WHAT IT MEANS: No need for a postgame tirade this time, Terry. The Mets got the message.
A day after manager Terry Collins berated his team after they imploded in the top of the seventh inning and lost 9-3 to the Pirates, the resilient Mets rallied back from a 7-0 deficit to beat Pittsburgh, 9-8, on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, snapping a two-game losing streak in the process. They are now 3-4 on their 10-game homestand.
It was the first time the Mets (26-30) came back from seven runs down to win since June 30, 2000 against Atlanta. The largest comeback in franchise history took place on Sept. 2, 1972, when the Mets dug themselves out of an 8-0 hole to top Houston, 11-8.
WAIT, WHAT?! Ruben Tejada delivered the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning. But not before Ronny Paulino led off the frame with a single and was pinch-run for by Willie Harris.
New York Mets
Chris Capuano came up to pinch-hit and try to bunt Harris over, but he fouled his first attempt back. He appeared to foul his second attempt back to, but Jose Veras was called for a balk, allowing Harris to advance to second.
In the middle of the at-bat, Collins pulled Capuano back for Josh Thole, who walked after Harris moved to third on a wild pitch, setting up Tejada's sac fly for his third RBI of the game.
COMEBACK: Tejada sparked a four-run sixth with a two-out, two-run bases loaded single, and wound up scoring the tying run on a passed ball. Daniel Murphy’s pinch-hit RBI single in the frame brought the Mets within a run.
POUNDING PELF: Xavier Paul led off the game with a bunt single. And that was just the inauspicious beginning of what proved to be a dismal start for Mike Pelfrey. He allowed a total of five hits -- all singles -- in the first inning, then followed that up by surrendering three more in the second -- including cleanup hitter Neil Walker’s two-run missile off the Dunkin’ Donuts in deep right-center.
New York Mets
In all, Pelfrey allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits in five innings, but was taken off the hook when the Mets came back to tie the game at 7. It was the second time the Mets rallied from a 7-0 deficit for Pelfrey this season (April 6 at Philadelphia, lost 10-7).
BELT-RAN: With the Mets trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the third, Carlos Beltran blasted his first home run since May 12 -- a two-out three-run bomb off the Alliance Building Services sign in the second deck in left. By hitting his ninth homer of the season, Beltran moved past Cleon Jones into sole possession of seventh place on the franchise’s all-time RBI list. He also added a double and an RBI walk.
RETURN OF EL REY-ES: Jose Reyes returned following a three-day stint on the bereavement list, and went 1-for-4 at the plate with a run scored .
K-ROD TRACKER: Despite allowing a run Francisco Rodriguez recorded his 16th save of the season, which is also his 16th save in a row. That ties his longest consecutive saves streak since 2009, when he also had 16. He has finished 21 of the Mets’ first 56 games. K-Rod is on pace for 61 games finished, six over the threshold for his contract to kick in at $17.5 million for 2012.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets open up a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves on Friday night with Jonathon Niese (4-5, 3.91) going against veteran right-hander Derek Lowe (3-4, 4.03).