It was a minor miracle that James McDonald picked up a quality start and only allowed two runs in this one. He pitched horribly, just about as bad as he has at any point this season. He repeatedly threw pitches way out of the zone, got in tons of ugly counts, walked, pitcher R.A. Dickey, and gave up lots of hard-hit balls that went directly at fielders. (Brandon Wood also made a really nice play that ended a third, snagging a liner and ending a threat with two men on base.) This was McDonald's second straight start looking pretty bad, and I'm a little bit concerned about him.
For the Mets, Dickey pitched much better, but he gave up two runs in the bottom of the third when he allowed a single to Jose Tabata, a walk by Josh Harrison, and then allowed a two-run double by Andrew McCutchen that glanced off the glove of third baseman Daniel Murphy.
Tim Wood pitched the seventh and looked great, and then Tony Watson came on in the eighth and got an out and allowed a walk (to Angel Pagan). The Pirates then turned to Jose Veras, who looked almost as bad as McDonald did. He allowed a double by Lucas Duda, and fortunately the Mets decided to hold Pagan at third. Veras then threw a bunch of breaking balls that Ronny Paulino couldn't figure out, and Paulino struck out, ending the threat. Joel Hanrahan then came on and dominated in the ninth.
In addition to Tim Wood, Watson and Harrison (who went 2-for-3 with a walk), the other new Pirate to play was Wyatt Toregas, who looked really cool in his black-and-gold goalie mask and gunned down a runner in the first, but looked pretty clueless with the bat.
A win is a win, but the Pirates didn't necessarily turn in their best effort tonight. Still, they'll get to take another shot at .500 tomorrow.