Johan, Mets, topple NL Central-leading Cardinals
Hello and welcome back to my blog. What a crazy few weeks it has been with me – I have left my job, emmigrated to New York to be with my wife-to-be Lisa and I have had to try and help plan a wedding from England.
That’s like three crazy things which are hard enough on their own, let alone trying to do them all at once!
So, that is the reason for my absense. I will have a proper update about what’s been going on with me tomorrow. For now, here’s a quick note about today’s Mets-Cards game.
IT was billed as a pitching duel between two of the modern
day greats and it did not fail to live up to the expectations as the New York
Mets edged the St Louis Cardinals 3-2 to take the series at
Shea Stadium Citi Field.
Just one day after ripping the Cardinals for 11 runs on 16
hits, Johan Santana and the Mets came up against a much stiffer opponent in
The Mets have given Santana just 3.1 runs of support this
season, the third worst in the majors, but it was three important runs which
proved just enough to give the Mets their first series win in three weeks.
While Santana, who entered the game with an 8-5 record and
3.22 ERA, struggled with his command early on, Carp came out of the gates
flying, showing the Queens faithful why he is 5-1 so far this year.
Carp – who receives an equally dire 3.2 runs of support
during his starts – was backed by a rare 1st inning run off of
Santana, but the Mets plated a trio of runs in the 4th inning to
give them the lead they would not surrender.
Santana, who had allowed just two 1st-inning runs
in his 13 previous starts coming in to today’s game, fell behind 1-0 on the
strength of two hits and a catcher’s interference.
Skip Schumacher scored from second base on Yadier Molina’s
RBI single to center field after Rick Ankiel was waved to first on catcher Omir
Carpenter started well and never eased up, gaining the upper
hand on his Cy Young counterpart until the Mets finally broke through in the 4th
Carp didn’t allow a hit through the first three innings of
work and he threw just five balls compared to 27 strikes as he moved the Mets
down one after another.
But things were about to change thanks to some timely
hitting and a little bit of good fortune as the Mets rallied half way through
Luis Castillo singled and David Wright reached on an infield
single when his hard-hit ball up the middle rebounded off of the pitcher’s
glove and away from Joe Thurston.
Ryan Church grounded into a broken bat fielder’s choice to
Golden Glove Albert Pujols but Fernando Tatis singled to right field to draw
the Mets level.
Fernando Martinez advanced the runners to second and third
on a grounder to the left side of the infield and Nick Evans laced a two-run
double the other way to right field to give the Mets a 3-1 lead.
Thurston brought the Cardinals to within one run in the 6th
inning when his two-out RBI single to center field scored Rick Ankiel.
Santana pitched through the 7th inning despite a
rocky start to the game, finishing with seven hits, three walks and three
strikeouts, giving up two runs – one earned.
Pedro Feliciano pitched around a leadoff single to preserve
the lead in the 8th inning
That returned the momentum to the Mets who loaded the bases in
the bottom of the frame but failed to add to their slim advantage.
Denny Reyes, who came in
relief of the fantastic Carpenter, gave a lead off single to Daniel
Murphy and followed it two batters later with a walk to Luis Castillo.
McClellan replaced Reyes
but walked David Wright and leftie Trever Miller then came in to strikeout Ryan
Church with the bases loaded.
Jason Motte, the fourth Red Birds pitcher of the inning,
completed St Louis’ escapology act by getting Tatis to pop up to end the
Francisco Rodriguez then recorded his lead-tying 20th
save of the season, despite back-to-back two-out walks to Pujols and Ludwick,
earning Santana his NL lead-tying ninth win of the year.