WATCH: Mets manage to allow three runs to score on infield dribbler vs. Pirates

A bad series got much, much worse for the New York Mets on Sunday. Following Jacob Stallings’ walk-off grand slam Saturday night, Taijuan Walker and the Mets found themselves down 6-0 to the Pirates in the first inning Sunday (GameTracker). Pittsburgh is the lowest scoring team in baseball, yet they scored 15 runs in three innings spanning Saturday and Sunday.

Walker, fresh off his All-Star Game appearance, faced nine batters Sunday and retired just one, getting leadoff batter Adam Frazier to ground out. After that, the Pirates went double, single, walk, double, walk, walk, infield single*, walk to push across six runs. The infield single comes with an asterisk because folks, you have to see it to believe it. 

Here’s the video:

Walker thought the ball was rolling foul and flipped it away, but home plate umpire Jeremy Riggs deemed the ball fair, and the play continued. The Kevin Newman infield single and Walker’s error — and Walker pausing to argue rather than immediately retrieving the ball — allowed the bases to clear and Newman to advance to second.

Here’s the best available replay. The ball was rolling along the foul line — barely, but on the line it was — so Riggs was correct. It was a fair ball.

Mets manager Luis Rojas was livid and argued the call aggressively, and was eventually ejected. Walker also argued fervently, but was not ejected. Five of the six runs were earned and Walker went from a 2.50 ERA to a 2.99 ERA in the span of 35 pitches. He issued four walks Sunday after walking seven batters in his previous six starts combined.

To make matters worse, the Mets — who also received unwanted injury news about both Francisco Lindor and Jacob deGrom this weekend — loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first inning, but failed to score. They then went on to have a nightmare bottom of the first inning. The Pirates have won the first two games of this weekend’s series and they also split four games with the Mets at Citi Field prior to the All-Star break. New York is looking at a 2-5 record against Pittsburgh. Ouch.

If it makes the Mets and Walker (and their fans feel better), that was no worse than the second-dumbest play at PNC Park this season. Will Craig’s brain fart remains the undisputed No. 1. You can at least understand why Walker played that ball the way he did. Craig? I got nothing.

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