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Mets vs. Cardinals Recap: A series of unfortunate events

Jon Niese allowed eight earned runs and the Mets lost a rough one to the Cardinals.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets pitched terribly and managed only five hits. Logic dictates that such a performance does not lead to a victory, and it certainly did not lead to one tonight for the Mets, as the Amazins lost 10-2 to the Cardinals.

After last night’s fourteen inning affair, the Cards wasted no time against Jon Niese, and the latter was more than willing to help them get on the board. To put it in perspective: the Mets' starter threw 68 pitches through the first four innings. (To be fair, approximately 42 of those came on a Yadier Molina’s first at-bat of the game.)  Over that span, the Redbirds scored exactly one run in every inning.

The first came after Peter Bourjos led off the game with a single through the left side of the infield and was then driven in by a Randal Grichuk double that was badly misplayed by Michael Cuddyer. The Cardinals scored again in the second on a perfectly executed safety squeeze by Michael Wacha. The most curious of these early runs occurred in the third, when Grichuk tripled on a drive that—bizarrely—Juan Lagares’ failed to handle. He then scored on a Jhonny Peralta blooper that put the Cardinals up 3-0. In the next inning, perhaps not wanting to risk his fielders making a play, Niese allowed a leadoff homer to Mark Reynolds to give the away team their now seemingly-obligatory one run and put the Cardinals up 4-0.

After that, in the home half of the fourth, the Mets managed to get back in the game. After Wacha walked Cuddyer to lead off the inning, Daniel Murphy essentially hit a pop-up that kept travelling, and travelling, and travelling, until it finally landed just over the right field fence to cut the Cards lead in half. It was the kind of play that always goes against the Mets, and the wonder of it all was aptly reflected in the grin plastered on Murph’s face as he rounded the bases and made his way into the dugout.

Niese had a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth, and one hoped that the Mets’ lefty had turned the page and could at least keep the Cardinals at four runs. Indeed, after throwing a lot of pitches through the first four innings, it looked as if Niese might spell the bullpen after all if he could get through the sixth.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. Instead, Niese failed to record an out, allowed a bases-loaded double to Kolten Wong that put the Cards up 6-2, and was removed from the game with runners on second and third in favor of Erik Goeddel. The latter got Pete Kozma to strike out, but Wacha came up and bunted in hopes of executing his second safety squeeze of the game. Instead, he reached base safely as neither Murph nor Lucas Duda felt inclined to cover first on the play. This brought up Bourjos, who singled to make the score 7-2. Then Grichuk doubled to make the score 9-2.  Finally, Matt Holiday made the second out of the inning when he hit a sacrifice fly to Curtis Granderson that made the score 10-2. The devastation did eventually stop, but by that time, the Cardinals had batted around and put the game well out of reach for the Mets.

Those looking for something positive from tonight’s massacre should know that Darrell Ceciliani, pinch hitting in the seventh inning, singled in his first major league at-bat. Congratulations to him, but other than that, let’s just forget this one ever happened.

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Win Probability Added

Mets vs. Cardinals

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Big winners: Daniel Murphy, +9.0% WPA; Michael Cuddyer, +5.0% WPA
Big losers: Jon Niese, -39.0% WPA; Curtis Granderson, -8.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy homer, bottom of the fourth
Teh sux0rest play: Randal Grichuk double, top of the first
Total pitcher WPA: -41.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: -9.0% WPA
GWRBI!: Jhonny Peralta single, top of the third