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Mets, Cardinals looking to settle score in four-game series

There was some bad blood between these two sides when they met in April.

New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Mets (23-13) conclude their homestand with a four-game set against the Cardinals (19-15). Things got heated the last time these two teams faced off, with benches clearing at one point in the matinee finale after Yoan Lopez threw up and in to Nolan Arenado following a J.D. Davis hit by pitch. The Mets escaped with two victories in that series against St. Louis.

The Mets lost their first series of the year against the Mariners over the weekend. On Friday, the Mets fell 2-1 in the series opener. They scored a run off the struggling Marco Gonzales in the first, and it looked like the offense would be off to the races. However, that’s the only run they would plate in the game, and Seattle pushed two against the Mets. They scored one off Max Scherzer, who was again terrific over seven strong innings, and another off Drew Smith—the first run he’s allowed all season—to secure the victory.

The Mets won a wet and wild game on Saturday night on Pete Alonso Polar Bear Bobblehead night. Following an hour-plus rain delay, the Mets jumped out to a four run lead thanks to a run-scoring hit from Francisco Lindor in the first, sac flies from Lindor and Alonso in the third, and an Alonso run-scoring double in the fifth. The Mariners got one back in the sixth on a two-out single Steven Souza Jr. off Chris Bassitt, and then tied it up in the sixth on frenemy Jesse Winker’s three-run homer. However, it was Patrick Mazeika, who had struggled all night behind the plate, who delivered with the go-ahead, game-winning home run on the first pitch he saw to lead off the seventh inning. In his first time facing the team that traded him away, Edwin Díaz struck out the side.

On Sunday, the Mets battled back furiously but fell short in an 8-7 loss. Lindor homered in the first inning to give the Mets an early lead, but Seattle battled back to build a 4-1 lead against Carlos Carrasco. The Mets bounced back with a four-spot in the fourth on two-run triples from J.D. Davis and Brandon Nimmo. Seattle ended up grabbing the lead back and ended up with an 8-5 lead heading into the ninth. The Mets, who had 13 straight batters retired, ended that string with a one-out triple from Eduardo Escobar, and they ended up with four straight hits to make it 8-7 with runners on second and third. Seattle went Drew Steckenrider with Diego Castillo, and he struck out Starling Marte, intentionally walked Lindor, and struck out Alonso on a slider in the dirt to secure the victory for Seattle.

The Mets have had a rough go of it offensively this month, especially Eduardo Escobar. The infielder broke a 1-for-31 with his ninth inning triple yestreday but, overall, he has hit .128/.196/.191 with a 21 wRC+ and a -0.3 fWAR in 12 games this month. Lindor has also scuffled at the plate, posting a .151/.230/.283 slash line with two home runs, a 50 wRC+, and a -0.1 fWAR in a 14 games this month. In 10 games in May, Dominic Smith is hitting .192/.192/.269 with a 34 wRC+ and a -0.1 fWAR. On the positive side, Pete Alonso has crushed four homers this month while hitting .302/.383/.585 with a 172 wRC+ and a 0.6 fWAR in 14 games.

The Cardinals are coming off taking two out of three against the Giants. In the last game of that series, they put up 15 runs on Carlos Rodón and San Francisco’s bullpen. With the score 15-2, St. Louis let Albert Pujols, who had never gotten the opportunity to pitch before, take the big league mound for the first time. He ended up allowing four runs over his inning of work.

This will be the final time Mets villain Yadier Molina ever takes the field against the Mets at home, as the catcher is set to retire at year’s end. In his final season, Molina is hitting .253/.253/.373 with two homers, an 80 wRC+, and a 0.4 fWAR. In 95 games against the Mets in his career, Molina has slashed .310/.345/.400 with three homers, though people only really remember one specific homer that came in the postseason. This will also be Adam Wainwright’s last trip to New York to face the Mets, although he pitched in yesterday’s victory and will not line up to throw in this series.

The Mets will have bigger things to worry about than overcoming their past, however, as Nolan Arenado continues to position himself as an NL MVP favorite. The third baseman comes into the game tonight slashing .312/.374/.600 with a team-high eight home runs and 29 runs batted in. He has a team-leading 175 wRC+ and 2.3 fWAR as well. Paul Goldschmidt has also been great this year, hitting .312/.394/.496 with four home runs, a 158 wRC+, and a 1.2 fWAR in 33 games, giving St. Louis perhaps the best corner infield duo in baseball.

Monday, May 16: Miles Mikolas vs. Trevor Williams, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Mikolas (2022): 42.1 IP, 31 K, 8 BB, 2 HR, 1.49 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 0.95 WHIP, 1.6 bWAR

Mikolas continues to have an incredible bounce back year after only making nine starts for St. Louis in 2021 and after missing all of 2020 following surgery to repair a flexor tendon. As of today, the right-hander is third in the National League behind only Pablo Lopez and Zac Gallen in ERA. In each of his last six starts, he’s gone at least five innings and given up two earned runs or fewer. In his previous start against the Orioles, he went seven and allowed one earned run on four hits, with one walk and three strikeouts. He shut out the Mets over seven innings when he faced them earlier this season, though he settled for a no decision after New York’s ninth inning comeback.

