The Mets lost a bit of a weird one in St. Louis on Friday night. Generally speaking, things weren't weird. Their starting pitcher, Noah Syndergaard in this case, was very good, allowing just two runs in seven innings. Their lineup struggled, doing virtually nothing after Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run until the ninth inning. Alex Torres walked a guy.
That's all par for the course. Still up 1-0 in the sixth, Syndergaard gave up a couple of runs, the first of which was one of those that makes you grind your teeth a bit. Kolten Wong started the inning with the bloopiest of bloop singles to center field. He stole second, and Kevin Plawecki's poor throw couldn't be handled by shortstop Ruben Tejada or second baseman Wilmer Flores, who was backing him up, and went through to center field. Even a 100 percent Juan Lagares throwing arm couldn't have retired him at third base. Matt Carpenter then grounded out to first baseman Lucas Duda, who had no real choice but to take the out at first as Wong scored to tie the game.
Two batters later, Syndergaard gave up a home run that just cleared the wall—and Kirk Nieuwenhuis's glove as he attempted to rob it—to put the Cardinals ahead by one. Syndergaard then gave up a triple to Jason Heyward on a ball that Lagares did not catch, but it was one that he might have caught when things his defense was running on all cylinders last year.
That didn't end up hurting Syndergaard or the Mets, as Yadier Molina struck out swinging to end the inning. Syndergaard threw the seventh without any issue, and in total, he struck out six, walked just one, gave up the two aforementioned runs, and needed just 96 pitches to do it. He has a 3.05 ERA on the season and is one of the brightest spots on the team right now.
The Mets' bullpen took over in the eighth, with Sean Gilmartin, Hansel Robles, and Alex Torres pitching one-third of an inning each. Gilmartin gave up a single to Wong to start things, then got an out before he was pulled. Robles served up a double to Peter Bourjos before getting an out. And Torres came in and unsurprisingly walked the first man he faced, but he, too, got an out to keep the Mets down by two.
Trevor Rosenthal's arm wasn't feeling good enough to participate in the All-Star Game the other night, and the Mets, thanks in part to poor defense by the Cardinals, nearly got to him. Lucas Duda singled, and Kevin Plawecki did, too, though the latter was the result of poor pop-up play by the Cardinals and was one of those plays that never gets called an error but totally should. Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out for the second out, both runners advanced on a wild pitch after that, and Duda scored on an infield single by Ruben Tejada.
But John Mayberry Jr. was sent up to pinch hit. John Mayberry Jr. isn't very good against right-handed pitching. And John Mayberry Jr. struck out swinging.
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Fangraphs' WPA stuff seems to be down. The graph would probably look something like this: