Cardinals 5 Mets 2
It wasn’t even that close.
John Maine finally made it into the sixth inning, but not because he pitched well. He also did not finish the sixth.
Maine allowed five runs on seven hits and five walks in five and two-third innings, expending 111 pitches in the process. He left the game with the bases loaded and reliever Casey Fossum was kind enough to get a quick final out and leave the ducks on the pond.
Offensively, the Mets did nothing against Joel “All World” Pineiro, whose best pitch was “strike one” throughout the contest. The Mets hitters managed six hits and two walks in eight innings against Pineiro, who pitched into the ninth but needed help from the St. Louis bullpen to finish. Pineiro struck out no one and expended 91 pitches. So much for the sabermetricians and their negative opinion of hurlers who “pitch to contact”.
Fascinating to see Jerry Manuel play the “matchup” game in the seventh inning, down four runs. Does it REALLY matter whether Casey Fossum faces a righthanded hitter at that point? Here’s a crazy idea: how about allowing Fossum to face a righty as training to be a “crossover” pitcher?
Quick quiz on baseball fundamentals: it’s the sixth inning, your team is down by four. What do you do with the first pitch thrown to you, no matter where it is? If you said “take the pitch”, congratulations, you know simple baseball! If you said, “swing away and pop up weakly to the third baseman”, congratulations, you play centerfield for the New York Mets and make over a hundred million dollars!
We can’t get too hard on Beltran, though, since he did collect three hits and drive in one of the Mets’ runs.
Danny Murphy drove in a run and allowed none, improving his plus/minus tally.
In the ninth inning, down by two with a runner on second and two outs, Jerry Manuel sent up Gary Sheffield instead of Jeremy Reed to hit for Ramon Castro against RHP Ryan Franklin. Why? No one is sure.
Regarding Maine in this contest, Manuel said he “… had control but not command …” Uh, OK.
Next Mets Game
The series finale is an afternoon affair beginning at 1:40 PM EST in St. Louis. Livan Hernandez faces Kyle Lohse in an attempt to avoid a sweep.