<
>

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Cardinals 2

4/23/2014

NEW YORK -- The wind was blowing. The temperature was falling.

The conditions were perfect Wednesday night at Citi Field. Perfect for a perfectly weird game of baseball, which is exactly what the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals provided.

The Mets deserve credit for winning it, 3-2, holding on in the ninth, only because they threw Matt Carpenter out at the plate on a Daniel Descalso double. Jonathon Niese deserves credit for making it through 6 2/3 innings on a night when pitching couldn't have been that much easier than hitting.

Kyle Farnsworth? He gets credit for his second save, but it wasn't pretty.

Niese allowed just one run on six hits for his first win of the season, and even the run was somewhat tainted. The Mets failed to turn what would have been an inning-ending double play in the first inning, and Yadier Molina followed with a run-scoring double.

The Mets struck out 10 times in the first four innings against Michael Wacha but also scored a pair of runs to take the lead in the fourth. Lucas Duda homered off Seth Maness in the sixth.

From there, the Mets had to survive an eighth-inning mess, with Scott Rice coming out of the bullpen to get Matt Adams to fly out and strand the tying runs at second and third.

Wacha's wacky night: Wacha became the first Cardinals starter ever to record his first nine outs on strikeouts -- and the first pitcher from any team to do it against the Mets. But Wacha also walked five, which is why he was gone from the game after just four innings (and 93 pitches).

Wacha became just the third pitcher in major league history to strike out 10 in a game in which he recorded no more than 12 outs. Strangely, the first time it happened was last September (Felix Hernandez against the Angels), and the other two times were both this season (Danny Salazar of the Indians against the White Sox was the other).

Granderson hits: The Mets' only hit in the first three innings came from Curtis Granderson. Of course it did.

Granderson's single through the right side of the infield ended his string of hitless at-bats at a career-high 22.

Duda homers: The Mets had gone a full week without a home run when Duda connected in the sixth. They'd gone 18 days without a home run at Citi Field.

The last Mets home homer before Duda? That would be the Ike Davis' walk-off grand slam against the Reds on April 5.

A (not-so) beautiful night for a ballgame: Wacha was standing on the mound in the second inning Wednesday when his cap suddenly flew off his head and carried to second base, where Mark Ellis made a play on it. Yes, Citi Field looked a little bit like old Candlestick Park, with hot dog wrappers blown all over the outfield. Game time temperature was announced at 51 degrees, with winds at 31 mph, gusting to 41 mph. Not surprisingly, the crowd was one of the smallest of the season so far.

What's next: The Mets and Cardinals complete the four-game series with a 1:10 p.m. game on Thursday. Bartolo Colon (1-3, 5.40) starts for the Mets. Lance Lynn (4-0, 3.42), tied for the National League lead in wins, starts for the Cardinals.