Steven Matz's night quickly took a turn for the worst.
The lefty cruised through the first three innings against the Pirates, and after a five-hit shutout against Pittsburgh in his last outing, Matz was proving that he had the Pirates' number. He struck out four hitters over the first three innings, and allowed just one batter over the minimum.
It all changed in the fourth.
With a 3-0 lead, Matz issued a leadoff walk to Bryan Reynolds, and things just got progressively worse from there. Josh Bell, Jose Osuna, and Melky Cabrera all strung together RBI hits, with Cabrera's RBI double slamming off the wall to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead.
A couple of batters later, Elias Diaz looped an RBI hit to center. The Pirates' lead grew to 5-3, and after Trevor Williams dropped a sacrifice bunt, Matz's night was over.
"In that situation there, it all snowballed so fast," Matz said "I was out of the game and I was like 'I can't believe I'm out of this game,' especially with how I went the first time through the lineup.
"Just kind of looking back at video and seeing what went wrong … I think I should have just taken a breather for a second and tried to execute a pitch, and instead I just kept going and going. The balls were just up in the zone and you give guys a chance that way."
Mickey Callaway said after the game that he thought Matz left some pitches up in the zone during that fourth inning, but he's not overly concerned with the poor start, considering what Matz has done on the mound as of late.
"He was cruising along, what 12 scoreless (innings) against these guys in a row? Then the ball started getting up out over the plate, and they weren't missing it," Callaway said. "He'll shake this one off and understand that he's thrown some really good baseball since he got back in the rotation, since the All-Star break, and won't let that affect him very much."
Matz's tough start, combined with a rough outing from Tyler Bashlor out of the bullpen, factored into the 8-4 Pittsburgh win, the Mets' first loss since July 24 against San Diego.
So where do they go from here?
Callaway says it's simply time to start another streak.
"We weren't going to go undefeated the rest of the way, so we've just got to start another one," Callaway said. "We've got (Marcus) Stroman tomorrow, we've got (Noah) Syndergaard after him, and then we have two other really quality guys after those guys, so let's start another streak."