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Mets survive in St. Louis by the skin of their teeth

Quintana’s quality start lifted the Mets to a win in the series opener.

New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals Photo by Joe Puetz/Getty Images

The Mets headed to St. Louis on the high of a series victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates. They looked at the start of a series against the Cardinals, the only team in the National League Central comparable to, if not worse than the Pirates. For the kick off, José Quintana was on the mound, spelling the possibility of success. But Adam Wainwright, a noted Mets enemy, was pitching for the Cardinals, so anything could happen.

The first third of the game was quiet for both teams. While Wainwright allowed a few baserunners, nothing came of it, and Quintana locked down the Cardinals offense, not allowing anyone to reach base. But in the top of fourth inning, a Jeff McNeil double allowed for a Pete Alonso two-run home run, putting runs on the board for the Mets. In the bottom of the inning, the Cardinals almost challenged the Mets, loading the bases with two outs. But Tyler O’Neill committed a baserunning gaffe, and Paul Goldschmidt jogged into home and eliminated the ability of a timing play, leaving the Cardinals scoreless.

In the top of the fifth, the Mets added on, courtesy of Francisco Lindor’s RBI double, ballooning the Mets’ lead to three runs. Things quieted for both sides until the bottom of the seventh inning, when Tyler O’Neill took Quintana deep, trimming the lead to two runs. A walk and a single put runners on the corners with no outs and drove Quintana from the game. Drew Smith came in, and got a sacrifice fly for the first out, trimming the lead to a skinny one run. Despite some trouble, Smith got out of the inning with the lead intact.

All was quiet until the top of the ninth, when Tim Locastro, brought in for DJ Stewart, hit the first pitch he saw to dead center for a home run. The Mets went down in order after that, but Locastro added a little more breathing room for the final three outs of the game. Trevor Gott was brought in to close the game, and despite running into some trouble, he got out of it, winning the game.

The Mets took the first game of a series, great for fans watching but bad for their draft lottery potential. They’ve had worse games this year, and a win is a win. Two more in St. Louis, against a team just as bad if not worse than the Mets are. Onwards and probably not upwards.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +19.3% WPA
Big Mets loser: Francisco Alvarez, -5.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: +39.8% WPA
Mets hitters: +10.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso’s fourth inning two-run home run, +20.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Andrew Knizner’s single to left in the seventh, -15.9% WPA