Josh Harrison's performance golden in Pirates' wild extra-innings win over Mets
Double drives in Barmes in 11th with winning run
June 28, 2014 1:09 AM
Josh Harrison avoided more than one Met on the basepaths during Friday night's extra-innings win.
Brandon Cumpton delivers against the Mets at PNC Park Friday night.
By Jenn Menendez / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Josh Harrison is officially worth his weight in gold, all 200 pounds of him.
Harrison doubled to the warning track in right-center to drive in Clint Barmes with the winning run in the 11th inning Friday night to lead the Pirates to a 3-2 win against the New York Mets.
Harrison -- who originally had the night off -- managed to be all over the basepaths after entering the game in the seventh. He nearly single-handedly won it in the 10th, too.
"I asked him how he enjoyed his day off?" said manager Clint Hurdle. "He's soaking wet. Couple hits, rundown, a walk-off. He's been on some kind of roll.
"He's a backyard ballplayer and he just keeps showing up."
Harrison hammered a first-pitch fastball off Mets reliever Vic Black, a former Pirate farmhand, to score Barmes from first after he had drawn a one-out walk.
Harrison's night also featured an incredible play an inning earlier.
He led off the 10th with a sharp grounder to third that he hustled into a leadoff single. Then, he stole second, barely beating the with a head-first slide. The Mets challenged the call and lost.
But then came the highlight-reel play of the night.
Gregory Polanco hit a ball back to Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia, who seemingly trapped Harrison in a rundown.
But Harrison kept eluding the tag, falling and crawling when necessary to reach third.
After all that, Harrison was eventually stranded as Travis Snider struck out looking, Andrew McCutchen was intentionally walked, Neil Walker struck out swinging, and Russell Martin popped up to right to end the threat.
"Pitcher stabbed it, and I knew I was too far off," said Harrison. "I was just trying to let Polanco get to second. I realized he did, and it was just a move I kind of did.
"When I saw them getting close I just dropped. It worked the first time, so I did it a couple more times and eventually got out of it."
And he didn't think he was out of the basepath, either.
"To be honest, I didn't think so, I was just in the moment dodging tags," said Harrison. "I'm sure they'll look at the video, but I didn't feel like I went too far out of my way."
The victory gave the Pirates a 41-39 record, putting them two games over .500 for the first time since April 11.
It also ended the night on a sweet note for Brandon Cumpton, who turned in another solid start that did not go to waste.
Cumpton left with game tied, 2-2, after seven. He gave up two earned runs, six hits, struck out four and walked one.
"It's like it's been in the past, just getting ahead, forcing the issue, trying to get them to put the ball in play early and keep the game close so we can win it in the end," said Cumpton.
"Just trying to do my part, trying to do my part, and do as best I can to not mess up."
McCutchen's leaping eighth-inning catch.
The Mets did not go quietly in the late innings.
In the eighth, McCutchen had to go back to deep center, where he a barely snagged flyball at the top of the wall that Curtis Granderson hit off reliever Justin Wilson.
That defensive gem elicited chants of "M-V-P" throughout PNC Park.
The Mets wound up with runners on the corners in the ninth when Travis d'Arnaud singled with two outs on a ball that caromed off pitcher Mark Melancon, past second base and into the outfield.
Bobby Abreu, however, grounded out to end the inning.
Daniel Murphy singled with two outs in the 10th, but was caught stealing by Martin to end the inning.
The Mets had taken the first lead in the fourth when Lucas Duda delivered a two-run single to right.
The Pirates tied it at 2-2 in their half of the fourth on Jordy Mercer's two-out, bases-loaded single up the middle. That scored McCutchen, who led off the inning with a single, and Ike Davis who reached base on a fielder's choice.
Davis slides home safe against the Mets.
Cumpton gave up two more singles in the fifth, but got out of the jam and allowed just one runner on base in both the sixth and seventh.
Jacob deGrom went 6 2/3 innings for the Mets, giving up five hits, two earned runs. He walked three and struck out four.
Jenn Menendez firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @JennMenendez
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