Thanks to rain, what was supposed to be the game of the night on Monday ended up being the game of the night on Tuesday. No worries because anyone who was lucky enough to watch saw a great contest. Neither Johan Santana nor Ian Snell were particularly effective and neither of the two starters figured in the decision.
The Pirates struck first as the first batter of the game, Nate McLouth, hit a solo ding-dong to left-center off Santana. Snell erased two of three baserunners he allowed in the first three innings; catcher Ronny Paulino threw out Jose Reyes stealing in the first and he got Luis Castillo to ground into a double play in the third.
Jason Bay extended the Pirates' lead to two with a solo tater tot in the fourth, but the Mets came back to tie the game with a Ryan Church two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. By the fifth inning, Snell's night was done after allowing two runs on a single, triple, walk, and an error by Freddy Sanchez attempting to turn a double play. Whoopsie! Johan Santana was done after loading the bases in the top of the 6th, but escaped unscathed when Pedro Feliciano got Adam LaRoche to pop up.
The Pirates added a run in the eighth inning when Duaner Sanchez walked LaRoche with the bases loaded, and then tied the game in the ninth off closer Billy Wagner. Wagner's first blown save of the year was a result of a throwing error by Jose Reyes, a wild pitch, and an RBI single by Freddy Sanchez. After the Mets failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, fans were treated to extra baseball action.
Newly called up John Van Benschoten was tabbed to pitch the bottom of the eleventh; he gave up a single, a balk, an intentional walk, another walk, and then a walkoff single to David Wright to earn his first loss of the year.
Having seen the Pirates for the first time this season, I can attest to the fact that they play sloppy baseball. They'd be a better team without the fielding mistakes and mental errors on the basepaths. New Pittsburgh manager John Russell should take a cue from Rusty Kuntz and school his players on the basics of the game.