Mets Game 20: Loss To Cardinals
Cardinals 3 Mets 0
After being handed a shutout loss in game one, the Cardinals return the favor by shutting out the Mets in game two.
Mets Game Notes
This time, there was no switch-flipped, sudden disaster at pitch #90 by Dillon Gee. Instead, it happened around pitch #40.
It took Dillon Gee 28 pitches before getting an out in the fourth frame; it took well over 30 pitches to complete the inning. How he found his way out of that mess allowing only two runs is a story for the ages, and a testament to his intestinal fortitude. He followed it up with an 8-pitch fifth — something he absolutely had to do to stay in the ballgame.
Interesting play in the fourth, with bases loaded and a grounder to David Wright. Wright threw home to force out Jon Jay, but Jay went out of his way to take out Travis d’Arnaud and prevent d’Arnaud from completing the potential double play. Terry Collins didn’t argue, but did go out to discuss the play with the home plate umpire. On the replay, it was clear that d’Arnaud was blocking the plate PRIOR to receiving the ball from Wright. GKR stated that d’Arnaud provided a clear path, and he did — AFTER receiving the ball. It was also crystal-clear that Jay went directly for d’Arnaud — he changed his running path to take him out. I have to wonder if part of the reason that Collins didn’t ask for a review is because d’Arnaud was, technically, breaking the rules by blocking home plate without the ball (he was straddling the third-base line. And/or, does the take-out rule not apply in a situation where the catcher already has the ball, and is attempting to make a second play (such as we always see with the second baseman / shortstop on double-play attempts at 2B).
The two runs St. Louis scored came on grounders up the middle that were just barely out of a diving Omar Quintanilla‘s reach. I have to wonder if Ruben Tejada would have made one or both of those plays and possibly halted that rally earlier?
Adam Wainwright left the game after 7 innings and only 79 pitches, seemingly due to an injury to his right leg on a broken-bat bouncer to the right side by Chris Young that ended the seventh.
It looked to me like Young could’ve been safe on that play, had he hustled out of the box and ran hard down the line. He hesitated in the box after getting fisted, then didn’t seem to run quite 100%. Could his leg still be bothering him?
Congrats to Curtis Granderson, who set a personal high by going 0-for-22; he never before in his career went hitless in more than 21 consecutive at-bats. Great to see him continue to bat in the #2 spot in the order, where he has a guaranteed opportunity to extend that streak in the first inning.
Jose Valverde did a nice job of keeping his 92-94 MPH fastball on the corners and at the knees. Except for that one over the middle of the plate and at the waist that Holliday rapped into right field to drive in the third Cardinals run.
What’s up with lights-out closers who suddenly can’t make pitches, much less outs? Trevor Rosenthal was exhibiting shades of Rick Ankiel in the ninth. Rosenthal’s facial expressions and body language were showing fear and bewilderment. I can see a pitcher walking Granderson — even a slumping Granderson — but to walk Eric Young, Jr., with a three-run lead, on five pitches? You know something is terribly wrong.
Somehow, miraculously, Rosenthal threw an absolutely perfect “pitcher’s pitch” to strike out David Wright looking for the second out — it was exactly knee-high, just inside the black on the outside part of the plate. How he pulled that pitch out of his backside, after looking like he was about to implode, was remarkable.
Get this: the Mets struck out only FOUR TIMES in this game — the lowest total thus far this season. However, they saw only 110 pitches, so I guess their strategy to avoid strikeouts was to swing and make contact prior to three strikes. In contrast, the Cardinals struck out 7 times and saw 154 pitches.
The Mets managed only four hits and walked twice. Hard to score when you don’t get anyone on base. Though, there are always solo homers.
After striking out in every one of his first 17 games, Eric Young, Jr. has now gone two straight games without a K.
Gonzalez Germen through 42 pitches in two shutout innings of relief. That pitch count means he needs at least one day of rest before touching a baseball again, and he was three pitches away from needing two full days’ rest before getting on the mound.
Next Mets Game
Game 3 of this four-game set begins at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Jonathon Niese faces Michael Wacha.
As an FYI, I’ll be working late, so there’s a good chance I’ll miss the contest and will need some help with the recap. Your contribution is appreciated.