Mets knock around Waino early, comeback effort falls short in 5-4 loss
Adam Wainwright vs Jason Vargas. What does that sound like at face value? Probably a decent amount of runs. That is, unless you’re the Cardinals, and you struggle against any sort of left-handed pitching.
The Mets would spot 3 runs for Vargas in the first two innings, scoring all 3 runs with two outs. Waino got two quick ground outs to start the game on McNeil and Alonso before giving up a double to Canó over Cafecíto’s head in RF. Conforto then walked, bringing in Ramos, who has been seeing the ball quite well. Ramos singled up the middle on a Waino curve to give the Mets a 1-0 lead and Davis followed that with an rbi double to score Conforto to up the lead to 2-0.
The Cardinals defense wouldn’t play any favors for Waino in the 2nd inning, with two errors (DeJong and Cafecíto). Lagares led off the inning with a single, Vargas sacrificed him over to 2B, McNeil struck out on a cutter in on the hands to bring in Alonso. Alonso grounded a ball to Deez, who had trouble with it, allowing Alonso to reach on an E6. The infield was causing all sorts of funny hops early on in tonight’s game. The next batter was Canó, and the errors continued, as he singled into RF and Cafecíto bobbled it on a funny hop, allowing Alonso to take 3B as Lagares scored on the play to make it 3-0 Mets.
The Cards bats would strand 4 runners vs Vargas over his first 3 innings of work. Carp led the game off, beating the shift with a perfectly placed bunt down the 3B line against the shift. But Vargas struck out Goldy and Deez to follow that and Swags would fly out to Lagares.
Cafecíto started his good night at the plate tonight in the bottom of the 2nd with a blooped singled into LF, but had that quickly erased on a 4-3 double play off the bat of Yadi. Dex then worked a walk and KoWo would reach base on an error from SS, Amed Rosario. Vargas ended the threat picking up his 3rd strikeout, getting Waino to take things to the 3rd.
Waino weathered the storm in the 3rd, working around back-to-back one out singles from Rosario and Lagares. Vargas then struck looking on a cutter and McNeil (batting for the 3rd time in 3 innings) grounded out to Wong.
The Mets would extend their lead to 4-0 in the 4th, as Alonso and Canó reached base to begin things against Waino. Alonso walked and Canó hit his second double into RF to end the night for Waino (3+IP, 8 hits, 4r/3er, 3 bb. 3 k’s). Gallegos would relieve Waino, striking out Conforto looking at some high cheese for the first out. Ramos then hit a slow tapper for an rbi ground out to Carp. Davis then walked to bring up Rosario, who struck out on a fantastic slider from Gallegos.
Cafecíto got the Birds on the board to leadoff the bottom of the 4th, hitting his first HR of the season to rcf to make it a 4-1 game. Dex would be stranded on base after a one out walk, taking it to the 5th inning.
Ryan Helsley would throw the first 1-2-3 inning of the game in the top of the 5th, tossing a quick 7-pitch inning. Helsley got Lagares to ground out to Carp, Vargas to strikeout on some high heat, and McNeil to pop out to Carp in foul territory.
The Cardinals wasted a golden opportunity in the bottom of the 5th, stranding Carp and Goldy in scoring position after back-to-back hits to leadoff the inning vs newly entered reliever, Seth Lugo. Carp doubled into RF and Goldy reached via an infield single to bring up Deez. Deez tapped a slow grounder to the left side and Lugo would come off the mound to make a fantastic barehanded play to get DeJong out at first. Not only that, but Carp stayed put at third on the play as Goldy moved up to second. Lugo would battle back to escape the jam though, striking out Swags on a slider and Cafecíto on a fastball to end the Cardinals threat.
Pete Alonso kept doing what Pete Alonso does, hitting a leadoff HR against Helsley to begin the 6th inning. And man, he went down and got this thing, crushing it out to CF to make it 5-1 game.
The Cardinals cut the Mets lead to 2 in the bottom half of the 6th. Dex would line a one out double into RF to extend things to pinch-hitter, Lane Thomas, making his first career at bat. It’s poetic when these things happen, and I’m so happy for Mr. Thomas. Thomas would send a Lugo pitch just barely over the wall in RF for a two-run HR to make it a 5-3 game, getting himself a nice little curtain call moment.
Leone, Webb*, Brebbia, and G-Spot would work a scoreless final three innings, stranding three Mets on base.
The Cardinals late inning rally would come up just short, as they plated one more run to make things 5-4 heading into the 9th inning. Yadi ripped a one out double into LF, ending the night for Familia, as Callaway would go to Wilson to face the switch-hitting Fowler. Dex reached base with an infield single, advancing to 2B on the throwing error from third baseman, J.D. Davis, Yadi scoring on the wildness. KoWo worked a walk and Callaway would go back to his pen, bringing in Robert Gsellman. Gsellman would face Gyorko (pinch-hitting) and Carp, getting Trap House to pop out to second and Carp to ground out to first base, stranding two.
Edwin Díaz closed things down for his 7th save of the season, stranding two more Cardinals on base. Goldy would strikeout on a heater to begin the inning, DeJong lined out, hitting a screamer to McNeil at 3B. Swags then worked a tough walk and Cafecíto lined a single into RF, his third hit of the game. Díaz would get Yadi to fly out to Lagares to end the game, stranding the tying run at third base.
The Cardinals left 11 runners on base in tonight’s loss, as the Mets left on 12.
1.) LANE FREAKIN’ THOMAS
Miles Mikolas (1-1, 6.00) gets the nod in game-two tomorrow afternoon, facing Chris Flexen (making his first start of the season, this in place of the recently injured Jacob deGrom). First pitch 1:15pm c/t.