Well that was certainly a baseball game. I'll give it that. Pitchers threw the ball towards catchers and hitters tried to interrupt that transfer. If the hitters succeeded, the fielders tried to stop those hitters from getting on base. That happened.
Listen, this game was a long, grueling and wholly unenjoyable experience for me for whatever reason. I don't know if everyone experienced the game like I did. The first game was good. Winning helps, but at least the Cardinals weren't shut down by Bartolo Colon. Bartolo Colon is one of those pitchers that no matter how good his stats are, it's always going to look like the hitters were terrible more than the pitcher was awesome. If Noah Syndergaard shuts you down, you give credit where credit is due. You tip your cap. You understand why the Cardinals sucked at hitting.
I do not understand getting shut down by Colon. I know it happens all the time - well I'm sure he doesn't strike out 8 and walk none all the time - but I do not understand it. I know the answer. He's got impeccable control. That's not good enough! Anyway, it appeared like the Cardinals' hitting strategy was to look at the first two strikes and then get fooled on the third strike. The main lesson is to make sure to get behind in the count by staring at a pitch right down the middle. Sometimes, you can even do that with two strikes on you! It's a bold strategy no doubt. Maybe it will work next time?
The Cardinals led off the scoring with a solo home run by Jedd Gyorko in the 2nd inning. Can we play more doubleheaders if it means he's going to hit a home run in each of the two games we play? In the third, the Cardinals threatened again. Alberto Rosario hit a leadoff double, but then Jaime Garcia failed to bunt him over to third, which proved costly when Greg Garcia hit a ball to deep center field for the 2nd out. (Rosario, not a fast runner by any means, advanced to 3rd on the ball it was so deep. So yeah he would have scored from 3rd if he had been there.)
In the bottom half of the inning, the Mets evened the score. They hit a leadoff double of their own. Once again, the pitcher - in this case Colon - failed to bunt him over to 2nd. In this case, with 2 outs and a man on third, the Mets came through with another double by Asdrubal Cabrera. He hadn't gotten a hit with men in scoring position in 32 straight chances according to the broadcast booth. So cool. Glad we could help you out. They scored again in the 4th with another leadoff double. Neil Walker hit a line drive that Randal Grichuk inexplicably dropped. It hit his glove and everything. With men on first and third, James Loney hit into a double play and the Mets had scored their 2nd run.
In the 5th, De Aza again led off by getting on base. Don't look at his 2016 stats if you want to stay calm about how this game went. Garcia threw it inside, but it honestly only hit him because De Aza started to swing at the pitch. Those HBPs frustrate the hell out of me. Colon successfully sacrificed him to second this time (to a roaring ovation). And infield single and a sacrifice fly later and it was 3-1 Mets. Matheny took Garcia out of the game despite only have 77 pitches when his spot came in the order in the 6th. So good job Matheny.
The rest of the game was pretty boring. Matt Bowman, Sam Tuivailala, and Dean Kiekhefer (good lord if those two ever become mainstays in the bullpen, I'm going to have some issues. I will somehow never spell those names right on the first try. I just know it.) In the case of bad managing being rewarded, Colon came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the 6th. He predictably struck out. He only pitched one more inning. That's definitely not worth completely punting that golden scoring chance, especially since it was only a two-run game. It worked out, because baseball rewards stupid decisions.
Pretty accurate - Never really felt like the Cardinals were going to win despite the close game.
- Garcia line: 5 IP, 4 Ks, 2 ER (3 runs), 40% GB - Despite the healthy 4:0 K/BB, Garcia wasn't getting groundballs like he usually does so it was only an ok start.
- Greg Garcia went 2-4 after going 1-3 with a BB in the first game. His season line is now .320/.451/.454 for a 150 wRC+. He has a 17.2 BB% and a .451 OBP. It's still only 122 PAs, but I'm going to guess his projections have gone considerably up due to this.
Seeing as I only saw parts of this game, I'll be quick. Carlos Martinez cruised through the first four innings, but then lost control in the 5th due to not being able to find the strike zone, and when he did, the ump gave him no favors. He walked two guys and hit another person. He gave up a two-run home run to Rene Rivera, who was sporting a 67 wRC+ before that game. So he was off. He lasted only five innings and his line looks pretty ugly. He was probably lucky to only give up two runs.
It looks like the Cardinals scored by loading the bases on Syndergaard on weak hits, which included two infield hits. Martinez hit the ball back up the middle but Syndergaard made a throwing error causing the first run. In the 3rd, Matt Adams walked and Gyorko blasted his first home run of the day for a two-run shot and a 3-0 lead. Syndergaard's pitch count was ridiculously high after just five innings. It appeared like he had a normal start, but Gyorko happened and the Cardinals worked the count enough to knock him out early.
Tyler Lyons worked two scoreless innings in relief of Martinez. Kevin Siegrist pitched a scoreless inning of his own, though he walked a guy and struck out none so I'm a bit concerned about him. Seung Oh gave up a leadoff single to Curtis Granderson. Yeonis Cespedes came to the plate and hit a deep fly ball right in front of the warning track. Tommy Pham was waiting under it. Granderson thought he could make it to second on the play. Granderson was wrong. Pham threw a perfect throw and the Mets had two outs and nobody on. Loney tried his best but grounded out to end the game.
I like this one better personally.
- 5 IP, 3 Ks, 4 BBs, HR, 44.4 GB% - He had a 7.54 FIP so yeah I'd say he's fortunate to only have allowed two runs.
- I really wish I saw part of the second game and all of the first game. But baseball hates me.
Tomorrow the Cardinals close out the series against the Mets. It was perhaps greedy to want to win both games today, but I definitely want to win the series. Adam Wainwright faces the legitimately bad pitcher Logan Verrett. Please be kind to us, baseball.