To say that the Pirates had its most satisfying win of the season Saturday is an understatement. It’s not just that they dominated the Mets 11-2, it’s the way they got there. One of the biggest acquisitions in the offseason, Francisco Liriano, made his long-awaited Pirates debut on Saturday. If this is a preview of things to come, Pirates fans will be quite happy.
Liriano, who missed spring training due to injury, came out looking like the pitcher that threw a no-hitter for the Minnesota Twins. While he only lasted 5.1, it was 5.1 well pitched. Liriano allowed just six hits and one run, while striking out nine Mets.
While Liriano was dominate in his debut, a few other unlikely Pirates stood up and took charge for the offense. Jose Tabata, who entered the game hitting .232, went 4-5 in the game and ended up just a triple shy of the cycle. With Russell Martin still nursing a neck injury, Michael McKenry had a chance to take advantage of another start. McKenry responded going 2-4 with 3 RBIs in the game.
The surprise of the day, to me, was Jordy Mercer. Mercer, who was called up after Neil Walker went on the disabled list, continued his hot play. Mercer went 2-5, but had two solo homers. With Mercer’s play, it’ll be interesting to see what the Pirates do when Walker comes off the disabled list next week. Will Mercer be sent back down to Indy or will the team part with John McDonald?
While the Pirates offense exploded against Jon Niese, don’t expect much of the same when the Pirates wrap-up its four-game series against the Mets. Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.38 ERA) will take the bump for the Pirates as Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.28 ERA) will bring his league-leading ERA into the game for the Mets. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.
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