Monday was every bit the pitcher’s duel fans expected it to be, as Max Scherzer and Miles Mikolas were each on top of their game. Both starters tossed seven shutout innings before giving way to the bullpen, and that’s when the game got interesting. After Génesis Cabrera was perfect in the top half of the eighth, Trevor May was far from it in the bottom of the inning, and it looked like the Mets were well on their way to dropping the series opener 2-0 to the Cardinals. Then the ninth inning happened, and the Mets escaped with a wild come-from-behind victory.
The Mets didn’t get much going early on, scattering four hits through seven against Mikolas. Pete Alonso was responsible for two of those hits, while Jeff McNeil and Eduardo Escobar contributed the other two. For the Mets, Scherzer was about as good as he was his last time out, striking out ten while surrendering just two singles to the red-hot Paul Goldschmidt over his seven frames.
In the eighth, May gave up hits to Yadier Molina and Harrison Bader before a ground ball that deflected off his glove advanced the runners to second and third. He unintentionally walked Goldschmidt before Tyler O’Neill broke the ice with a two-run single. He recovered to strike out Nolan Arenado and get Corey Dickerson out on a fly out and keep it a two-run ballgame.
In the ninth, Escobar singled with one out against Giovanny Gallegos, which kicked off the improbable comeback. Robinson Canó flew out to left, which put New York one out away from a loss. Mark Canha then hit a grounder to the sure-handed Nolan Arenado at third, but the nine-time Gold Glover threw the ball away to bring a run in and put the tying run on base. McNeil ripped a double down the right field line, putting runners on second and third. Dominic Smith was called upon to pinch hit for Tomás Nido, and he ripped a grounder to Goldschmidt, who made a nice diving stop. Smith, however, beat it out on a slide into first, and both Jankowski and McNeil came around to score. T.J. McFarland relieved the Cardinals closer and surrendered a two-run homer to Brandon Nimmo.
Phew. Edwin Díaz pitched a mercifully uneventful ninth to secure the win for the Mets.
Full recap to follow.