With Edwin Diaz in to close the game (and series) in the ninth inning against the bottom of the Cardinals’ order, it looked pretty likely that St. Louis would go punchless and leave New York losers of three out of four. Instead, the Cardinals rallied in the ninth and took the lead in the tenth, only to give up a walk-off moonshot to Pete Alonso in the bottom of the tenth inning to leave New York losers of three out of four. Nobody gives up epic, walk-off homers like the St. Louis Cardinals, that’s for sure.
Dakota Hudson wasn’t great, but the bullpen did its job in keeping it close long enough for the Redbirds to claw back. Ultimately, it didn’t matter. On to Pittsburgh.
Here’s how it went down:
Bassitt punched out Tommy Edman to kick off the game, but an errant throw from Eduardo Escobar at third allowed Brendan Donovan to get into scoring position with one out. With a runner at second base, both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado flew out to Mark Canha in shallow right field to end the inning and keep St. Louis off the board in the first.
Hudson — as is customary — dealt with some traffic on the basepaths early. Nimmo led off with a single and advanced to second on Canha’s groundout. Following a walk to Lindor, Pete Alonso ripped a single to right field through the vacated second base spot to score Nimmo and give New York a 1-0 lead in the first.
With Jeff McNeil batting, the Mets pulled off a double steal, moving Lindor to third and Alonso to second. McNeil then hit a ground ball to Donovan at shortstop, who tried to nail Lindor at home. The throw was not in time, however, and everyone was safe as the Mets took a 2-0 lead.
The Nine-time gold glover Arenado helped get the Cardinals out of the disastrous first inning with a diving stop on a line drive from Escobar, snagging it in the air for the second out. He then dove to third base and beat Alonso to the bag, doubling him up and ending the inning. When all was said and done, Hudson had thrown 30 pitches in the first and yielded two runs.
Yuan Yepez entered today’s game 0-8 in this series, but then he lead off the second inning by crushing a Bassitt fastball 414 feet into the left-center field seats to get the Cardinals on the board.
Dylan Carlson grounded out to Luis Guillorme at second base for the first out of the inning. Albert Pujols worked the count 2-2 against Bassitt and then he, too, grounded out to a shifted Guillorme. Harrison Bader singled to left field with two outs, and then stole his NL-leading 10th base of the season to put himself in scoring position for Knizner. The aforementioned Knizner then hit a looping popup to shallow left that Lindor drifted out and snagged, but it nearly popped out of his glove to tie the game. It didn’t however, and the Mets held their 2-1 lead.
Hudson struck out J.D. Davis to start the inning, but Guillorme tagged a one-out single to right field and stole second base moments later. Tomas Nido flew out to Bader in center field for the second out of the inning. Edman made a fantastic play on a sharply hit ground ball up the middle to end the inning, stranding Guillorme at second.
Edman popped out to Lindor in shallow left field on five pitches to lead off the inning, and then Donovan flew out to McNeil in left on the first pitch he saw for the second out. Goldschmidt then tied the game up by hammering an 0-2 slider from Bassitt 390 feet into the field field seats. Arenado grounded out to Escobar at third base for the final out, but the Redbirds had tied it up, 2-2.
After Canha flew out to Yepez in left for out number one, Lindor walked on five pitches. Alonso then grounded into a 5-4-3 double play started by Arenado, ending the inning for the Mets. After a 30-pitch first inning, Hudson was able to navigate the second and third innings on 27 pitches.
Yepez led off the fourth inning with an infield single to shortstop that Lindor for some odd reason did not charge. The ball only left the bat at 88 mph, Lindor fielded it near the edge of the infield dirt, and Yepez beat the throw. Carlson then flew out to Nimmo in deep center field for the first out of the inning, with his potential two-run homer dying on the warning track. Pujols lined out to Escobar at third for the second out, but Bader’s two-out single to center set up Knizner with runners on the corners. It led to nothing, however, as Knizner grounded out softly to Lindor at short.
Hudson worked his first 1-2-3 inning of the day in the fourth. McNeil grounded out to second, Escobar flew out to center, and Davis struck out swinging.
Tommy two-bags led off the fifth inning by pulling a double inside the first base line — his fourth of the season. After Donovan moved him to third base with a productive groundout, Goldschmidt poked an RBI double down the right field line to make it 3-2 Cardinals.
Arenado struck out swinging for the second out, and Yepez flew out to McNeil in left to end the inning for the Cardinals.
The Mets got that run back — and more — in the bottom half of the inning. Guillorme doubled off the base of the wall in left field leading off the inning. Nido then sacrifice bunted him over to third for the first out. Nimmo hit a sharp ground ball to first base, where Pujols stepped on the bag for the second out and then attempted to throw home to cut down Guillorme. The throw was high, and Guillorme scored the tying run. With two outs, Canha singled to left field and Hudson’s day was finished.
Hudson’s final line: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K’s (84 pitches)
Marmol called to the bullpen and summoned Nick Wittgren for the 19th time this season. Wittgren surrendered a single to Lindor, walked Alonso (nearly hit him in the head with ball four), and then a two-run single from McNeil put the Mets back in front 5-3. Escobar then lined out to a shifted Donovan behind second base to end the inning.
St. Louis took the punch from New York and did not punch back, as they were set down in order in the sixth. Carlson hit a weak ground ball back to Bassitt, Pujols grounded out to Guillorme at second (shifted way over), and Bader struck out swinging.
Andre Pallante relieved Nick Wittgren after a rocky fifth inning. Davis hit a line drive right back at Pallante that he caught for the first out. Guillorme struck out on foul tip. Nido then reached on an infield single to third that was hit so slowly (67 mph exit velo) that Arenado was unable to make a play. He was stranded there when Nimmo grounded out to second for the final out of the sixth.
