As the Pirates were finishing off Thursday's 11-6 win against the Mets, it was hard not to feel for Carlos Beltran and David Wright. They went 4-for-7 with three runs and two RBI to propel an undermanned lineup to six runs, which should be enough to win you a game against one of the few lineups that does a better job of impersonating a AAA outfit than your own. But Mike Pelfrey was just brutal and the Mets never really had a chance.
Beltran didn't ask for sympathy after the game, but he did ask for a little help from his friends.
"We have to find a way to play better, there's no doubt. Overall. I'm not pointing fingers at anybody. Offense, defense, pitching -- we have to find a way to play better. The reality of this is, coming here to Pittsburgh and being swept -- personally, I feel embarrassed. I don't think it's fun. We have to find a way to play better and to focus better and focus more on what we need to accomplish."
Pelfrey gave up four runs in the first inning, but the Mets got three back in the second inning to give him a second chance at keeping them in the game. He failed, miserably, and gave up five more runs before he was mercifully relieved of duty in the fourth inning. After that point, you could see that the Mets' hearts were willing to fight their way back into the game. Their talent, sadly, wasn't enough to keep them from getting swept.
You don't want to dump too much on Pelfrey, because everyone has a bad night now and again, but the Mets really needed more from him on Thursday afternoon. The names in the Pittsburgh lineup -- Jason Jaramillo, Ramon Vazquez, Andrew McCutchen in his big league debut -- were unimpressive, but Pelfrey kept getting beaten, which had to demoralize his already weakened teammates.
It's looking like they're going to be without another presumed key part going forward. J.J. Putz, who continued his string of brutal performances, may be on a fast track for elbow surgery. The cortisone shot he had two weeks ago has helped neither his pain nor his performance and he's heading back to New York for a meeting with doctors.
So off to Washington they go with something much less than a full complement of players. The Nats have been a cure-all to every team they've played this season, and the Mets need restoring before going on to Philadelphia and Yankee Stadium next week.