Cardinals 6 Mets 4
Memories of 2008 refuse to fade.
Once again, the Mets scored early, then stopped scoring. Once again, they helped beat themselves with poor fundamentals and inattention to detail. Once again, a certain lefthander remains an enigma.
Oliver Perez shut out the Cardinals through four frames, then fell apart in the fifth, and the Mets never recovered.
Perez was handed a 4-0 lead thanks to RBI hits by Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Danny Murphy, and David Wright, but gave it all back in the fifth inning, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks. Casey Fossum actually walked in the fourth run, which was charged to Perez.
Though they manhandled starter Todd Wellemeyer, the Mets didn’t collect a hit after the sixth against the St. Louis bullpen, and the score remained tied four-all until the bottom of the eighth. Brendan Ryan greeted reliever J.J. Putz with a line drive to left field that was misjudged by Danny Murphy, who fell flat on his back as the ball soared to the wall. Ryan eventually landed on third with a triple (though it probably should have been scored a three-base error), and was chased home on a double by Rick Ankiel. Ankiel took third on a fly ball by Albert Pujols and scored on a sac fly by Ryan Ludwick.
Carlos Beltran nearly scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 8th. Standing on second base with one out, Beltran tagged up and ran for third on a fly ball by Ramon Castro. Third baseman Joe Thurston tried to quickly catch the ball and slap the tag on Beltran, but in the process the ball flew toward the pitcher’s mound. Beltran alertly raced for home, and would have scored had he (a) slid; (b) barreled over Yadier Molina; or (c) not slowed down within the last 5-10 feet of the plate. Unfortunately, Beltran wasted a great head’s up, hustling effort by slowing down and standing up, and in a bang-bang play, Molina tagged him out as Beltran stepped on Molina’s foot instead of the plate.
Iona alum Jason Motte was credited with the win. He threw one pitch that resulted in two outs thanks to Beltran’s aggressive running.
Gary Sheffield ripped what should have been a single up the middle as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, but second baseman Brendan Ryan was positioned directly behind the bag and handled the sizzler easily.
It wasn’t a good night for Murphy, who in addition to the misplayed liner in the fateful 8th, also was picked off first by Yadier Molina and tagged out at home when he (also) failed to slide on a play at the plate.
Ankiel’s mustache is ridiculous. He reminds me of a player (pick one) from the early 80s. Jerry Martin? Mike Vail?
Next Mets Game
Mets try again at 8:15 PM in St. Louis tomorrow night. John Maine goes against Joel Pineiro. The game will be carried on TV by ESPN and also broadcast on WFAN and XM 187.