Mets Game Recap: Behind Starter Gerrit Cole, Pirates Fluster Noah Syndergaard; Mets lose 4-1

With Rising Apple site editor Daniel Abriano and the 7-Line Army in the house this weekend, the Amazin’s Noah Syndergaard climbed the hill Friday evening in Pittsburgh, and was opposed by the Pirates’ stellar 24-year old right-hander Gerrit Cole.

Thor started marvelously, fanning his first 4 batters faced.  However, things changed on a dime in the home 2nd, when the Pirates plated a pair.

May 22, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches against Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jung Ho Kang (L) during the fourth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets cut that lead to one in the 3rd, when Juan Lagares scored on an uncharacteristic wild pitch from Gerrit Cole.

The game, however, got away from Thor and the Mets in the 6th, as the Pittsburgh Pirates went on to capture a series opening 4-1 victory over the visiting Mets.

Mets Starting Lineup:

1) Curtis Granderson-RF; 2) Eric Campbell-3B; 3) Lucas Duda-1B; 4) Michael Cuddyer-LF; 5) Daniel Murphy-2B; 6) Wilmer Flores-SS; 7) Juan Lagares-CF; 8) Kevin Plawecki-C; 9) Thor-SP.

Game Recap:

Curtis Granderson looked at a strike-one fastball to open the game, and wound up fanning on four pitches.  Next up, Eric Campbell took first after getting hit on the hand, but was erased on a strike ’em out, throw ’em out with Lucas Duda at the plate.

Noah Syndergaard‘s first pitch of the evening was a fastball, outside to lead-off hitter Josh Harrison.  Thor then proceeded to strike out the side, punctuated by a swinging Andrew McCutchen whiff.

Daniel Murphy stroked the Mets first hit of the evening in the top of the 2nd, but was promptly caught stealing.

After striking out his 4th straight batter in the bottom of the 2nd inning, things went slightly awry for Noah Syndergaard.  He allowed a 2-out ground rule double to first baseman Pedro Alvarez, followed by a scorcher off the bat of Gregory Polanco, which Lucas Duda had trouble fielding.  Alvarez scored from second.  With catcher Chris Stewart at the plate, Polanco stole second base, and soon advanced to third on a Kevin Plawecki passed ball.  Chris Steward then pulled a ball down the left field line to plate Polanco for a 2-0 Pirates lead.

Leading off the top of the 3rd, Juan Lagares reached on an E-5.  Kevin Plawecki then singled to right, advancing Lagares to third.  After Syndergaard sacrificed Plawecki to second, the runners advanced on a wild pitch by Gerrit Cole; Lagares scored.

Noah Syndergaard retired Pittsburgh in order in the bottom of the 3rd.

  • Through 3 innings, THOR allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits and no walks, with 4 strikeouts.  He threw 48 pitches with 32 (67%) going for strikes.

Noah retired his 7th straight batter to close out the 4th inning.

With 1-out in the top of the 5th, Juan Lagares slapped the Mets 3rd hit of the night, but was erased when Kevin Plawecki bounced into a 4-6-3 double play.

With two on and 2-outs in the home 5th, and Neil Walker at the plate, Syndergaard unleashed a wild pitch to advance both runners into scoring position.  Walker then popped up to Duda ending the threat.

Leading off the top of the 6th, Noah Syndergaard pulled his first major league hit through the first base hole.  Thor’s base running experience was cut short though.  Next up, Curtis Granderson grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Leading off the bottom of the frame, Andrew McCutchen launched a Syndergaard offering high off the right field wall for a stand-up double, then advanced on left fielder Starling Marte‘s grounder to second.  With the infield in, shortstop Jung Ho Kang tapped a ball up the middle to score McCutchen.  A failed pick-off attempt at first got by Duda, allowing Kang to advanced to second.  Syndergaard then spaced-out with the runner at second, allowing an easy steal of third.  Pedro Alvarez‘ shallow fly to left, and a weak throw by Michael Cuddyer later, and Pittsburgh owned a 4-1 lead.

  • Through 6 complete innings pitched, Noah Syndergaard faced 25 batters, and threw 99 pitches with 67 (68%) going for strikes.  His night ended after allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and no walks, with 5 strikeouts.  His ERA grew from 3.18, to a 3.63 mark, and now owns a 1-2 record in 3 starts.

Erik Goedell entered the game in the bottom of the 7th in relief of Noah Syndergaard, and retired the Pirates in order.

Wilmer Flores led-off the top of the 8th with a single, but was erased on Juan Lagares‘ 6-4-3 double play.

In the bottom of the frame, Erik Geodell hit Andrew McCutchen high on the arm with a fastball.

Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole couldn’t quite finish what he started.  He was relieved with two on, and 1-out in the 9th inning.  Reliever Marc Melancon entered the game, and retired Lucas Duda and Michael Cuddyer to end the Mets threat, and earn his 10th save of the season.

Scoring Summary:

  • Top 3rd inning – Juan Lagares reached on an E-5.  Kevin Plawecki singled; Lagares to third.  Lagares scored on a wild pitch by Gerrit Cole.

Final Score:

  • Mets 1; PIRATES 4

Highlights:

  • This weekend series features a battle between the National League’s 2nd best team ERA (Mets) against the league’s 3rd best team ERA (Pirates).
  • The Mets entered Friday’s game with the least stolen bases in the league.  Terry Collins gambled early against the arm of catcher Chris Stewart, but went 0 for 2 (Campbell, Murphy).
  •  The Mets’ road record dropped to a 7-13 mark.
  • After a failed pick-off attempt at first, Noah Syndergaard lost his bearing with a runner on second in the 6th.  Perhaps a lesson learned in composure?  On the bright side, he featured a brilliant slider at times.
  • The Mets bounced into three more double plays.  Their 38 GIDP lead the National League.
  • Give credit where due – Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole pitched into the 9th, allowed one unearned run on just 6 hits, one walks, and fanned 10 batters.  He finished at 111 pitches with 74 (67%) going for strikes.  Cole improved his record to 6-2, and lowered his ERA from 2.40, to a 2.05 mark.
  • As per the SNY-GUYS, Dillon Gee is expected to rejoin the Mets in Pittsburgh, perhaps on Saturday.  The looming question remains – what to do with Thor?  Sandy Alderson is begging for a backlash on this one.

Next:

5/23 – Saturday, 4:05pm

Mets @ PIRATES

Matt Harvey vs. A.J. Burnett

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