Mets Defeat Pirates 5-4 In 11 Innings At Shea
By Dan Miller
On Tuesday night April 29, the New York Mets (13-11) took on the Pittsburgh Pirates (10-15) for the first of three games at Shea Stadium. The Mets sent Johan Santana (3-2, 3.12) to the mound and the Pirates countered with Ian Snell (2-1, 4.45).
On the second pitch of the game, the Pirates’ leadoff batter took Santana deep, hitting a 395-foot home run over the right field wall. All Mets right fielder Ryan Church could do was look up at the 358-foot sign as the ball flew by. Jason Bay greeted Santana with a blast 390 feet from home plate into the left field bleachers on a 3-2 pitch to put Pittsburgh ahead, 2-0.
In the bottom of the fifth with one out, Carlos Beltran walked and right fielder Ryan Church belted a two-run, 390-foot home run over the right field wall, tying the game.
Duane Sanchez replaced Scott Schoeneweis in the top of the eighth. Chris Gomez singled on a sharp line drive to left. Freddie Sanchez doubled to left, with Gomez stopping at third. Jason Bay struck out. Xavier Nady walked to load the bases. Adam LaRoach walked, and Gomez scored. Jose Bautista hit a ground ball to David Wright at third, who threw home, forcing Freddy Sanchez at the plate. Xavier Nady moved to third. LaRoach took second. Bautista went to first with two out. Ronny Paulino flied out to second baseman Luis Castillo for the third out.
The Pirates tied the game in the top of the ninth by scoring one run off relief pitcher Billy Wagner, who blew the save and sent Johan Santana home without a win, despite a good pitching performance. The Mets failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings.
Pirates pitcher John Van Benschoten came in to pitch the 11th inning. Endy Chavez led off with a line drive single to center field. With Marlon Anderson batting, Chavez moved to second base on a balk called on Van Benschoten. Marlon Anderson, who replaced Carlos Delgado at first base, sacrificed Chavez to third base. Jose Reyes was intentionally walked, putting runners on first and third with one out.
With Luis Castillo at bat, Reyes took second on a defensive indifference. Reyes was not credited with a stolen base. Castillo walked to load the bases for David Wright.
Wright hit a 91-mph fast ball deep into the right field corner, the ball falling fair over the head of Xavier Nady and driving in Chavez, who had led off the 11th inning to help set up what turned out to be the winning run.
Wright’s bases-loaded single helped the Mets defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5 to 4 with their third walkoff win of the season. The winning pitcher was Jorge Sosa (3-1) and the loser was John Van Benschoten (0-1).
Two Mets players had three hits in the game. Reyes went 3-3 with three walks, a run scored and an RBI and Chavez went 3-5 with two runs scored. Both Church and Wright drove in two runs each and Reyes drove in one run.
Mets starter Johan Santana allowed only two hits, a season low for him. He left the game after 5.2 innings—his shortest outing in 2008 so far—with a 4-2 lead in which he walked a season-high three.
Endy Chavez was 3-5 in his first multi-hit game in 2008 for the Mets.
Jose Reyes went 3-3 with three walks, a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base. This was his first multi-hit game since April 20 against the Philadelphia Phillies when he went 2-5 in Philadelphia. Reyes reached base six times. It was the first time a Met player reached base six times since May 5, 2006 when he and David Wright both accomplished the fete in a 14-inning, 8-7 win over the Atlanta Braves at Shea.
This victory was the Mets’ fifth come-from-behind win this season. With this win, the Mets improved their 2008 record to 14-11 and gained a full game on the Florida Marlins, who lost that same night. The Mets are tied for second with the Philadelphia Phillies, only half a game behind the Marlins in the National League East.