Mets Game 71: Win Over Cardinals

Mets 3 Cardinals 2

Who says the Mets are banged up, beaten down, and in bad shape? And what’s this nonsense about “treading water”?

The New York Mets took three games out of four from the mighty St. Louis Cardinals, culminating in a heart-stopping 3-2 victory over the seemingly unbeatable Chris Carpenter.

Carpenter held the Mets to only five hits, but they helped produce three runs, which were all Johan Santana needed to gain his ninth victory of the season.

The Mets scored all of their runs in the fourth frame, thanks once again to Nick Evans. After Luis Castillo scored on a Castillo-like single by Fernando Tatis, Evans rapped a double into the right field corner to send home Tatis and Ryan Church to give the Mets a lead they’d never relinquish.

Santana struggled but scattered seven St. Louis hits and three walks to limit the Redbirds to one earned run. Pedro Feliciano pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Francisco Rodriguez, as usual, made things interesting before nailing down his 20th save of the season.

Notes

Was this the first time Jerry Manuel ever limited himself to only two pitching changes in a one-run game? Probably not, but it feels that way. In contrast, Tony LaRussa made three changes in the eighth inning alone.

Dan Murphy — who was benched in place of the red-hot Evans — stroked a single for Santana in the bottom of the seventh. He is now hitting .333 as a pinch-hitter this year and .387 lifetime. Is he the next Gates Brown?

The first Redbird run was unearned and came in the initial inning when Skip Schumaker singled, moved to second on a catcher’s interference by Omir Santos, and scored on a single by Yadier Molina.

The Mets are now 5-3 in games without Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Jose Reyes.

Next Mets Game

The Mets begin a three-game weekend series against the crosstown New York Yankees on Friday night at 7:10 PM. Mike Pelfrey faces C.C. Sabathia. Plenty of tickets are available if you want to watch the game at Citi Field. Otherwise, you can catch it on SNY, WFAN, or XM 183.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Wendy June 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm
    Great win, team effort, they showed a lot of heart this series and took 3 of 4.

    Santana did not have his best stuff but the offense did their job and picked him up, the only Met hit that was scorched was Nick Evans’ double, but we will take what we can get these days.

    Glad to see that leaving the bases loaded in the 8th didn’t come back to burn them, or else Tatis would have been run out of town for sure.

  2. isuzudude June 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm
    Well, Wendy, to be fair at least Tatis made contact, and had the only Met RBI other than Nick Evans. Ryan Church struck out with the bases loaded a batter before Tatis, so if anyone deserves the harshest criticism it’s him.

    But I agree with you big time about the Mets showing heart, which is something we have grown to live without the past couple seasons. If not for Joel Piniero morphing into Greg Maddux everytime he faces the Mets this very well could have been a sweep, which says a lot as the Cardinals came into the series a hot team, with 5 wins in 6 games and having outscored the Royals 29-11 their previous series. Maybe we all should be embracing this Mets team of misfits, as they are forced into playing fundamentally sound, good ol’ fashion NL style baseball to win instead of relying on one of their stars to hit a home run. Even if the Mets lose, you’ll love watching them play as they’ll hustle, pick each other up, and play smart…as opposed to being favored to win and then laying a goose egg because they try to get by on talent alone and not execution. It would be quite ironic if the Mets stay in the thick of the playoff race without all their stars, and then collapse again in September when Reyes, Delgado, Beltran, Putz, Perez, and Wagner are all healthy. I think that would tell Omar that major changes (see: breaking up the core) are needed prior to 2010. But I guess we can cross that bridge if/when we get there, and in the meantime enjoy these lovable losers, even if they somehow manage to win more than they lose.

  3. wlaadair June 25, 2009 at 6:24 pm
    dude, i wasn’t being harsh on Tatis, i was just making an indirect reference to the DP’s that he has been hitting into lately.

    Yes Church struck out looking but overall has done very well, that’s why he probably will not receive much criticism for striking out today.

    If they ended up blowing it in the 9th, then the critics would be out in full force for both of them.

    I agree, they are playing a different brand of ball without Delgado, Beltran and Reyes and overall its working for them.

  4. CatchDog June 26, 2009 at 8:18 am
    The Mets are currently 9-13 in June. Not sure what can be construed as “overall its working for them”.
  5. Wendy June 26, 2009 at 8:54 am
    I just meant that all things considered they are making the most of the injury situation, not to mention the endless stream of questionable managerial moves.

    Wins and losses tell the story and decide where they rank in the league but not the full story, they have overcome a great deal of adversity and are banding together as a team.

  6. isuzudude June 26, 2009 at 9:06 am
    And to piggyback Wendy (or is it wlaadair?), the Mets are 5-3 in games without Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Jose Reyes, as Joe pointed out above. We’ll see if there’s something to that record over the next week.
  7. Wendy June 26, 2009 at 9:32 am
    one and the same dude, it should be interesting to see how the end of the first half evolves.

    Yesterday’s win was huge and hard fought, just hope it carries over to the subway series, even though i don’t put much stock in interleague play games.

    I am much more interested in national league matchups, in my opinion Mets vs Yankees is more for the media than for the players themselves.

    We will be in Philly for 7/4 game like last year, can’t wait.