And when the game was over, even the lowly Pirates admitted they weren't expecting many breaks against a first-place team.
Xavier Nady hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning and drove in three runs, rallying New York to a 7-6 victory Tuesday. Billy Wagner earned his 300th save and Jose Reyes had three hits and two stolen bases for the NL East-leading Mets, who won for only the second time in eight games.
"To come back and win when we've been struggling, that shows the character of this team. Never die, just keep playing," Wagner said. "Right now, every game is a fight."
David Wright's two-run single put New York on the board. All-Star Tom Glavine failed in his bid to become baseball's first 12-game winner, but his teammates fought back to take him off the hook for what would have been his first loss since April 24 in San Francisco.
"We haven't come back in a while, so it was nice to snatch one away," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.
Blown out in their previous two games, the Mets trailed 6-4 in the eighth when Carlos Delgado and Wright drew one-out walks from Salomon Torres.
Endy Chavez, who replaced injured left fielder Cliff Floyd in the sixth, came through with an RBI double down the left-field line off ex-Met Roberto Hernandez (0-2).
Nady then grounded a single to right for his third hit. Nate McLouth's strong throw beat Chavez home, but he slid feet-first to the back of the plate and was called safe by umpire Angel Hernandez on a very close play.
"It wasn't like it was a bang-bang play. He was waiting for him," Roberto Hernandez said. "When you're 29-55 or whatever, the benefit of the doubt is not going to be swinging on your side. It's going to be swinging on the other side."
Pirates manager Jim Tracy rushed out of the dugout to argue with Angel Hernandez. Tracy threw his cap to the ground near the plate and was immediately ejected.
"Tough game to lose, obviously. We kind of helped the situation along. The call at home plate, he looked very out to me," Tracy said. "I saw the replay, he looks very out. He looks more out now than he did before. I don't see how there's any way he could get his foot in to get around the catcher."
Duaner Sanchez (5-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Wagner recorded three outs for his 16th save in 20 chances this season, delighting the Fourth of July crowd of 38,487 at Shea Stadium.
"Like Delgado told me, it means that I'm getting old," Wagner said, referring to his milestone. "No, it's special. It means a lot to me."
The last-place Pirates, who dropped to a major league-worst 9-32 on the road, went ahead 6-4 with three runs in the sixth -- helped by Glavine's leadoff walk and fielding error.
Aaron Heilman walked in the tying run, Jason Bay hit an RBI grounder and Freddy Sanchez followed with a two-out RBI single.
The Pirates have scored at least six runs in six consecutive games for the first time since Sept. 2-8, 2000. Pittsburgh has 47 runs in those six games after scoring only 46 in its previous 13.
"I think we've been playing better lately," Bay said. "It's frustrating because we had the lead late. With Glavine going, we know we're not going to put up a 10 spot. But to get six and then to give it away at the end is very frustrating."
Glavine, who has won nine consecutive decisions, allowed five runs -- three earned -- and a season-high 11 hits in five-plus innings.
Pirates lefty Zach Duke gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Freddy Sanchez doubled and scored on Craig Wilson's RBI single in the second. Bay's two-out single in the third made it 2-0.
New York took the lead with four runs in the fourth, getting six mostly soft hits. Wright bounced a two-run single up the middle, Nady fisted an RBI single with two outs and Ramon Castro followed with a run-scoring single.
"I felt like I threw consistently," Duke said. "What can you do when the ball finds holes?"
Joe Randa's two-out RBI single in the fifth cut it to 4-3. Reyes then tumbled over Floyd to catch Wilson's inning-ending popup, and the big slugger received the worst of it.
He stayed on the ground for a few moments holding his head before walking off the field slowly, squinting and touching his eye. Floyd, who just came off the disabled list (sprained ankle) Friday night, said he was dizzy but hopes to play Wednesday night.
- Torres leads major league relievers with 52 appearances. After getting lifted in the eighth, he and Angel Hernandez exchanged words.
- Wagner is the 20th pitcher to reach 300 saves.