Cards take two wild ones from Mets, 5-4 and 9-5
Okay, so this recap is gonna be a little funky. Funky simply because Thursday nights game ended with it being suspended going into the bottom of the 9th, tied 4-4 after the Cards rallied in the top of the 9th to score two to tie it.
The rain was coming down hard, the infield was starting to look like a lake, puddles at both corners so big the lights were gleaming brightly off them. But then, to make things worse, there was a 9 minute on-field delay. It was a tragedy. A beautifully comedic tragedy.
The grounds crew would come sprinting on the field to save the day with the Mets needing 3 more outs for the win. Pete Alonso and Amed Rosario did not approve of the tarp coming out, and this caused everyone of the grounds crew to stop where they were like a statue and look around like, “wtf is going on?”
The umpires clearly had no control over what was taking place, either. We will come back to this in a few, but let’s talk about the game before the wildness.
Jacob deGrom vs Jack Flaherty.
deGrom zoomed his way thru the first two frames on 26 pitches, striking out the side in order in the 2nd (Swags, Cafecíto, and Yadi).
Flaherty worked a couple of hitless innings right off the bat, too, also recording three k’s. Conforto would go down whiffing at a slider and Alonso would go down looking at a 2SFB. Jack would walk Frazier with one out in the 2nd, stranding him on 1B by getting Ramos to pop out to Goldy in foul territory and striking out Rosario on a slide piece to end the inning.
Haaaaaaarry Bader, who had probably the best game of his life in front of his hometown, fam, and friends. Bader lined a one out double to RF in the 3rd, before swiping 3B for his 2nd steal of the season. deGrom would k his counterpart to flip things to the top of the order with Carp. With the infield shifted, Carp would beat it with a slow tapper to the left of 2B for an rbi infield single. deGrom was pissed, and rightfully so, the ball had an xBA of (.100).
But the Cardinals did what they so often do, runs given back. It’s a thing. And with two outs, that’s a thing.
McNeil lined a two out single to RF to extend the inning to Conforto, who cranked a two-run blast to RF to make it 2-1 Mets.
The Cards would strand a pair of runners the next two innings. Swags would be stranded after a single, as Café grounded into an insane 3-6-3 double play turned by Alonso. Bader would single and steal 2B (3rd SB of the season) with two outs in the 5th before being stranded after a Flaherty fly out.
Jack worked efficient innings in the 4th and 5th, needing only 21 pitches to retire the side in order. Jack added three more k’s to his line: painting a 2SFB to get Ramos looking, 96mph gas to Gómez, and a slide piece to McNeil.
The Cards tied things up in the 6th, getting some help from Pauly Deez. Deez absolutely demolishes Mets pitching (.789 career slug%, the best of any player all time, minimum 75 at bats).
Deez sent his 11th HR of the year to LF tying things up at 2-2.
But the runs given back thing, yeaaaaaa.
After striking out Conforto for his 8th punch out, Flaherty would get teed off, allowing the next four Mets to get on base: Alonso double to LF, Smith rbi single to CF, Frazier single to CF, and a walk to Ramos to load the bases, still with one out.
Shildt would turn to the reliable Gallegos out of the pen, who ended the inning with an unconventional double play. Rosario would hit a sac-fly to Bader in CF, who then fired the ball into 3B to get Frazier trying to sneak his way into 3B. It was weird, you had to see it to believe it. Anyways, the Mets were now back on top 4-2.
The pen would hold the Mets hitless the final 4 innings: Gallegos strikes out side on 15 pitches in 7th, Miller strikes out side on 13 pitches in the 8th (with the field becoming horrendous), Tsunami retires the side on 12 pitches (the next day, because the game was suspended), and Hicks inducing three ground balls to retire the side on 6 pitches in the 10th.
The Cards got some magic from the baseball gods. Remember that shit show I was talking about to start the recap, yeah, all of that is going on. Now let’s play the top of the 9th for some reason, I guess?
Díaz looking for his 15th save, would walk Swags to start the inning. He’d bounce back and get Café and Yadi for a quick two outs, leaving KoWo as the last chance. KoWo came through, smacking the ball the opposite way off the base of the LF wall for the longest rbi single of all time (remember the crappy field? that’s why it was just a single). Haaaaaaarry then kept doin’ his thang, lining a rope into the LF corner for an rbi double, tying the game at 4-4. Bader would get thrown out on the play trying to extend the double into a triple, slipping between the bases to end the inning.
Okay, so after all that, they decide to suspended the game and not play the bottom of the 9th until the next day at 5:10pm. Hahahaha.
