Mets Game 154: Loss to Cardinals

Cardinals 11 Mets 6

If this were 1960, the season would now be over. Unfortunately for Mets fans suffering through a meaningless September, there are still 8 more games to go.

This was really MUCH closer than the final score indicates. And I know I’ve typewritten these exact words several times this year, but trust me — it was really and truly a close game, for most of the contest.

Mets Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey fulfilled his goal of taking the ball and going six innings. That is what he thinks about, and what man thinks about, he becomes. So Big Pelf gave the Mets six frames, because he is a reliable innings-eater. Unfortunately, limiting the opposition from scoring is a secondary goal to taking the ball and giving the team length, so he allowed 5 runs on 10 hits in those 6 innings. On the bright side, Pelfrey did hit a run-scoring double — one of only three hits by a Met with runners in scoring position.

Speaking of RISP, the Mets were 3-for-13 in that situation. That’s a .230 batting average for those who aren’t quick with math. But this is to be expected, as we know through the first 153 games of the year that the Mets are not very good at driving runs in. They are good at putting runners on base, often via the base on balls. And interestingly, the Mets did score a run on a walk in this ballgame — so it is possible to score runs without hitting the baseball, after all.

Josh Stinson — who gave up two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning — was saddled with the loss. However, he received “help” from newly re-signed LOOGY Tim Byrdak, who was forced to face righthanded batter Ryan Theriot. Theriot hit a two-run double to give the Cardinals their first lead of the ballgame. Byrdak intentionally walked the next batter — another righthanded hitter, Yadier Molina — then was relieved by D.J. Carrasco, who carried with him to the mound a can of gasoline. The faux-submariner allowed a bases-clearing triple and an RBI single before getting the final out of the seventh inning.

I am pleased to remind everyone that both Byrdak and Carrasco are under contract for 2012; I know you are very concerned about who will comprise the bullpen next year and I’m sure this information will help you rest easily through the winter.

Speaking of Carrasco and his recent switch to submarine style: it stinks. I hope he has another idea. Maybe he can learn the knuckleball. Or the eephus pitch. Or perhaps it’s time to try throwing with his left hand. I’m not sure, but he has a whole ‘nuther year in a Mets uniform to figure it out.

Bright side: Angel Pagan was 3-for-4 with a walk, a run, and an RBI.

Jose Reyes saw 31 pitches in six plate appearances, and walked twice. I bring this up because I know Sandy Alderson wanted Jose to be more patient and take more walks this year before considering whether he was worth re-signing.

Next Mets Game

Game two between the Mets and Redbirds begins at 8:15 PM on Wednesday night. Chris Schwinden goes to the hill against Jaime Garcia.

Albert Pujols was 4-for-5 for the Cards, driving in one and scoring twice.

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.