Williams (2022): 11.0 IP, 9 K, 2 BB, 1 HR, 5.43 ERA, 3.19 FIP, 1.64 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR

Megill was originally scheduled to start on Monday, but he landed on the IL with bicep inflammation, so New York will go with Trevor Williams in his place. Williams has started one game for New York this year, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in two-plus innings against the Diamondbacks on April 23. The rest of his appearances this year have been in relief, although this will likely be another short stint and serve as a bullpen game.

Tuesday, May 17: Steven Matz vs. Taijuan Walker, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Matz (2022): 32.1 IP, 37 K, 8 BB, 6 HR, 6.40 ERA, 4.08 FIP, 1.52 WHIP, -0.7 bWAR

Matz responded after a brutal start in which he allowed eight earned runs in two innings of work against the Giants with a Quality Start against Baltimore. In his latest effort, he allowed three earned runs on seven hits over 6.2 innings. He struck out seven while not walking a batter, which is a positive sign. It’s the first time this year the former Met has thrown a pitch in the seventh inning. He faced New York earlier this year and allowed four earned runs on six hits in four innings. Since the Mets traded him away, he made one start at Citi Field as a member of the Blue Jays last year, and he allowed two earned runs on four hits over 5.2 innings in a loss.

Walker (2022): 18.0 IP, 8 K, 5 BB, 2 HR, 3.00 ERA, 4.51 FIP, 1.06 WHIP, 0.4 bWAR

Walker bounced back from a rough outing against the Phillies—it was his third consecutive start against Philadelphia to kick off the season—with a solid outing against Washington. He shut out the Nationals while scattering three hits and walking one over seven stellar innings. What made the outing even more impressive was that he was noticeably uncomfortable and potentially hurt for most of it, and he never quite looked right. However, he battled through that and was able to give the team seven strong as he picked up his first win of the year.

Wednesday, May 18: Jordan Hicks vs. Max Scherzer, 7:10 p.m. on SNY

Hicks (2022): 21.2 IP, 21 K, 12 BB, 2 HR, 4.15 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 1.15 WHIP, 0.1 bWAR

The Hicks-to-starter transition hasn’t been all smooth, but it has started getting better after a rough beginning to the season. The closer-turned-starter went a season-best five innings and tossed a season-high 77 pitches his last time out against the Giants, though he absorbed his third loss of the year. The fireballer allowed three earned runs on three hits, with three strikeouts and two walks over his five innings. He faced the Mets earlier in the year and lasted just two innings, though he was on a much lower pitch count then. In that outing, he was charged with two earned runs on two hits, with one strikeout and two walks.

Scherzer (2022): 44.0 IP, 55 K, 11 BB, 5 HR, 2.66 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 0.91 WHIP, 1.4 bWAR

Scherzer got a little bit of the Jacob deGrom treatment his last time out, as he pitched seven terrific innings but came out of it with a no decision in a game the Mets would ultimately lose. Scherzer was charged with one earned run on three hits, and he walked two and struck out six in the outing. Uncharacteristically, he also hit two batters in the game. Still, he looked great and gave the Mets everything they needed, but the offense just couldn’t give him any run support. Earlier this year, he shut out St. Louis over seven two-hit innings while striking out ten and walking one.

Thursday, May 19: Dakota Hudson vs. Chris Bassitt, 1:10 p.m. on SNY

Hudson (2022): 35.1 IP, 20 K, 17 BB, 4 HR, 3.06 ERA, 5.07 FIP, 1.33 WHIP, 0.6 bWAR

Hudson earned his third victory of 2022 against the Giants after tossing five shutout innings. In that outing, he scattered five hits, walked two, and struck out two. It was a nice rebound for the right-hander, who faced the same San Francisco squad in his previous start and allowed three earned runs on five hits while walking a season-high four over 4.2 innings. That start was notable because Hudson did not strike out a single batter.

Bassitt (2022): 42.1 IP, 46 K, 12 BB, 4 HR, 2.34 ERA, 3.38 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, 1.4 bWAR

Bassitt’s line against Seattle was nearly identical to his outing against Philadelphia from earlier this May. In both instances, he allowed one earned run and fell one out short of completing six innings. Against the Mariners, he gave up five hits, struck out eight, and matched a season high by walking three batters. He tossed a season-high 108 pitches, as Buck Showalter left him in to try and finish up the sixth, though he could not do it. Still, it was another in a long line of effective starts for the right-hander as he continues to establish himself as a solid second starter behind Scherzer in the absence of deGrom.

Prediction: The Mets and Cardinals split four games.

Poll

How will the Mets fare in their four game series against the Cardinals?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    The Mets come out on top in a four-game sweep!
    (7 votes)
  • 23%
    The Mets take three out of four from the redbirds!
    (31 votes)
  • 55%
    The Mets and Cardinals split their four games.
    (74 votes)
  • 8%
    The Mets take one but drop three to St. Louis.
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    The Cardinals get the last laugh as they sweep New York.
    (1 vote)
  • 7%
    Pizza!
    (10 votes)
134 votes total Vote Now