Every time there’s even remotely a hint that I have been gifted with a bad game, I tend to complain. This is a weird quirk because I usually watch every inning of every game (if I’m available to watch the game), regardless of how it’s going. Having to recap a terrible game is barely an inconvenience. And yet, I would like the option to stop watching in my back pocket.
I would have certainly stopped watching this game really early if I had the option. In fact, when Mike Leake batted for himself in the top of the 3rd and then got removed from the game to begin the bottom of the inning, I would have been out. Not that I particularly blame Mike Matheny given its a long season and the Cards were facing Jacob deGrom, but he had given up on the game so I would have. If I somehow made it past that, I definitely would have been out when John Brebbia batted for himself.
The game wasn’t as close as the score suggests and 7-3 doesn’t actually suggest a close score. Besides a 13-pitch flyout by Matt Carpenter to start the game, the Mets had control of this game from the beginning. In the 1st, with Asdrubal Cabrera on 2nd and 2 outs, Yoenis Cespedes singled him home. Tommy Pham had a legitimate chance to throw him out, but the throw wasn’t great. Then Lucas Duda, 6-8 against Leake before the game, doubled home Cespedes. Wilmer Flores singled to drive home the third run of the inning.
After a 25-pitch first inning, the Cards went down on 10 pitches in the 2nd. Then the Mets blew the game open. Michael Conforto singled with one out to begin the rally. A grounder to Jedd Gyorko went from a potential double play ball to an error and men on first and third. Jay Bruce singled. Cespedes doubled. Duda was intentionally walked this time, which gave way for Jose Reyes to drive in two more with a single. Leake ended the inning the way he started it: getting the pitcher out. 7-0 after two innings.
deGrom wasn’t particularly sharp, at least by his standards, but the Cardinals never took advantage. To defend that last statement, deGrom - who has a 10.31 K/9 this season - only struck out 3 batters tonight - and gave up 7 hits in 6.2 IP. I’m just saying if Cards didn’t spread out their hits so well, they probably could have gotten a few runs.
Anyway, I did think that Matheny gave up on this game remarkably early. Eric Fryer was brought in as a defensive replacement in the 4th, Luke Voit pinch-hit for Carpenter in the top of the 5th, and Dexter Fowler got removed in the bottom of the 5th. There’s a lot of game to be played after that!
Brebbia replaced Leake - some might argue too late as he looked ready to go before Reyes hit his bases-loaded single - and got nine of the 10 batters he faced out, including three strikeouts. Kevin Siegrist replaced him and picked up two strikeouts in his lone inning of work. Sam Tuivailala pitched a perfect inning in the 7th. The Cardinals bullpen was very good tonight.
Cardinals at least decided to score some runs, much too late though. In the 7th, Voit knocked deGrom out of the game with a run-scoring double. It would probably drive me crazy if the manager of the team I root for left in the team’s best pitcher for 110 pitches in a game where the other team literally gave up. Just seems unnecessary to me.
In the 8th, the Cardinals actually mounted a comeback of sorts. Paul Sewald, who replaced deGrom, walked two of the first three batters he faced. Then Paul Dejong swung at every pitch he saw to strike out. Little frustrating there Paul. Jerry Blevins replaced Sewald with Kolten Wong and Magneuris Sierra up and allowed hits to both of them. Adam Wainwright - yes Adam Wainwright - pinch-hit because there were no position players left and walked. So Blevins, a LOOGY, failed to get out both lefties he faced and walked a pitcher. Now that’s funny. They brought in their closer, Addison Reed, and he struck out Voit and that was the end of that.
Sueng Hwan Oh came in and, uh, didn’t look too good. He only threw six pitches though because Mets made contact with everything they swung at and they found gloves. (There was a single there too, so six pitches to four batters for Oh tonight) Reed made easy work of the Cardinals in the 9th and this uneventful July game ended.
- Leake line: 2 IP, 10 hits, 7 runs (4 ER), BB - He didn’t miss many bats as you can and that is 10 hits out of 18 chances. He was not good and neither was his defense.
- Bullpen line (Brebbia/Siegrist/Tui/Oh): 6 IP, 3 hits, 6 Ks - this would be a solid start if they morphed together into one pitcher and started the game.
- Sierra went 3-4 and nothing makes sense anymore. He’s still not really hitting the ball hard - one was a popup that dropped because Cespedes either was lazy or was playing hurt and another was an infield hit - but hey I won’t complain.
- Kolten Wong was 2-4 today. Nobody else got on base more than twice, but most of them got on base at least once.
Tomorrow, the Cardinals go for the series win. Lance Lynn faces Seth Lugo and it starts at 11 am apparently. I will probably be missing that game.