NEW YORK — A lineup shakeup produced the desired results Monday night for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately for the New York Mets Redskins Cheap Jerseys , rookie manager Mickey Callaway already unsuccessfully pulled that out of his bag of tricks.
The Pirates will look to lock up a series win Tuesday over the free-falling Mets Tuesday night, when the two teams play the middle game of a three-game set at Citi Field.
Pirates right-hander Chad Kuhl (5-5, 4.56 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Mets left-hander Steven Matz (3-5, 3.68 ERA).
The Pirates ended a five-game losing streak Monday night, when a rejiggered top of the lineup scored five runs in a 6-4 victory.
The Pirates’ top three batters — Starling Marte, Josh Bell and Josh Harrison — were all occupying those spots for the first time this season. Marte scored three runs and stole two bases, Bell hit a two-run homer and Harrison delivered a sacrifice fly and scored a run.
The six runs were the most the Pirates (37-41) have scored since an 8-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on June 17. Pittsburgh scored nine runs in the subsequent six games.
“If it’s broken, you have to fix it, right?” Bell said Monday night. “Changing things up, giving us all a new view. Marte hasn’t led off in a while. ‘J-Hey’ is hitting third. Changing things up, it might have been the spark that we needed.”
The Mets (31-45) have been looking for a spark for weeks. New York has lost seven straight, 18 of 22 and 20 of 64 since an 11-1 start to fall dangerously close to the bottom of the National League. The only team with a worse record in the Senior Circuit is the Miami Marlins Youth Derrick Nnadi Jersey , who rank mere percentage points behind at 32-47.
Shuffling the lineup hasn’t worked for Callaway, who had three players (second-place batter Jose Bautista, cleanup batter Dominic Smith and sixth-place batter Jose Reyes) in unfamiliar spots Monday. Smith was batting cleanup for the first time this year while Bautista and Reyes were occupying their spots for the second and third time, respectively.
Against the New York Yankees on June 9, Callaway batted Amed Rosario leadoff for the first time as a major leaguer and Todd Frazier and Brandon Nimmo second and third, respectively, for the first time this season in a 4-3 loss.
With the Mets seeing no immediate payoff for Callaway’s mixing and matching, he is left to hope the lessons learned from the extended bleak times will yield results down the road.
“As hard as it’s been, we have to understand that this is something that we can benefit from in the long run,” Callaway said Monday afternoon. “No matter how many times you fall, you can learn from it. And I think our guys understand that and we talk about that type (of) stuff all the time.”
Kuhl and Matz will both be looking to bounce back from rough losses last Thursday.
Kuhl allowed eight runs over two innings as the Pirates fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-3. The eight runs were the second-most Kuhl’s allowed as a big leaguer while the two innings pitched marked his second-shortest start.
Matz gave up five runs over 5 2/3 innings in the Mets’ 6-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies. The five earned runs were a season-high for Matz Youth Dorian O'Daniel Jersey , who allowed three runs or fewer in his seven of his previous eight starts.
Kuhl took the defeat in his only previous start against the Mets on May 26, 2017, when he gave up five runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Pirates lost, 8-1.
Matz also lost his lone start against the Pirates on June 7, 2016, when he allowed two runs over five innings as the Mets fell, 3-1.
All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey did pretty much the same thing that upset his Jacksonville Jaguars teammates last week.
He started looking ahead.
Ramsey told thousands of fans awaiting the team’s return from Pittsburgh late Sunday that the Jaguars ”are going to the Super Bowl and we are going to win that (expletive).”
Jacksonville (12-6), of course, has the AFC championship game at New England remaining before even getting to the Super Bowl. The small-market franchise is winless in seven games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and 1-10 all-time against the Patriots (14-3).
Ramsey’s comments surely will find their way north.
”You come back and you’ve got all the fans here and things of that nature,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said.
”Obviously that’s something that everybody Youth Albert Wilson Jersey , they want to do when you get close. Whether you have to say it or not? The one thing I do know is the road to it always leads through New England.
”Our focus isn’t on anything else but the New England Patriots. It will be a great challenge for us obviously.”
The Jags took exception to the Steelers talking about facing the Patriots instead of them, and used it as motivation in a 45-42 victory Sunday.
Nonetheless, they stood behind their outspoken and ultra-talented defender.
”To me, it’s just a man that has confidence in his team,” defensive tackle Abry Jones said. ”What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he ain’t saying nothing that’s not true.”
Fellow defensive tackle Malik Jackson said the difference between Ramsey’s remarks and comments from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, running back Le’Veon Bell and safety Mike Mitchell is the timing.
”We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, `Hey, we’re going to do this,”’ Jackson said. ”It’s one of those things that I think he believes in himself after the game he just had, locking down one of the best receivers in the game.
”He’s pretty hyped and he wants to let everybody know he’s hyped, so I think he’s just happy and he understands that we have a giant in front of us and we’ve just got to pay all the attention to this team.
”We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl because we’re not looking ahead to that.”
Ramsey was unavailable during the team’s open locker room session Monday.
”He’s going to talk, but we’re going to show up Youth Daniel Kilgore Jersey ,” defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said. ”I just don’t like when people talk all week. You talk reckless and you lose.”
The Jaguars voiced their displeasure with being overlooked by the Steelers last week and were really vocal after the victory at Heinz Field. Players yelled, ”Where’s Mike Mitchell at now” as they came off the field.
”I feel like they took us lightly. I don’t know why because we whooped them the first time,” Ngakoue said. ”You’ve got to respect all your opponents. That’s why we’re not big in trash-talking. We’re big in playing on Sunday.
”Real guys, real people don’t talk. We throw the first punch. We threw the first punch and we got the victory.”
And now they have a matchup against the NFL’s most successful franchise over the past two decades.
The Jaguars are 1-3 against New England in the postseason, with the lone victory coming after the 1998 season – before coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady teamed up to take five Super Bowl titles.
Jacksonville’s win came against coach Pete Carroll and backup quarterback Scott Zolak.
The Jags are 0-7 against the Brady-Belichick combination.
”We’re not going to go out there like the Steelers the week before and talk about people in a bad way and give them bulletin board news,” Jackson said.
”We just continue to work and earn respect. … We just keep proving people wrong. (Blake Bortles) keeps proving people wrong, and we just keep going on it and pounding people. It’s just awesome to see and awesome to be a part of.
”We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.”