Well, that’s when Tsunami and Hicks came in and did quick work. The Cards bats did, too. Muñoz pinch-hit for Tsunami in the 10th, singling to CF, then stealing 2B to put himself in scoring position. Carp would ground out to 1B, advancing Muñoz to 3B for Deez. Deez cashed in again, with an rbi single to LF to give the Cards the 5-4 lead.
That’s where this wild one ended, Cards on top 5-4.
Now the real scheduled game, game two. This one starting about 30-40 minutes after the completion of game one.
Steven Matz vs Daniel Ponce de Leon. The Mets would strike early on Ponce, making him run his pitch count to 36 in the 1st inning. After striking out the first two, he’d then walk Alonso and Smith back-to-back, then give up an rbi single to Frazier to make it 1-0 Mets.
Over the next 3 innings, Ponce would throw 35 pitches, so he definitely settled in after the shaky start.
The Cards answered back in the 3rd to tie it up 1-1. The switch-hitting Tommy Edman, making his first career start at 2B, smoked a leadoff double vs Matz into the RCF gap (110mph exit velo). Ponce did his job getting the sac-bunt down, moving Edman over to 3B with Carp coming to the dish. Carp sent a deep sac fly to Smith in LF, scoring Edman to knot things up 1-1.
After a quick, 12 pitch, 1-2-3 4th inning, Matz would implode in the 5th, surrendering 3 runs, giving the Cards the 4-1 lead. After striking out Bader to leadoff the inning, the next four Cardinals reached base: Fowler walk, Edman FC E5, Cafecíto pinch-hit 3run tater sneaking over the RF wall, and Carp walking (then stealing 2B, his 4th SB of the season, nbd or anything).
Since Ponce was PH for in the 4th with Café, the pen had the task of piecing the last 5 innings together. Webb got first dibs, and it wasn’t good. Steven Matz would take him deep right away, and it was a piss rope, like that has to be embarrassing. McNeil then singled and Conforto struck out, ending the outing for Webb. Brebbs would come in for the next 1.2 innings, stranding McNeil at 1B by getting Alonso and Smith to both hit deep fly outs.
The Mets would get to Miller in the 7th, plating 3 runs to make things interesting, as the Mets now had the 5-4 lead. Miller wouldn’t record an out upon entering: HBP to Gómez, and back-to-back singles to McNeil and Conforto.
Enter G-Spot. Gant entered and got the Cardinals out of some high waters, but it wasn’t easy. He’d induce the ground ball he needed on Alonso, sending it to KoWo’s left as he’d make the play and fire to Deez at 2B for the force out, throwing it low and behind Deez for an error, still with nobody out. Smith then struck out, whiffing at 98mph gas from Gant. Frazier then tapped a slow roller to Carp at 3B, who charged in perfectly and fired home to Yadi for the force out. But Ramos would come thru in the clutch, going to RF with a two run single to give the Mets the lead heading into the 8th.
After Gsellman threw an easy 7th inning for Mickey Callaway, he’d go to the worst arm in his pen currently, Familia. And it looked like it was a move for him to get the final 6 outs? I mean, he did a classic Matheny, double-switching his cleanup hitter in a one run game. The move backfired.
Deez kept crushing Mets pitching, getting a hanging slider from Familia and tatering it to deep LF to tie the game 5-5. Familia would get Goldy and Ozuna quickly, bringing up Yadi. Yadi kept the line moving, doubling into LF to bring up Bader, who drew a walk to extend the inning to Dex.
And man oh man, did Dex really need this. Dex would unload on an outside fastball from Familia, sending a 3run missile to RF to break the game wide open, 8-5 Cardinals. The Mets fans were booing, others heading for the exits, other wondering when a managerial change will take place. Believe me, I’ve been there.
The Cards flashed some leather behind Gant in the 8th, getting two incredible plays from Carp to take away a double from Hechavarría and KoWo taking away a base hit from McNeil.
Speak of the devil, an ASOH (as so often happens) would occur to leadoff the top of the 9th. With the left-handed reliever summoned into the game, KoWo would get a breaking pitch low and inside, right in the wheelhouse for a LH batter, sending his 7th HR of the year off the foul pole in RF to make it 9-5 Cards.
Gant closed the door in the 9th, working the final 3 innings in relief to move to (6-0, 1.66) on the season. Seems All-Star worthy to me.
Michael Wacha Flocka (4-2, 5.63) gets the ball in game-three, marching up with Thor, Noah Syndergaard (4-4, 4.45). First pitch 6:10pm c/t.