Cards Blow Two Leads, Weaver Struggles, Pham & Wong Big Nights Go By The Wayside, Mets Win 6-5
Luke Weaver tried putting his last start behind him, but the Cardinal hurler's lack of secondary pitches all but cost him the game tonight.
Anything beats giving up 6 runs and 9 hits, in 4 innings to the Cubs, right? Wrong. Luke Weaver wasn’t getting tattooed on the mound or anything, but his secondary pitches were incognito this evening. So was his command on those pitches, for that matter. Weaver fell behind a majority of batters he faced this evening. After allowing a leadoff walk to Conforto to start the evening, Weaver would saw Céspedes off, getting him to line into a 5-3 double-play. Weaver would get Cabrera next to end the inning, striking him out on a 94 mph fastball up and away.
The Cardinals would put together two runs their first time to bat tonight against Mets starter, Zack Wheeler. Both runs coming courtesy of a Mr. Steal Yo Girl, Tommy Pham, 2-run bombski to the grass patch in CF.
The Mets would cut into the 2-0 deficit in the top of the 2nd on a Jay Bruce RBI triple to LF. Bruce would drive in Frazier from first base, following a leadoff walk. The hit would land in front of Ozuna and squirt past him to allow Bruce to get to third. With the tying run on third base and nobody out, Kolten Wong would, once again, make an outstanding play to save a run. With the infield playing in to prevent Bruce from scoring from third, Wong would spear a line shot (99mph off the bat) from Adrian Gonzalez and throw him out at first, keeping Bruce stranded. Weaver would work out of the jam, allowing a walk to Rosario before striking out Nido and retiring Wheeler on a groundout to Martínez.
We will continue to talk about Kolten Wong, the Redbirds second baseman came to play tonight. Wong (2-4) would collect two doubles and his 4th RBI of the season. His RBI double in the 4th was what I’ve always wanted him to do, drive the ball the opposite way. Wong would take the 86mph Wheeler fastball on the outer part of the plate to the LF corner, landing just in fair territory. Luke Weaver wanted to help his own cause tonight, coming up next and delivering an RBI single to CF scoring Wong, making it 4-1 Cardinals.
The lead wouldn’t last long, as the Mets would score three runs with 2 outs in the 5th to tie the game at 4-4. After getting the first two batters of the inning, Weaver would walk pinch-hitter, Wilmer Flores, his 4th free pass of the game. Michael Conforto would be the 5th free pass of the game, immediately walking on 4 pitches, setting things up for Céspedes. Céspedes looked primed to tie the game from the beginning of the at bat. With a 2-0 count, Weaver would get Céspedes out in front on a good changeup low. Weaver would go back to that changeup later in the at bat, and it wasn’t a good one. Catching the dead-heart of the plate, Céspedes crushed (463 feet) a 3-run HR to DEEP LF. Weaver walked the next batter, Cabrera, drawing the end of the night for the starter. Dominic Leone would stop the threat, working a solid 1.1 innings of relief, adding a strikeout to go with it.
The Cardinals would retake the lead in the bottom of the 5th, a little two out rally you could say. With The Dark Knight making his first appearance in relief, Fowler would line a double to RF with 2 outs. Paul DeJong, who I’m sure the Mets are sick of, wasted no time bringing Fowler across to score. DeJong would lace an RBI double over Rosario’s head into LCF, making it 5-4 Cardinals.
Jordan Hicks was called upon to work the 7th inning. Hicks would start his outing by throwing a nasty front-door slider to pinch-hitter, Juan Lagares, eventually forcing him to groundout 4-3. After allowing a walk to Conforto, Hicks would get the next two (Céspedes & Cabrera) to fly out to Pham. Hicks would be asked to pitch a second inning of work, finally surrendering his first major league earned run. Adrain Gonzalez would tie the game on a sac-fly to LF, following a leadoff walk to Frazier and a single to Bruce. Luke Gregerson was now tasked with recording the final two outs of the inning and keeping the game locked up 5-5, he would do his job to perfection. Gregerson struck out Rosario and got Nido to fly out to Pham, all with the leading run on base.
Greg Holland found himself pitching in the 9th inning tonight, securing his best outing of the season so far. Holland would work an easy 1-2-3 inning, snagging strikeouts of pinch-hitter, Nimmo and Céspedes, both on nasty sliders. Definitely loved seeing Holland throw that slider down and in to a LHH and produce a whiff. The Cardinals looked like they were going to push across that winning run in the bottom of the 9th. Matt Carpenter (0-3, run, 2 walks) would draw a leadoff walk and move up to second on a Pham (3-3, HR, RBI, 2 walks) single. Jose Martínez, who had been hitting the ball hard into bad luck all night, finally had a bad at bat, striking out on a pitch in the dirt. Swags Ozuna looked to break out of his slump but unfortunately rolled over a pitch into a 5-4-3 inning ending double-play. Ozuna is now (1-23) his last 23 at bats.
Matt Bowman would come in to try and keep things knotted up at 5 in the 10th. Cabrera would reach first on a leadoff single and be lifted by pinch-runner, Jose Reyes. Bowman forced Frazier to hit a 2-seam fastball in on the hands into a 4-6-3 double-play. But then, Jay Bruce happened. Or, Matt Bowman happened. Or, Mike Matheny happened. Whichever one your prefer. Jay Bruce would give the Mets the lead, and the win, hitting a solo-HR to the grass in CF, making it 6-5 Mets. Familia came in and shut the door for his 9th save of the season, collecting two strikeouts. (Molina & DeJong)
Michael Wacha (3-1, 4.22) will look to start a new Cardinals winning streak tonight. He will be matched up against lefty, Steven Matz* (1-1, 4.42). First pitch 7:15 c/t