May 8, 2009: Delgado's Big Hits Bury Bucs

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Date: May 8, 2009
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 7
Pirates: 3
Winning pitcher: Bobby Parnell
Key player(s): Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo
Key play: Delgado’s single and homer, Beltran’s single

The Mets faced the Pirates on a Friday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Carlos Delgado drove in five runs to lead the Mets to a 7-3 win over Pittsburgh.

Mets’ starter Jonathon Niese pitched a scoreless top of the first inning. Jose Reyes singled against the Bucs’ Jeff Karstens to lead off the bottom half. Reyes stole second base and moved to third on Luis Castillo’s infield single. Castillo stole second and Carlos Beltran popped out to second baseman Freddy Sanchez. Delgado followed with a single that scored Reyes and Castillo for a 2-0 Mets lead. Karstens then struck out David Wright and got Daniel Murphy to hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Brian Bixler that finished off the inning.

After a scoreless second, Bixler singled to begin the top of the third. A sacrifice bunt by Karstens advanced Bixler to second base. Nyjer Morgan hit a single to bring home Bixler and went to second on Sanchez’s ground out to shortstop Reyes. Nate McLouth doubled to score Morgan and tie the game at 2-2. Niese retired Adam LaRoche on an inning-ending grounder to second baseman Castillo. Karstens then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Niese and Karstens each pitched two-hit scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. Bixler hit a double against Mets’ reliever Sean Green to open the top of the seventh. Green threw a called third strike past pinch-hitter Delwyn Young and hit Morgan with a pitch. Sanchez flied out to left fielder Murphy and New York’s Ken Takahashi retired McLouth on a grounder to first baseman Delgado for the inning’s third out. Pittsburgh’s Tyler Yates gave up just a single to pinch-hitter Alex Cora in the bottom half. For the Mets, reliever Bobby Parnell set down the side in order in the top of the eighth.

Reyes hit a leadoff single against Yates in the bottom of the eighth inning. Castillo drew a walk and Beltran singled to bring home Reyes with the go-ahead run. Delgado followed with a three-run homer off Pirates’ reliever Sean Burnett. Wright flied out to right fielder Brandon Moss and a double by Murphy ensued. Murphy moved to third base on a wild pitch and scored on Omir Santos’s single for a 7-2 Mets lead. Burnett retired Ryan Church on a ground ball to Sanchez and issued a walk to pinch-hitter Gary Sheffield. Bucs’ reliever Donnie Veal walked Reyes to load the bases. Veal then got Castillo to fly out to Moss and end the inning.

Mets’ reliever J. J. Putz retired Robinzon Diaz on a grounder to third baseman Wright to start the top of the ninth. Bixler was struck out and pinch-hitter Eric Hinske drew a walk. Morgan walked and Sanchez hit a single that plated Hinske with the Pirates’ third run. Putz then got McLouth to fly out to center fielder Beltran and bring the game to an end. The Mets had their fifth straight victory to begin the weekend series.

Notes

  • This was the 3600th regular season win in Mets history.
  • The win for Parnell was the first of his major league career.
  • Delgado's home run was the last of his career.