New York (43-43) at Pittsburgh (38-47)

Fair Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 82° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Jul 9, 2005
  • TV: WPIX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The New York Mets are hoping erratic left-hander Kaz Ishii can help them recover from a brutal loss as they continue a three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.

After taking three of four from NL-East-leading Washington, the Mets appeared ready to get this series off to a strong start. But the bullpen squandered a 5-1 ninth-inning lead Friday night, falling in 6-5 in 10 innings to the Pirates.

“The series before didn’t matter—it was a game we should have won tonight,” manager Willie Randolph said. “We just gave it away. We deserve what we got. You’ve got a four-run lead, you’ve got to close the door and we didn’t get it done.”

Ishii, acquired from he Dodgers at the end of spring training to help solidify the back end of New York’s rotation, has not been able to consistently keep the Mets in games.

The left-hander has allowed three runs or fewer in only four of his 12 starts this season, and has yet to post consecutive wins.

Ishii pitched well against the Nationals on Monday, allowing just two runs and five hits in a 5-2 New York victory. However, it was his inability to pitch past the sixth inning for the fourth time in his last five starts that cost him the win, which the Mets earned after his exit.

“I just felt like he was getting close to having one of those (bad) innings,” Randolph said.

New York has failed to stay above .500 mark for consecutive days since June 11-12.

The Pirates scored four runs in the ninth off a Mets bullpen that had not allowed a run in 13 straight innings. Humberto Cota’s RBI single in the 10th gave them back-to-back wins for the first time since June 10-11.

Left-hander Dave Williams, coming off his worst start of the year, will try to rebound and help Pittsburgh extend its winning streak intact.

Williams allowed eight runs and eight hits in just four innings of Monday’s 12-1 defeat to Philadelphia, giving him a 1-4 record with a 7.34 ERA at home this season.

“I have no idea,” said Williams, when asked about his struggles at PNC Park. “I didn’t even know it was that bad.”

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Starting Pitchers

K. Ishii NYM vs. D. Williams Was
3-9 Record 10-11
5.14 ERA 4.41
53 K 88
49 BB 58
1.49 WHIP 1.41