It was a fun, wild night of baseball on Wednesday

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In case you missed it, know that Wednesday was a wild, tight, fun baseball game to watch on SNY.

It started with the wind, which was clocked around 35 mph. It was blowing debris all over the field, which, though I’m sure it was terrible to play in, looked ridiculous on TV. The wind was so strong it actually knocked Travis d’Arnaud over behind home plate, he told reporters after the game. Cardinals starter Michael Wacha had his hat literally blown off his head.

The wind had a direct impact in the ninth inning. The Cardinals had two runners on, down two runs with one out. Daniel Descalso hit a ball off Kyle Farnsworth that drifted in to left-center field. Kirk Nieuwenhuis looked like he was being chased by a bee, while trying to track it down. The wind finally knocked the ball down, it bounced off the wall, Nieuwenhuis picked it up and threw to Ruben Tejada, who relayed the throw home.

Jon Jay already scored. Matt Carpenter rounded third. D’Arnaud got the throw from Tejada, Carpenter slid wide, d’Arnaud turned around and tagged Carpenter’s right side before he could touch home plate.


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“I still can’t believe I witnessed that,” d’Arnaud said after the game.

I appreciate perfect execution. It’s small, simple, we take it for granted, but given the conditions, it was great to see. They’re professionals. We expect them to know how and do their jobs. But, precision is precision, and I enjoy it every time.

Speaking of precision, earlier in the game, Wacha had nine strikeouts in three innings. He gave up a single, two walks and struck out everyone else. It was equal parts amazing and scary. However, in the fourth inning, for whatever reason, Wacha lost control. The Mets scored two runs to take the lead, both on bases loaded walks. He went from looking like someone on his way to a historic no hitter to being out of the game with 93 pitches in four innings.

The game wasn’t pretty. But, it didn’t have to be. Fun is fun.


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What’s on Tap: Colon faces Cardinals at 1:10 pm

The Mets (11-10) defeated the Cardinals (12-10) by the score of 3-2 on Wednesday night >> Read more at MetsBlog.com, MLB.com, ESPN, Newsday, New York Post and Daily News.


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The Mets close out their four-game set against the Cardinals on Thursday at Citi Field at 1:10 p.m.

Bartolo Colon (1-3, 5.40 ERA) gets the start for the Mets, opposed by Lance Lynn (4-0, 3.42 ERA) for the Cardinals.

The game will air on SNY, and can be heard on WOR 710 AM radio.

Later in the day, Rafael Montero will make his fifth start of the season for Triple-A Las Vegas.

Game Recap: Mets 3 – Cardinals 2

Despite managing just four hits during the game, the Mets (11-10) defeated the St. Louis Cardinals (12-10) by a score of 3-2 on a windy night at Citi Field. >> Read the full AP recap and box score at SNY.tv.



Need to Know: Matt Carpenter was thrown out at the plate during the ninth inning. The out, which was confirmed after review, kept the score at 3-2.

Jon Niese gave up one earned run on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts during 6 2/3 innings on the mound.

Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha had nine strikeouts through the first three innings. He was only the seventh player in history to accomplish the feat.

Wacha struggled in the fourth and walked both Ruben Tejada and Kirk Nieuwenhuis with the bases loaded to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Lucas Duda hit his fourth home run of the season to put the Mets up 3-1 in the sixth.

Curtis Granderson broke his 22 at-bat hitless streak with a single in the first. He went 1-for-3 on the night with one walk and one strikeout.


 What’s Next: The Mets will head into the final contest of a four-game series withe the Cardinals on Thursday as they send Bartolo Colon (1-3, 5.40 ERA) to the mound against Lance Lynn (4-0, 3.42 ERA) at 1:10 pm ET.

Tonight’s Game: Cardinals at Mets, 7 p.m. on SNY

The Mets and Cardinals play the third game of their series on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

The game will air on SNY and you can follow along with SNY GameDay.

Jon Niese starts for the Mets, while Michael Wacha pitches for St. Louis.

