin Diaz, Reed Garrett, and Dedniel Nunez) all unavailable after working the past two games, Mendoza was going to have to get creative to figure out the end of this game. Orze showed decent stuff but looked overwhelmed by the moment of making his big league debut in a tie game, failing to record an out and surrendering the lead, while Houser entered with inherited runners for the first time this season and allowed both to score while giving up another two of his own for good measure. The Mets' bullpen has been a problem area all season long and David Stearns will need to find a way to fortify it in order to avoid giving away too many games to make a playoff run.

Offensive Cooldown

The Mets didn't score apart from Nimmo's homer, which is part of a team-wide cooldown after their red-hot June. Since putting up five runs on the Nationals through five innings last Wednesday, the Mets have scored 12 runs over their next 49 innings, averaging 2.4 runs per game over that span. The key to the Mets' surge was production throughout their lineup and they need the group to start clicking again in order to avoid squandering a soft portion of their schedule prior to the All Star Break.

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