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Mets vs. Cardinals Recap: Matz, Mets’ defense meltdown in blowout loss to Cards

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Three errors in the third and fourth innings helped bury the Mets in St. Louis.

MLB: New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Matz set down the first six batters he faced in the game, then led off the top of the third with a single. Matz got forced on a Michael Conforto groundout, but the hit helped lead to the first run of the game when Jay Bruce singled to plate Conforto and give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Jedd Gyorko lined out to lead off the bottom of the third. From there, Matz would endure a stretch that would see 10 of the next 13 batters reach base, as the wheels came off quickly in this one.

LOSE, 9-1

The snowball started rolling innocently enough in the bottom of the third, as Kolten Wong reached on an infield single. Michael Wacha’s ensuing sacrifice bunt was thrown away by Matz, putting runners on second and third. The Cardinals cashed in on a Dexter Fowler sacrifice fly and a Marcell Ozuna two-run single to take a 3-1 lead going into the fourth.

After Wacha (now 5-2 against the Mets in his career) quickly set down the Mets in the top of the fourth, Matz endured an even uglier bottom of the fourth that essentially put the game away. Paul DeJong led off the bottom of the frame with yet another extra-base hit against the Mets—this time a double—followed in short order by the bad deja vu of another Wong infield single and another error on a Wacha bunt attempt.

A hit by pitch and a bases loaded walk ended Matz’s night with the score 5-1 and the bases loaded. Corey Oswalt came in to relieve Matz and make his major league debut in that challenging spot. Two inherited runners scored on a fielder’s choice and a Todd Frazier error, leaving the Mets in a gaping 7-1 hole from which they would never recover.

Gyorko launched a home run off of Oswalt in the fifth to provide the final margin, but the rookie settled down thereafter and went the rest of the way, soaking up the final 4.2 innings of the game and providing the Mets’ bullpen with a needed rest.

The Mets have now dropped six of their last 10 games, and will look to put the blowout behind them and take their first series since April 13-15 vs. the Brewers as Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Martinez meet up in an Opening Day rematch tomorrow afternoon at Busch.

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Win Probability Added

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Jay Bruce, +10.6% WPA
Big losers: Steven Matz, -35.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jay Bruce’s RBI single in the top of the third inning, +12.2%
Teh sux0rest play: Marcell Ozuna two-run single in the bottom of the third, -19.5%
Total pitcher WPA: 39.1% WPA-
Total batter WPA: 10.9% WPA-
GWRBI!: Marcell Ozuna