New York-All eyes were on Lamar Johnson for the New York Mets Tuesday night. Johnson was in his first game as hitting coach, replacing the fired Dave Hudgens. The Mets showed some signs of life offensively under Johnson's watch, finally recording clutch hits and looking a little better at the plate. Even though they only scored four runs, that would prove to be enough as the Mets (23-28) defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates (23-28) 4-2.
The Mets got on the board early when Bobby Abreu drove in a run with a single in the top of the third, giving the home team a 1-0 lead. The Mets added another run in the bottom of the fourth when Juan Lagares doubled home Ruben Tejada to make it 2-0 Mets. The Pirates were able to tie the game in the top of the sixth when Starling Marte hit a two run single with the bases loaded to tie the game. With the game tied, Terry Collins went to his bullpen and brought in newly recalled Vic Black to put out the fire. Black walked Neil Walker to load the bases, but got out of the jam by striking out pinch hitter Ike Davis to get out of the inning unscathed.
The Mets immediately responded in the bottom of the sixth. Ruben Tejada started the inning with a walk, and moved all the way to third on wild pitches from Pirates reliever Jeanmar Gomez. Gomez (L, 0-2) then gave up a single to Lagares to make it 3-2 Mets. Daniel Murphy doubled home Lagares to give the Mets a critical insurance run, making it 4-2.
Black (W, 1-0) worked into and out of trouble again in the seventh, pitching a scoreless frame before handing off to Jenrry Mejia. With set up man Jeurys Familia unavailable, Mejia was asked to go the final two innings for the save. Mejia was able to do just that, working two tightrope innings to pick up his fourth save of the year.
While the Mets got a win in Lamar Johnson's debut, there are still things to be concerned about. Even though the Mets got a few clutch hits, they were still abysmal in the clutch. The Mets went 3 for 16 with runners in scoring position for the night, and left 10 men on base in the evening. The Mets scored enough to win on the evening, but they need to get much better in these pressure situations if they hope to improve their record going forward.
Player of the Game:
Today's Player of the Game award goes to Mets' center fielder Juan Lagares. Lagares went 2 for 5 with a run scored and two RBI's, including the go ahead hit in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Post Game Notes:
- Lagares, Tejada, and Murphy each got two hits for the Mets and combined to score all four runs. The rest of the team got one hit.
- The Pirates only got five hits on the evening, but drew eight walks.
- Rapper 50 Cent threw the ceremonial first pitch before the game and was way off line, nearly hitting a camera man 15 feet away from the plate.
The Mets will look to pick up the rubber game with the Pirates this afternoon at 1:10 pm. Bartolo Colon (3-5, 5.34 ERA) and Charlie Morton (1-6, 3.29 ERA) will be on the mound.Tags: 50 Cent, Baseball, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Jeanmar Gomez, Jenrry Mejia, Juan Lagares, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ruben Tejada, Starling Marte, Vic Black