The Mets began their three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 13-4 win on Friday night at Citi Field.
Here are the key takeaways…
– Taijuan Walker had an easy top of the first inning, but his command escaped him in the second. After a walk-double-walk sequence loaded the bases, Walker hit Michael Perez with a 2-2 pitch to force in the Pirates’ first run of the night. Fortunately for Walker, a strikeout and a 6-4-3 double play got him out of the inning without further damage.
– Walker settled in a bit, though, keeping the Pirates at bay in the third and fourth. In the fifth, he allowed a Jared Oliva double and later walked opposing pitcher JT Brubaker, his third walk of the night. All-Star Adam Frazier made him pay with an RBI single to right to tie the game at 2-2.
Walker was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the fifth, ending his uneven night there. He allowed just two runs on four hits over 5.0 innings, but he walked three and struck out two, as he wasn’t entirely sharp.
– Jonathan Villar jumpstarted the Mets offense in the bottom of third. After the Mets went the first two innings without a hit, Villar slammed a solo home run to right-center to tie the game 1-1. Later in the inning, Brandon Nimmo laced a double to right-center to score James McCann and put the Mets up 2-1.
– Nimmo recorded his second hit of the night to lead off the top of the sixth, and Francisco Lindor followed with a walk to put two men on with no outs in a tie game. Dom Smith capitalized by pulling a single into right to score Nimmo and put the Mets up 3-2. But the fun was just getting started.
– Pete Alonso then broke the game wide open, as he did his best to get ready for the Home Run Derby by blasting a three-run homer to right-center to make it a 6-2 game. Alonso’s 16th home run of the season was just his second this season at Citi Field.
After Brubaker was pulled, reliever Sam Howard could not find the strike zone. He allowed a single before walking two to load the bases. Jose Peraza was then hit by a pitch to score the seventh run of the night for New York, and Nimmo walked to make it 8-2.
With Howard out of the game, Lindor put the icing on the cake with a grand slam to left-center to make it a 12-2 game. The Mets scored a whopping 10 runs in the inning, capped off by their first grand slam as a team this season.
– After hitting a home run left-handed earlier in the game, Villar hit one right-handed in the bottom of the seventh, launching it 437 feet into the upper deck in left. He became the first Met to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game since Jose Reyes in 2018.
– In the top of the eighth, the rain began to fall. In the bottom of the eighth, the tarp came out and the game officially went into a rain delay. After a delay of 41 minutes, the action resumed. Yennsy Diaz allowed a run in the ninth on a John Nogowski RBI single, but the Mets were able to hang on for the win.
The Mets and Pirates will play a single-admission doubleheader on Saturday, with first pitch set for 4:10 p.m.
Marcus Stroman is set to face Tyler Anderson in game one, while Tylor Megill will go for New York in game two.