The Mets entered Wednesday afternoon’s contest in St. Louis with all sorts of momentum on their side. An MLB-best 14-5, and victors in their first six series of the season for the first time in franchise history, the team entered the game with a chance to sweep the Cardinals.
While Carlos Carrasco’s first inning woes reappeared, as with two outs and none on Tyler O’Neill reached on a very dubious error charged to Francisco Lindor and the following two batters singled to plate the run to give St. Louis an early 1-0 lead—things seemed bright for the Mets early as they answered right back in the top of the second against old friend Steven Matz.
After Pete Alonso roped a single to right and Eduardo Escobar dunked one into left, Matz retired Mark Canha and J.D. Davis, seemingly poised to escape the jam. However, Matz was unable to snare a grounder by Luis Guillorme that went for an infield single, loading the bases. In a scene a bit familiar to Mets fans, Matz seemed to become a bit unglued, serving up a two-run double on his next pitch to struggling Tomas Nido. When Brandon Nimmo followed with two run double of this own, the Mets were out to a 4-1 lead and hopes of a sweep seemed promising.
Unfortunately, Carrasco did not have it this evening, looking more like his 2021 self than his promising early season run this season. In the bottom of the third, the Cardinals grouped three singles—capped by a two-run opposite field hit by Nolan Arenado—to cut their deficit to 4-3.
It all unraveled in the bottom of the fourth, as Carrasco surrendered a pair of doubles and a wild pitch to tie the score. The Mets walked Arenado to load the bases, but a Carrasco wild pitch put the Cardinals ahead to stay, and a Dylan Carlson triple off of Sean Reid-Foley would cap the 5 run fourth for St. Louis to give them a daunting 8-4 lead.
Matz would only go the four innings and not qualify for the win against his former team, and the Cardinals bullpen—helped a bit by the Mets running into two outs on the bases in the sixth—kept the Mets from getting any closer than 4 runs the rest of the way as the teams exchanged single runs from the bottom of the sixth to the top of the eighth.
The game was not devoid of drama in the late innings though, as J. D. Davis was drilled in the ankle in the top of the eighth inning—the 19th Met to be hit by a pitch on the young season—causing him to leave the game. With Gary Cohen noting that things were likely to get ugly the rest of the way, the Mets sent out newcomer Yoan Lopez, who came in high and tight to Arenado, prompting a bench clearing brawl between the two teams.
Despite the disappointing defeat, the Mets will return home 14-6 and comfortably in first place in the N.L. East. The team is off to an incredible start, and anyone who might have forgotten remembers how much they should hate the Cardinals—perhaps it really is like the 1980s in Mets-land all over again.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Tomas Nido, +20.7 WPA
Big Mets loser: Carlos Carrasco, -59.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: -71.9% WPA
Mets hitters: +21.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Tomas Nido’s two-run double in the top of the second, +21.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Tommy Edman’s RBI double in the bottom of the fourth, -19.7% WPA