Well, that was wild.
There were a lot of ways that the Pirates could've lost this Sunday afternoon game against the Mets. They had a chance to really deliver a knockout punch to Matt Harvey in the second when Clint Barmes lead off the inning with his second homer (his first homer was against Stephen Strasburg, go figure) and then they loaded the bases up with just one out. All they got from that was one more run at a 2-1 lead that looked awfully shaky when Jeanmar Gomez had to leave the game after five innings due to tightness in his leg after being hit by a groundball in the first inning.
Justin Wilson's wildness on the mound lead the Mets to tie the game up in the seventh, but then the Pirates got the run back in the eighth with a Pedro Alvarez RBI single (Alvarez also had a double off of Harvey and has now surpassed the Mendoza line!). That one run lead felt significantly different with Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli looming, but for the first time all year Melancon got himself into a bit of trouble with the game on the line. He served up a double to Daniel Murphy, who advanced to third on a passed ball by Mike McKenry (who had an awful game behind the plate) with one out. After the Pirates walked David Wright semi-intentionally, Melancon struck out Ike Davis with a nasty curveball to get the second out. Lucas Duda then smoked a ground ball down the first base line that popped up straight off of the bag. Somehow, though, it turned just enough towards second base that Brandon Inge was there waiting for it and he grabbed the ball and threw it to Melancon covering first for the third out. There's nothing wrong with being lucky. The ninth inning with Jason Grilli went much more smoothly; Grilli retired the side with two strikeouts on eight pitches.
The win puts the Pirates at 21-16, which means that they're back to the point they were after taking the first game from the Nationals last Friday. These three straight wins against the Mets wipe out that ugly little 1-4 skid that they went on after that game. 21-16 also keeps them within 2 1/2 games of the Cardinals (once they finish losing to the Rockies this afternoon) and a half game behind the Reds. Last year the Pirates used a pretty weak schedule in May and June to overcome a bad start and launch them into contention. This year they had a good start against a tough schedule, so it's quite nice to see them rack up some wins against a lesser team. The ice cold Brewers come into PNC Park next, followed by a visit from our old friends from Houston. It's time for the Bucs to heat up and rack up some wins. This series was a very good start.