NEW YORK–The next time Terry Collins rips into his team he should make sure the next day’s starting pitcher is there. Thursday’s starter, Mike Pelfrey, had long left the ballpark when Collins gave the Mets a motivational tongue-lashing after Wednesday night’s game.
Pelfrey allowed three runs in the first inning, three more in the second, and seven total in his five innings of work. But the Mets’ hitters certainly got the message, overcoming a 7-0 deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8 at Citi Field on a beautiful Thursday afternoon. It tied the second biggest comeback in franchise history.
The first sign of life came on a three-run home run to left field by Carlos Beltran in the third inning, a missile that hit the facade of the second deck. “When you need him, he’s there for you,” Collins said, a truth that many Mets fans often forget. Collins had been asking his three hitter if he wanted a day off, but Beltran told his skipper he felt good. “Guys are out,” he said, referring to David Wright and Ike Davis, among others. “I need to be in there.”
|The view from the press box.|
Beltran got the Mets started but Ruben Tejada, a 21-year-old who looks 16, collected a huge hit in the four-run seventh. With the bases loaded and two outs, it was Tejada’s single to right that plated two and cut the deficit to 7-5. Two batters later he scored the tying run on a wild pitch. In a bizarre eighth inning, his sac fly gave the Mets the lead.
|Mets manager Terry Collins addresses the media.|
After the game, reporters surrounded Tejada’s locker. After getting dressed, he stood up to leave. “We’re here to talk to you,” a reporter informed him. “Oh,” said the shy Tejada before returning to his locker to quietly answer questions.
|Mike Pelfrey was happy to get off the hook.|
It is refreshing to have guys like Tejada on the big league roster. I could see him at shortstop in the near future but I’d rather see him next to Jose Reyes for the next six years or so. For now I’ll enjoy watching Tejada sparkle in the field and continue to improve at the plate. “I think he can be a very good major league hitter,” Collins said.
|Carlos Beltran and his stylish Hawaiian shirt|
He also said he hoped the win would be something they could feed off, but baseball usually doesn’t work like that. Sure enough, the Mets blew a 3-1 lead in the eighth last night and lost to Atlanta 6-3. The Mets have been outscored 82-33 in the eighth and ninth innings this season. Collins can’t turn this group into a playoff contender, but for one afternoon at least, the Mets gave fans a reason to cheer.
|If this were A-Rod wearing an A-Rod shirt, it would be pathetic. With Wright, it’s humorous.|