Operation 1-1 seems to be on hold. The Pirates staged a remarkable comeback, scoring all their runs in the last two innings to beat the Mets, 9-7.
Wil Crowe struggled from the start, allowing five of six leadoff hitters to reach base. He survived due to double play balls in the first three innings. In the fourth, he gave up a two-run home run to J.D. Davis.
Derek Shelton let Crowe bat to lead off the bottom of the fifth and, in the sixth, Davis launched another two-run homer. That finished Crowe after five and a third.
Davis’ second bomb made it 4-0, as the Pirates got nowhere with Mets’ starter Tylor Megill, who threw six shutout innings. He gave up six hits, but the Pirates, for the time being, got back to the fundamentals of Operation 1-1, going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Chasen Shreve got the last two outs in the sixth, but Shelton went with Kyle Keller in the seventh and he gave up two runs, one of them unearned. That made it 6-0.
In the eighth, the Pirates came to life, cutting the gap to 6-5. They got a run on a John Nogowski double, then loaded the bases with nobody out. Jacob Stallings popped up and Kevin Newman hit into a run-scoring force play. Wilmer Difo came up as a pinch hitter and belted his third home run of the year, driving in three. Difo’s now batting 323/364/613 as a pinch hitter and ought to be a slam dunk choice over Erik Gonzalez as a utility infielder.
Shelton went with Clay Holmes in the top of the ninth. He served up a gopher ball to Brandon Nimmo, giving the Mets an insurance run.
Down 7-5, the Pirates got their first two batters on in the bottom of the ninth when Ke’Bryan Hayes got hit and Bryan Reynolds walked. Inexplicably, the Mets did not trade for Richard Rodriguez before another batter could come up. Ben Gamel struck out on a pitch in the dirt, then Nogowski loaded the bases with his third hit of the game. Gregory Polanco looked at a third strike for the second out.
That brought up Stallings. You’d think teams would know not to pitch to him in these spots, but maybe it helps that the Pirates are largely ignored around MLB. Stallings blasted the first pitch to left for a walkoff grand slam. It was his eighth home run of the year.