Rapid Reaction: Pirates 7, Mets 3

WHAT IT MEANS: The only real dilemma ought to be which pitcher Zack Wheeler replaces in the rotation.

Shaun Marcum became the first pitcher in franchise history to fail to complete five innings in each of his first three starts as a Met as the Amazin’s lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-3, Friday night at Citi Field.

Shaun Marcum

Shaun Marcum

#38 SP
New York Mets

2013 STATS

  • GM4
  • W0

  • L3

  • BB6

  • K10

  • ERA8.59

Marcum (0-3) watched his ERA rise to 8.59 after surrendering six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.

He allowed five straight Pirates to reach base to open a three-run second inning. He then allowed a replay-awarded three-run homer to Garrett Jones in the fifth that gave the Pirates a 6-0 lead. Marcum surrendered nine hits and plunked two batters before being replaced by Robert Carson.

Marcum took a line drive off his left wrist off the bat of Wandy Rodriguez in the second inning, and twice was visited by trainer Ray Ramirez during the frame.

Later in the second, shortstop Ruben Tejada's double-clutch on a makeable play on Starling Marte's grounder resulted in a late throw to first base. Instead of the final out, the infield single plated Pittsburgh’s third run.

SILENT NIGHT: The Mets had another quiet night at the plate, with the lone damage through eight innings coming on Anthony Recker’s solo homer in the fifth against Rodriguez. It was Recker’s first homer as a Met.

In the fourth, David Wright had produced a leadoff double. He was stranded as Lucas Duda grounded out to first base, Marlon Byrd popped out to first base and Ike Davis popped out to third base.

Wright again was stranded in scoring position in the sixth after a leadoff single.

The Mets finally scored a pair of runs in the ninth against Jose Contreras, prompting manager Clint Hurdle to insert closer Jason Grilli with two on and two out in the ninth.

WHAT’S NEXT: On Banner Day at Citi Field, the Mets send Jonathon Niese (2-3, 4.66 ERA) to the mound opposite left-hander Francisco Liriano. Liriano will be making his Pirates debut after opening the season on the DL with a broken humerus bone in his non-throwing arm.

Wheeler, by the way, starts for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday night opposite ex-Met Aaron Laffey of the Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers).