Final Score: Pirates 3 Mets 2

20130712-230101.jpgThe Least You Should Know…

Jordy Mercer drove in the game winner against Gonzalez Germen – who was making his big league debut – with a dribbler up the middle to score Andrew McCutchen in the 11th inning.

Jeremy Hefner was brilliant again, allowing only two runs in seven innings, both runs coming in the first inning on a Pedro Alvarez two-run home run.

Hefner needed only 78 pitches to get through seven innings.

The Mets needed three pitchers to get out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth inning.

David Wright had an RBI double in the sixth inning, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis tied the game with a solo home run in the seventh inning.

Ike Davis went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts – he is now 5-for-21 with five walks and six strikeouts since returning to the Mets.

For a full recap and box score, check out SNY.TV.

Michael Baron, Contributor

One of these days, the Mets might actually play a stretch of games which doesn’t include a wacky extra-inning or rain-extended game…

Tough assignment for Germen or his big league debut. He was thrown into a 2-2 tie in the 11th inning, and was forced to face the heart of the Pirates order. He battled, but ultimately could not get the game into the 12th inning. It was just a tough spot for him, and he wasn’t setup for success tonight…

Unless there was an injury (and there are no reports of that), I just don’t totally understand why Terry Collins removed Hefner after seven innings. I get Terry was looking for offense against an untouchable Pirates bullpen, but I can’t even remember the last time Jordany Valdespin had an at-bat, and he didn’t do anything with his opportunity. The Mets could have been in better position to win tonight letting Hefner swing away to leadoff the eighth inning and getting another inning or two out of him on the mound. His handling of Hefner setup another arduous day for the bullpen and left him shorthanded during extra innings (and potentially tomorrow with Carlos Torres starting).

Speaking of the bullpen, there were a ton of critics tonight with how Terry didn’t use Bobby Parnell. Yes, he’s their best weapon in the bullpen, but it’s rare for the closer to pitch in a non-save situation on the road. It doesn’t mean Parnell can’t be used outside of that situation, but Terry were to go to Parnell and burn him and the bullpen later blows a lead and loses anyway, Terry would get second guessed for that move. As such, I’m not going to get on Terry for going by the book in this situation.

As for Hefner, he was remarkable again and exceptionally efficient. He didn’t record many strikeouts but he got a lot of early count outs which kept his pitch count at a minimum. He did all he could to deliver a win and made just one mistake on the night. He’s just been on a remarkable run, and it’s been awesome to watch.

W.B. Mason Post Game Extra

The Mets will look to even their series against the Pirates tomorrow night at PNC Park, with Carlos Torres facing A.J. Burnett at 7:15 PM.