Tonight in Gotham, Michael Wacha (2.06 ERA, 3.68 FIP, 4.02 xFIP) went for his 6th win of the season against Mets' lefty Jon Niese (2.49 ERA, 4.14 FIP, 3.90 xFIP).
Handsome Mike rolled out a pretty odd looking lineup, summoning as many right-handed bats as possible to face the southpaw (who has little in the way of a L/R split over his career). Bold move. Let's see how that works out for him.
Also, after last night's 14 inning marathon the bullpen looked like it might be pretty thin. And starting recent platinum sombrero recipient Randal Grichuk again didn't inspire much confidence.
This was the sort of game that could make a person rethink everything they thought they knew about baseball, sports, competition, and really, life itself. A hugely fun and somewhat disorienting game that had a little bit of everything, including some things that you wouldn't have thought to include had you been asked to enumerate "everything".
Our El Birdos put up single tallies in each of the first four innings to build a fairly comfy 4 - 0 lead. Peter Bourjos, Grichuk and Jhonny Peralta combined for damage at the top of the order, although just about everyone had a timely hit at some point.
Here's Grichuk's double that scored a blur later identified as Peter Bourjos from first base in the 1st.
Matt Holliday drew a walk, extending his on-base streak to 37 straight games.
In the 2nd Wacha laid down a nice bunt (after a couple of not-so-nice tries) for a safety squeeze that scored Kolten Wong.
Grichuk led off the 3rd with a triple just over Juan Lagares and was guided home by a Peralta broken bat single dumped into center with the infield drawn in.
Meanwhile, Wacha was keeping the Mets from getting much going. In the bottom of the 3rd Lagares knocked a comebacker that hit Wacha on his left wrist and knocked his glove off. The trainer checked on him and all was thankfully deemed okay. He didn't appear to suffer any issues due to this.
Mark Reynolds lead off the 4th by smoking a home run over the LF wall to keep the one-run-per-inning pace going.
The Mets put together their only runs for the night on a Michael Cuddyer walk followed by a Daniel Murphy home run to right that just barely stayed fair and just barely snuck over the wall just barely out of Grichuk's reach. Silly.
After failing to keep their picket fence of single run innings going in the 5th, the Cardinals broke it all the way open in the 6th. Peralta dumped his second broken bat single into CF, and Yadier Molina barely managed to avoid his third GIDP of the night with a single just over the glove of shortstop Wilmer Flores. Reynolds smoked a fun but pointless upper deck foul then smacked a more meaningful single to RF to load the bases with 0 out. Wong then doubled home Jhonny and Yadi, which chased Niese from the game.
And then things got weird. Wacha, called upon to lay down another squeeze bunt, executed again, but the Mets didn't. Both the 1B and 2B rushed the bunt, but with no one covering first Wacha was able to stroll in safely. (I really wish MLB had video of this up. It was a sight to behold.) The bases re-loaded, Bourjos singled up the middle to score Reynolds. Grichuk's second double of the game scored 2 more and just missed leaving the park. Holliday's sac fly to RF wrapped up the scoring for the inning and the game. The 6 run 6th put the Cardinals ahead 10-2.
Batted ball velocities on hits this inning: Grichuk: 109 MPH Bourjos: 103 MPH Reynolds: 101 MPH Molina: 101 MPH Wong: 98 MPH Peralta: 73 MPH— viva el birdos (@vivaelbirdos) May 20, 2015
Wacha remained efficient and completed 7 sorely needed innings. His line:
7 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 104 pitches
Randy Choate mopped up the whole 8th inning, saving yet another arm from throwing tonight.
If a complete inning Randy Choate appearance wasn't enough, he also scrounged up a bat and helmet and trudged out to take a plate appearance! Are you ready for this part... he drew a walk in his first PA in 11 years. Go Randy.
Sam Tuivailala wrapped up the 9th and there you have it.
Take a look at this thing:
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=350&w=500&date=2015-05-19&team=Mets&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="350" width = "500" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2015-05-19&team=Mets&dh=0&season=2015">FanGraphs</a></span>
Tomorrow El Gallo Carlos Martinez (4.73 ERA, 4.77 FIP, 3.47 xFIP) takes the hill against ageless wonder Bartolo Colon (3.86 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 3.39 xFIP) and these very same Metropolitans. Game starts around 6:10 Central.