Seo It Goes: Jae, Mets Down Pirates 7-2

It took the New York Mets 16 games, but on Thursday evening at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, it finally all came together for the struggling team. The formula was quite simple: the hitters hit and the pitchers pitched. The result was a 7-2 Mets victory over the Pirates that lifted their record to 6-10. The veterans, Mike Piazza, Mo Vaughn and Jeromy Burnitz provided the bulk of the hitting, while young Jae Seo pitched seven spectacular shutout innings that provided the Mets with the win.

The New Yorkers put up a quick picket fence against the Buccos, scoring single runs in the first three innings. Mo Vaughn got things started when he scored Roberto Alomar with a ground rule double in the opening frame. For Mo, it would turn out to be the first of four hits on the night, and provided the Mets with the early 1-0 lead.

In the second inning, Jeromy Burnitz led off the inning against Pittsburgh starter, and Ex-Met, Jeff D'Amico (1-2), with his third homerun of the season. The blast extended the New York lead to 2-0 and gave young Jae Seo (1-1) an early cushion.

Shaky Pittsburgh fielding provided the Mets with a gift run in the third. Cliff Floyd singled and scampered to third on Mo Vaughn's second safety. Floyd then tallied the Mets third run when Pirate third sacker Aramis Ramirez bobbled a grounder by Ty Wigginton with two outs.

Meanwhile, Seo pitched magnificently. He allowed only five hits over seven innings, and did not issue a walk. He was in complete command throughout the contest.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Mets finally got what they've needed all season: a really big hit in a critical spot. Roberto Alomar walked and Timo Perez reached on an error by Pirate pitcher Denys Reyes. Mike Piazza drilled a single, but Alomar hesitated just enough that he couldn't score on the play. But this time an "error of omission" did not come back to haunt the Mets, as Vaughn brought all three runners home with a long double to the left centerfield gap. That hit upped the lead to 6-0, and amazingly, it was the first time this season that the Mets had scored more than five runs in a game.

Pittsburgh dented the scoreboard in the bottom of the eighth inning, when Jason Kendall stroked a run-scoring single off reliever Scott Strickland, with none out. Strickland then induced a double play grounder, and Graeme Lloyd recorded the final out of the inning, which snuffed out any attempt for the Pirates to get back in the game.

The top of the ninth inning saw Mike Piazza crushing a monster homerun off Salomon Torres that completed the New York scoring. It was Mike's third hit of the game and second homer of the season, as it appears that he is getting his good stroke back. It capped an excellent overall game by the Mets, easily their best this season.

Jason Middlebrook , just recalled from the minors, pitched the ninth for the Mets and finished up the game, allowing a run on a double by Reggie Sanders, and a run-scoring single by Jack Wilson, that made the final score 7-2.

Yes, there was joy in Metsville on Thurday evening, as it finally appeared that the team was no longer on life support. The big hitters looked fantastic, and Seo's performance also definitely gave the Mets a lift. If he continues to pitch like this, it will make Pedro Astacio's absence that more bearable. A HUGE win for the Mets this was, no doubt about it!

The team now returns to Shea Stadium on Friday and will host the Go-Go Fish, also known as the Florida Marlins. Al Leiter (2-0) will face Florida's Mark Redman (1-2), which should be the opener of a very thrilling weekend of baseball in New York.

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