NEW YORK — An emotional Tuesday may have brought the end to an era for the New York Mets. But the Mets know there’s no better way to pay tribute to Sandy Alderson than by proving Wednesday night that Tuesday night’s win was no fluke.
The Mets will look to earn a series victory Wednesday night Jim Kelly Jersey , when they host the Pittsburgh Pirates in the rubber match of a three-game set at Citi Field.
Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.85 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for New York against Pittsburgh’s Ivan Nova (4-5, 3.98 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.
The Mets concluded a whirlwind day by edging the Pirates 4-3 in 10 innings. Wilmer Flores, who had a two-run single in the first inning, delivered his third walk-off hit of the season and the ninth walk-off hit of his career when his single down the third-base line scored Michael Conforto from first base with one out.
The Mets (32-45) snapped a seven-game losing streak hours after learning Alderson, who has been the team’s general manager since October 2010, would be taking an indefinite leave of absence to battle a recurrence of cancer. He was originally diagnosed in 2015 and underwent treatment following that season.
Three of Alderson’s assistants — John Ricco, J.P. Ricciardi and Omar Minaya — will share the general manager’s role while Alderson is out.
Alderson said during a pregame press conference that the cancer returned in April. He informed players of his diagnosis during a pregame meeting that left many players in tears but also may have crystallized their focus.
“We have a job to do and lately we haven’t been doing it up to our potential,” Conforto said. “So we really wanted to focus in and just make sure that we bounce back today, of all days, and play a little bit better. I think we showed a little fight there. We battled back and scratched together enough runs to win a ballgame tonight. So hopefully that gets us on the right path.”
The Pirates (37-42) were hoping a wire-to-wire 6-4 victory in Monday’s opener would get them back on the right track Youth Jaire Alexander Jersey , but Tuesday’s loss was the sixth in the last seven games.
On Wednesday, the Pirates will be seeking only their second series win in their last 13 series dating back to May 17, a span in which they are 12-25.
“I think I shared with our club — I don’t believe I’ve ever been through a rough patch of 34 games since I’ve been in the major leagues as a player, coach or manager,” said Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who reached the bigs as a player in 1977. “And I’ve had enough. There’s a point in time you stop talking about being a good team, now you go play like a good team. Because your record’s telling you you’re not a good team.”
Wheeler will be looking to earn his first win in almost two months. He took the loss Friday after allowing four runs over seven innings as the Mets fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2. Wheeler is 0-5 with a 5.13 ERA in 10 starts since his most recent victory April 29.
Nova didn’t factor into the decision Friday, when he allowed three hits over eight scoreless innings in the Pirates’ 2-1, 13-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was the second time this season Nova has tossed eight scoreless innings. He also didn’t earn a decision in Pittsburgh’s 1-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on April 26.
Wheeler didn’t factor into the decision in his lone previous start against the Pirates on May 27, 2017, when he gave up three runs over six innings as the Mets fell 5-4 in 10 innings.
Nova is 1-0 with a 2.82 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against the Mets.Even as he sat in the back of a police car sprinting to the hospital to get a precise prognosis on his injured left calf while the Pittsburgh Steelers played on without him during a loss to New England three weeks ago Authentic Will Hernandez Jersey , Antonio Brown always believed he’d be back.
He just needed time.
When his teammates provided it by assuring the AFC North champions of a first-round bye, Brown pushed his rehab.
By last weekend video surfaced of Brown working out in Florida with former NFL wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.
And there Brown was on Monday, going through drills with the rest of the Steelers well on track for a return on Sunday against Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs.
”I never count myself out regardless of circumstances,” Brown said. ”I know playing football you’re going to have adversity. Just got to grow from it.”
While stressing he’s ”still got a lot to test,” the only unanimous selection on the 2017 All-Pro Team and the only player in NFL history with five straight seasons with at least 100 receptions appeared to be relatively close to his old self.
”AB is nice,” cornerback Joe Haden said. ”If he’s out there, I expect him to be AB. He’s not going to be out there limping around. When he was running, he looked pretty good. You never know how it’s going to feel afterward, but while he’s out there, while he’s running his routes, he looked like AB.”
Brown left in the first half against New England on Dec. 17 when his legs got tangled with a pair of Patriots defenders while trying to haul in a touchdown pass.
The Steelers lost 27-23 before rebounding to close out the regular season with wins over Houston and Cleveland.
Still Mike Gesicki Color Rush Jersey , their best chance at reaching the AFC championship game for a second consecutive season comes with Brown’s No. 84 in the lineup.
The Jaguars have one of the NFL’s top defensive backfields, though Brown still finished with 10 receptions and 157 yards on Oct. 8, the lone bright spot for the Steelers in a 30-9 loss in which Jacksonville scored the final 23 points and left Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger shaken after throwing five interceptions.
Roethlisberger hasn’t shied away from talk of a rematch. That’s fine by the Jaguars.
”Be careful what you wish for,” Jacksonville cornerback AJ Bouye said. ”This is what he wanted. This is what he’s going to get.”
What the Steelers are likely to get in return is a heavy dose of Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette.
He was dominant with 181 yards and two touchdowns against Pittsburgh in October, including a backbreaking 90-yard sprint with 1:47 left that showcased the speed and the power that makes him so dangerous. Jacksonville finished with 231 yards rushing in all, the most given up by the Steelers all season.
It was perhaps the biggest upset in the NFL season at the time. In the rearview, not so much. The Jaguars have proven they’re legit while reaching the playoffs for the first time in a decade.
Though Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey suggested Pittsburgh must feel like the loss was a ”fluke,” the Steelers insist that’s not the case.
”We don’t feel like it was a fluke,” linebacker Bud Dupree said. ”We actually saw the plays they made and everything that was going on and the mistakes that we made and … that’s what happens. We let them get a couple of explosion plays.”
Yet Steelers safety Mike Mitchell is quick to point out the blowout on the scoreboard didn’t exactly reflect what happened on the field. Even with Fournette’s closeout dash to the end zone, Pittsburgh outgained the Jaguars 373-313.
”If you watch that football game, it’s not like their offense exploited us a ton http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jordan-whitehead... ,” Mitchell said. ”I don’t think it was a dominant performance from that standpoint. I thought we played well enough to win the game. Obviously we didn’t. We’ve got to do better Sunday as a complete team to win the game.”
One of the reasons Roethlisberger wanted another shot at Jacksonville. The two-time Super Bowl winner facetiously wondered if he still ”had it” after turning the ball over repeatedly back in October.
All he did over the second half of the season was throw 18 touchdowns against five interceptions while leading Pittsburgh to a second straight division title and fourth consecutive playoff appearance.
Roethlisberger’s swagger is back. And with Brown nearing a return, the Steelers believe they’re three wins away from a seventh Lombardi Trophy regardless of who may stand in the way.
”(Got to) find a way to win this one,” Brown said, ”and then the next one and the next one.”
AP Sports Writer Mark Long in Jacksonville, Fla., contributed to this report.