Bassitt returned for the seventh inning and faced Molina, who took over catching in the sixth inning after Knizner took multiple foul balls off the mask early and had to be removed. Molina jumped on the first pitch he saw and drove it to the wall in left, where McNeil made the catch for the first out. Tommy Edman drew a four-pitch walk with one out, and then Donovan stung a single up the middle to set up a red hot Paul Goldschmidt with runners on the corners and only one out.
Bassitt’s final line: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K’s (96 pitches)
Buck Showalter walked out to the mound and took the ball from Bassitt after 96 pitches. Right-hander Drew Smith trotted in from the pen and induced a deep fly ball from Goldschmidt on the second pitch of the at-bat. McNeil ran to the wall, leapt, and made the catch up against the left field wall as both runners tagged up. Edman scored, but the throw to second beat Donovan and he was called out — an inning-ending double play.
It appeared that Guillorme’s foot was blocking the front of the base, so Donovan’s foot slid directly into his cleat rather than the base. The run counted, but it took away an opportunity for Arenado to bat with the tying run in scoring position.
After Pallante struck out Canha, Lindor and Alonso hit back-to-back singles with one out to set up red-hot McNeil with two runners on. He hit a ground ball back at Pallante that hit his foot, and Pallante was able to pick it up and make the play at first. With two runners in scoring position, Escobar flew out to Bader in center to end the inning.
Arenado popped out to Guillorme at second base leading off the eighth inning, and his batting average (.297) has officially dipped below .300 for the first time this season. Yepez then singled to center field — his third hit of the game — and Carlson stepped in as the potential go-ahead run. He hit a shallow fly ball to left field that McNeil was able to catch after a dead sprint and slide — not bad for a second baseman playing left field. Pujols stepped up and hit what appeared to be a go-ahead two-run homer off the bat, but McNeil settled under it on the warning track for the final out of the inning. The ball left Pujols’ bat at 100 mph, but died just short of the wall.
Genesis Cabrera entered the game to pitch the bottom of the eighth after two shutout innings from Pallante. Davis struck out for the third time in the game to kick off the inning. He then induced groundouts from both Guillorme and Nido, keeping the deficit at one-run heading into the ninth.
The Mets tasked Edwin Diaz with protecting a one-run lead in the ninth. Down 1-2, Bader hit a soft ground ball to Lindor at short that he was easily able to beat out for an infield single for his third hit of the game. With Yadi batting, Bader swiped his second base of the day and his eleventh of the season, putting him in scoring position as the tying run. Molina hit a ground ball up the middle that Guillorme fielded cleanly and made the throw over to first in plenty of time (with Bader advancing to third on the play).
With the tying run on third and one out, Edman was called out on strikes on an inside 101 mph fastball that just missed the zone, but he was rung up regardless. After first saying it “Could’ve gone either way” the Mets broadcast then admitted that Diaz “got the call.”
See pitch #5, below:
Donovan then drew a two-out walk on four pitches, bringing up Goldschmidt as St. Louis’ final hope.
Goldy worked the count 2-2, and then hit a ground ball between third and shortstop, fairly deep in the gap. Escobar did not make the play cleanly — completely booted it, actually — and the tying run scored. The official scorer ruled it a base hit for Goldschmidt and and error on Escobar, as Donovan scooted all the way to third on the play. Diaz was charged with his second blown save of the season.
Arenado then stepped in with the go-ahead run on third base and drew a four-pitch walk, loading the bases for the rookie, Juan Yepez. Diaz punched out Yepez looking with a 100 mph fastball at the knees, stranding the bases loaded and sending this game to the bottom of the ninth.
Ryan Helsley entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, hoping to send this one to extra innings. He did that with ease on just 13 pitches, getting groundouts from Nimmo and Canha and making Lindor look silly on a 2-2 breaking ball to end the ninth inning.
Since Yepez made the final out in the ninth, he was assigned as the “ghost runner” on second base. The Cardinals chose to pinch-run Corey Dickerson for Yepez in this spot.
Carlson hit first in the ninth and singled on a ground ball into shallow right field that Guillorme got to but was not able to make a play on. With runners on the corner and no outs, Pujols grounded into a 4-6-3 double play that scored Dickerson from third and retook the lead for St. Louis, 6-5. Bader then grounded out to Lindor at short for the final out.
Giovanny Gallegos entered in the 10th looking for his eighth save of the season. However, since the speedy Lindor was the final out of the ninth inning, he was assigned as the ghost runner for the Mets — the tying run.
It turns out it doesn’t matter who was running on second base, because Alonso obliterated the second pitch from Gallegos into the second deck of seats in left field, winning the game for the Mets, 7-6. The ball left Alsono’s bat at 113.7 mph and traveled an estimated 447 feet.
Final score: New York 7, St. Louis 6
The Cardinals (20-18) head to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates (16-21) in a three-game set at beautiful PNC Park. Adam Wainwright (4-3, 3.15 ERA) will be on the bump for the St. Louis. Opposing him will be right-hander Zach Thompson (2-3, 5.47 ERA), who is riding a 12-inning scoreless streak. First pitch is set for 5:35 p.m.
Around the Central
Reds 4, Guardians 2 - The Reds scored three against Cleveland’s bullpen in the eighth inning for the win. The Reds are only 8.5 games behind the Cardinals all of a sudden.
WARdle #71 - 6/9
Ah yes, longtime [redacted] outfielder, [redacted].