The Cardinals had a chance to win this game. They had many chances to win this game. They had a chance to score almost every inning and failed nearly every time. The Cardinals got on base every single inning. They left two men on base in the 3rd, the 4th, the 5th, the 7th, and the 8th. I can count three instances where a batter hit a ball hard or the Mets made a great play to save a run in those situations. The Mets also scored a run on THREE straight BABIP hits in the 9th to pad their lead. Baseball and the randomness that comes with it was not kind to the Cardinals.
Jaime Garcia started today and he was very much awful. You'll see he had 6 strikeouts, one walk, a .455 BABIP, and a 50 HR/FB%. But.. he wasn't really unlucky. He was to an extent, but he legitimately did not pitch good and deserved to give up multiple runs based off his performance. He walked Jose Reyes to begin the game, allowed a single to Asdrubal Cabrera, and then gave up a 1-out three-run home run to Wilmer Flores on a meatball. The Mets also double stealed off Yadier Molina before the home run, reminding us all that his defense has declined and that he is kind of old.
On the bright side, Jon Niese was pitching. He lived up to his badness too. Tommy Pham walked, Stephen Piscotty lined out to left field - a recurring theme for Piscotty tonight - Matt Carpenter walked, and Brandon Moss singled home Pham. The runners were on the corners with only one out and they took Niese out because of an injury. It would have been nice to have him allow the Cards to come back when Garcia gave back the lead. 23-year-old Robert Gsellman replaced him and did admirably in his major league debut. But not at first. Yadier Molina swung at the first pitch he saw and doubled. With second and third, Jhonny Peralta grounded out to third, but softly enough to score the third run. Jedd Gyorko struck out to end the rally.
In one of those "We'll never know" moments, Jaime Garcia was facing Reyes with two outs and a man on second. He hit a solid groundball towards the left side of the infield. It was a play that a shortstop makes. Gyorko was playing shortstop and he is not a shortstop so he did not make the play. To be fair, it's questionable that Peralta makes that play at this point. Cabrera smoked a double to the opposite field and it was 5-3 after one and half innings. Gsellman settled down unfortunately.
It was this type of game. Gsellman walked Garcia with one out in the 2nd, but Pham hit a hard groundball right to the second baseman, so it was a double play. In the 3rd, the Cardinals got two baserunners on... but only after they had already gotten two outs. Peralta weakly hit it to short, but it made a funny bounce and Cabrera made a diving play to get it. Molina was running from first so they got the out. In the 4th, Gyorko walked and Pham got hit by a pitch to bring up Piscotty with two outs. He lined out right to the shorstop. in the 5th, Moss got hit by a pitch and Peralta singled. Gyorko smoked a flyball right to the centerfielder.
Alex Reyes replaced Garcia after four innings and he was as dominant as he usually is. He allowed a leadoff single to Yeonis Cespedes, but then struck out Flores and got two groundouts to end the inning. He struck out two in a scoreless inning in the 6th. In the bottom of the 6th, Randal Grichuk hit a home run off someone named Josh Smoker. The Mets had 3 players tonight who played in tonight's game that I've never heard of before tonight. Reyes' spot in the order came up next and... he batted for himself. You better be damn sure he's pitching at least another inning if you do that and... he did not pitch another full inning.
After he struck out Reyes to start the inning, Cabrera hit another double. He then committed the first balk by a St. Louis Cardinals pitcher this year. I don't really know what happened here. He then intentionally walked Cespedes, and the Mets countered by pinch-hitting James Loney. He then replaced Reyes with Zach Duke, which was 100 percent the right move. So at least Mike didn't double down on his bad decision by keeping Reyes in just because he had him bat the last inning. Still shouldn't have batted at all. Duke got a double play ball to end the threat because Loney isn't very good and Duke is pretty good.
In the 7th, the Cardinals got two baserunners again and two outs came again and this time Gyorko struck out looking on an obvious strike. So I guess that's an improvement. Duke pitched another scoreless inning. The Cardinals got two baserunners on again in the 8th and two outs came and this time Carpenter flew out. The Mets tacked on another runner with three of the flukiest, BABIP-aided hits you'll see off Sam Tuivailala. Cardinals went down easy against Jeurys Familia.
- I have a pretty bad cold and am very tired so no notes today.
Tomorrow the Cardinals will try to even the series with young power pitcher Jacob deGrom facing young power pitcher Carlos Martinez. deGrom gets strikeouts and Martinez gets groundballs so it should be fun.