The Mets’ bullpen – J.J. Putz in particular – gave up five eighth-inning runs Monday night, handing the Pittsburgh Pirates the first game of a three-game series 8-5.
Mets starter Livan Hernandez left the game with a 5-3 lead but would not get the “W.” He lost his no-hitter on the leadoff hitter when Nyjer Morgan blooped a single to center that Jeremy Reed seemed to have lost in the sunlight. It marked the 7,532th New York Mets game without a no-no, and the 700th time a leadoff single killed a no-hitter. (See our No-hitters killed by first at bat for all the stats on leadoff hits.)
The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the second with a double by Jeremy Reed, a triple by Wilson Valdez and a single by Brian Schneider. New York added another run in the third when Gary Sheffield drove in Fernando Martinez on a fielder’s choice, and back-to-back doubles by Reed and Valdez made it 5-0.
The Pirates cut the Mets’ lead to 5-3 in the fourth on a double and triple by the Brothers LaRoche and a Jason Jaramillo RBI ground-out.
Then came the eighth. J.J. Putz, who took the ball from Pedro Feliciano after Feliciano gave up a leadoff double followed by a ground out, yielded four straight hits that led to four earned runs. Very Heilmanesque.