The drops from the sky were only the second most deflating thing to rain on the Mets’ parade as they enter Friday night locked up in a 4-4 tie with the St. Louis Cardinals. Entering the ninth with a two-run lead, a ton of water and a bit of bad luck came together to bring two redbird runs home just before the game was officially suspended.
Before the rain and the tears of heartbroken fans drenched the stadium, this game was actually a pretty solid start for Jacob deGrom. Working off of a few deGrom-level starts in a row, he did what was expected of him over seven solid innings of work. On six scattered hits, the Cardinals managed to bring home two runs and strike out eight times against the Mets’ ace.
For the first two innings of this game, Jack Flaherty and Jacob deGrom had dueling no-hitters working, but that all changed as the top of the third rolled around. With one out in the inning, eventual villain Harrison Bader doubled and stole third to bring himself within 90 feet of scoring with two outs to play with. Flaherty struck out swinging, but to the chagrin of Jacob deGrom, Matt Carpenter beat the shift with an infield single and brought the run home to make it a 1-0 ballgame.
That’s the bad news of the third inning. The good news is that the Mets quickly responded in their half of the third. With two outs up on the board, Jeff McNeil laced a single to right to give Michael Conforto a chance to do something big. Luckily for us, that’s just what he did as Flaherty’s fastball found its way over the wall in right center field, giving the Mets a 2-1 advantage.
Following the action-packed third, it wasn’t until the sixth inning that deGrom and Flaherty began to crack again. Noted Mets killer Paul DeJong sent the eighth pitch he saw against deGrom in the sixth inning over the wall in center field to bring things even again. Much like the last time, the Mets were surprisingly efficient in giving their ace the lead he deserves. Pete Alonso swatted a one-out double that lodged itself under the tarp and Dominic Smith sent a single to center field to bring Alonso home and put the Mets right back on top. But wait, there’s more! After Smith’s single, Todd Frazier cashed in on one of his own and Wilson Ramos was walked to load the bases with Amed Rosario coming up.
In an odd series of events, Rosario sent a ball deep to center as Bader ran it down and threw it back towards home as another run scored on the sacrifice fly. With most of the left side of the infield barren, Todd Frazier did his best to scoot over to third base, but a pair of good throws and a good tag was able to cut the Little League World Series hero down and end the inning without any further damage.
With deGrom out of the game, Seth Lugo did his job in the eighth inning and it was up to Edwin Diaz to close things out before the dark clouds engulfed Citi Field. As the rain poured, the umpires called out the groundscrew to put the tarp on the field. With the rain slowing a bit and the protests of Pete Alonso grabbing their attention, the umpires decided against the tarp and instead ordered the crew to clean up the field and let the boys play. Nine minutes after coming on the field, Edwin Diaz was finally able to pitch. With each passing pitch, it became more apparent that Alonso probably shouldn’t have protested. Marcell Ozuna walked to start the inning and he moved over to second on a fielder’s choice with Yadier Molina coming up. Despite what the decade-old nightmares would have you believe, Molina struck out against Diaz and brought the Cardinals within one out of defeat. Of course, that would never happen.
Kolten Wong laced a single off the fence in left field to make it a 4-3 game and left it up to Harrison Bader to get him home from first. Naturally, Bader ripped a single down the left field line, bringing home Wong and tying the game at four runs apiece. On a minor bright side, Bader slipped and fell in the squishy-squoshy path from second to third base, leaving himself open to be tagged out and end the ninth inning. For tonight, that would be the end of the game as the umpires called for a second rain delay, and this time the tarp came on for good.
The Mets and Cardinals will pick this game up tomorrow night at 6:10 just as it was left with Todd Frazier at the plate and Andrew Miller on the mound in the bottom of the ninth.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
*As of the top of the ninth inning
Big winners: Michael Conforto +21.3% WPA, Dominic Smith +11.3%
Big losers: Edwin Diaz -31.7%
Total pitcher WPA: -17.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +29.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto’s third inning home run, +26.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Harrison Bader’s game-tying single, -30.8% WPA