Pirates officially eliminated from playoffs
By Karen Price
Published: Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, 10:01 p.m.
NEW YORK — Jeff Locke walked off the mound Wednesday night at Citi Field no closer to his first major league win than he was in his eight previous career starts.
The blame wasn't just on the left-hander after the Pirates' 6-0 loss to the New York Mets officially eliminated them from playoff contention.
Locke (0-3) allowed five runs in 32⁄3 innings, but the Pirates' defense wasn't sharp, and the offense produced only three singles, all against Mets starter Jeremy Hefner (3-7).
That's the same Hefner who was pulled from his previous start after allowing seven runs on six hits without recording an out against the Phillies on Sept. 20. The right-hander, who struck out five in his previous three starts combined, struck out seven to match a career high. It was his first win since Aug. 4 and just the second time in 12 starts this season he was pitching after six innings.
“He made pitches, his changeup was effective and his fastball was good,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “What we made hard on ourselves was the first eight innings and 24 outs to play with. We had 11 fly balls and eight punchouts. That's 19 soft outs.”
Mets leadoff man Ruben Tejada was 4 for 5 with two RBI, and Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Scott Hairston went 2 for 4.
With seven games left, the Pirates need to go 6-1 to reach 82 wins and record their first winning season in 19 years. Three games under .500, they've won just six of 24 games this month.
The Pirates scored in double-digits Tuesday for the first time since mid-August and were hoping to win back-to-back games for the first time since Sept. 4-5.
That possibility began slipping away when the Mets hit three consecutive one-out singles in the third. The final was an infield single by Wright to Pedro Alvarez, who threw past first for an error and allowed the second run of the inning to score.
The hit was the 1,419th of Wright's career, lifting him past Ed Kranepool for the most in Mets history.
Scott Hairston doubled to score another and, after three more singles and a run in the fourth, Hurdle lifted his starter.
“It seems like the game sped up on me,” Locke said. “You don't execute a few pitches, you walk a guy, guys go station-to-station after that. You have to know when you have opportunities to put guys away.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7980.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates claim 3 pitchers in minor league Rule 5 draft
- Pirates sign free agent pitcher Volquez
- Pirates agree with Barmes on 1-year deal
- Pirates not yet talking extensions with Alvarez, Walker
- Pirates general manager Huntington is searching for right player, deal
- First base options thinning as winter meetings go on
- Breaking down the Pirates’ needs entering winter meetings
- Pirates will shop while starting pitcher Burnett makes his decision
- Pirates notebook: Huntington narrows team’s offseason targets