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Mets 5, Pirates 4

There are only two types of Pirates games. This one was both.

The first, and most common, type is the one in which the Pirates completely undo themselves with terrible defense, and allow a relatively harmless inning to blossom into a six-run stinkweed when Luis Rivas or someone all but dances out of the way of a harmless grounder rather than turning into an out. This time, the goat was Freddy Sanchez, who completely bungled a double play that would've ended the fifth inning, thus allowing the Mets to go up 4-2 with one out and effectively ending the night for Ian Snell.

Something strange happened on the way to the 10-2 rout, though -- Damaso Marte entered and struck out the last two batters (one with a bit of help from the umpire), and the Bucs managed to score in the eighth and ninth innings.

After that, this contest became the second type of Pirates game -- you know, the one that goes on forever into extra innings while no team scores. John Russell managed like he really, really wanted to get back to the hotel early, win or lose. First he sent out Franquelis Osoria -- he of the 6.75 ERA -- to pitch the ninth and tenth. Osoria actually didn't allow any runs, so Russell sent out the newly-recalled John Van Benschoten to pitch the 11th. Van Benschoten promptly pulled a Meek, allowing a single, a balk, an intentional walk, another walk, and then a single, and the Mets won 5-4.

Unless there's something wrong with Matt Capps that we don't know about, sending in Van Benschoten in that situation was absolutely indefensible. The pitcher's spot was due up sixth, so Capps likely would have been able to pitch two innings without his spot coming up. I honestly don't know how you can play a game like this after a day off and not use your best relief pitcher. It's baffling.

UPDATE: The Post-Gazette reports that Capps had a stomach illness and was only available as a "last resort."