Jacob deGrom should have picked up his first Major League win in Monday afternoon's game. His 6.2 innings of shutout ball represented his best outing to date since being recalled and furthermore, he's stabilized the pitching rotation from the gaps left by Gee and Mejia. He's unfortunately been given a grand total of 0 runs to work with over his first two starts, and so the two runs the Mets scored for him today certainly must have felt like a boatload to young Jacob.
Of course, the Mets bullpen did their best to ensure that deGrom would have to wait one more turn around the rotation to get that first win. Scott Rice started the 8th inning by allowing a Home Run to Gaby Sanchez, which isn't that big of a deal since it's more or less prerequisite that Gaby Sanchez hit a Home Run against the Mets (much better Sanchez than Ike Davis, who received a warm welcome in his return to Citi Field—much warmer than, say, the one afforded Oliver Perez over the weekend). Rice got the next two batters out, but Terry Collins then decided to remove Rice in favor of Jose Valverde.
Jose Valverde, as of about 5 minutes after the game, was then an ex-Met.
In between those two points in time, Valverde sealed his fate by allowing 4 hits, 1 walk and 4 runs while managing to get only 2 of the 4 outs necessary to seal a Met victory. Valverde allowed a spate of hits of the annoying variety, two of which served to tie the game in the 8th, the 3rd set up the lead run in the 9th, and the final one to—guess who—Gaby Sanchez—which gave the Pirates the lead and when Valverde failed to properly back up an errant throw from Curtis Granderson, allowed one more run to score and Sanchez to make it all the way to 3rd, where he would score on a sacrifice fly after Valverde was properly removed from the field.
Up until that point, the story of the game might have been the Mets netting a 5th inning run thanks to the never-before-seen Catcher's obstruction replay reversal that gave Juan Lagares a run. Instead, the tale of the tape involves the departure of Valverde, the return of Vic Black, and the dispatching of hitting coach Dave Hudgens.
Hudgens' removal is probably not as impactful, since the hitting coach doesn't actually take the field or hit the ball, but the performance of the team's offense has been pretty lousy of late and when they were going good, they were kind of sporadic. I don't know much about Lamar Johnson, but sometimes a new voice and a new philosophy can help a team that's scuffling. Whatever Hudgens had to offer wasn't working for guys like Lucas Duda, Chris Young and others.