Mets Cardinals
1. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – CF 1. Matt Carpenter – 3B
2. Curtis Granderson – RF 2. Mark Ellis – 2B
3. David Wright – 3B 3. Matt Holliday – 3B
4. Daniel Murphy – 2B 4. Allen Craig – 1B
5. Chris Young – LF 5. Yadier Molina – C
6. Lucas Duda – 1B 6. Jhonny Peralta – SS
7. Travis d’Arnaud – C 7. Peter Bourjos – CF
8. Ruben Tejada – SS 8. Shane Robinson – RF
9. Jon Niese – 1B 9. Michael Wacha – RHP

Daisuke Matsuzaka

Daisuke Matsuzaka could be a closer

“Yes,” Terry Collins replied Wednesday when asked if Daisuke Matsuzaka has the ability to be a closer.

That said, Collins was clear to point out that Kyle Farnsworth is still his closer.

Matsuzaka tossed one scoreless inning in relief on Saturday, and three scoreless — and hitless — innings in relief on Sunday. He made only one relief appearance in the major leagues before this weekend.

Farnsworth was named closer in place of Jose Valverde this past weekend. Valverde had taken over for Bobby Parnell, who had Tommy John surgery earlier this season.

Mets RHP prospect Michael Fulmer has something to prove

“I feel like I have something to prove this year,” Mets RHP prospect Michael Fulmer said after his last start.


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The Mets selected Fulmer in the first round of the 2011 draft. He was ranked No. 10 among Mets prospects by MLB.com entering the 2013 season.

However, his 2013 was ruined by a torn meniscus suffered early in spring training. He eventually had surgery. The injury, and the lost development time, are forcing him to repeat the Florida State League this season.

Toby Hyde, Contributor

He admits the knee, and the thought of the knee, bothered him nearly all last year. To get ready for 2014, Fulmer, who turned 21 in March, emphasized stability training for his legs in addition to traditional strength work. The idea was that the balance would help him repeat his mechanics >> Read the rest of this story at Mets Minor League Blog.

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Bobby Abreu fits right in to the team’s approach to hitting

Bobby Abreu got his first at bat with Mets on Tuesday, flying out to left field as a pinch hitter.

Terry Collins said this week that he expects Abreu to see some time in the outfield, so he can stay sharp for pinch-hitting duty. Abreu added that he expects to mostly be a pinch hitter and maybe serve as DH during Interleague games.

This is Abreu’s 18th season in the big leagues, which he enters having a career .396 OBP, while striking out in just 18 percent of his nearly 10,000 plate appearances.

“He fits right into our approach,” Hitting Coach Dave Hudgens said, who managed Abreu during the winter-ball season in Venezuela (Newsday, Apr. 22). “He doesn’t go out of the strike zone very often. He tries to have a quality at-bat. I thought he’d be good off the bench. He’s so experienced.”

 

Opinion: It’s not just the Mets, though it certainly feels like it

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright pitched seven shutout innings against the Mets on Tuesday.

He dominated. It looked like he was using a laser pointer to slice up the edges of home plate. I don’t think any team could have hit him the way he was throwing. Nevertheless, I’m left feeling like the Mets are incapable of hitting any one, which is a feeling I’m way too used to at this point.

Thankfully, I’m not alone.

I listened to Dodgers, Cardinals, Mariners and Angels fans complain all morning on MLB Network Radio about their team’s lack of offense – and I’m pretty sure most Mets fans would switch place with those lineups any day of the week.


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“Sometimes you see this early in the year,” Cardinals 2B Mark Ellis said Monday about his team’s offense (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Apr. 22). “A lot of times when one or two guys are struggling, the whole lineup is struggling. There are too many good hitters in this room for it to keep going, for us not to hit.”

The Cardinals were shutout Monday by Jenrry Mejia.

“We’re going through an extended period of time without a lot of offense,” St. Louis manager Mike Methany said after the game. “We’re not looking to make moves to make moves. We’re just not clicking offensively. It will happen. I imagine it will happen more often than it won’t.”

This sounds familiar.

The Mets are not the Cardinals, in terms of potential at the plate. But, the Mets are better than what they’ve shown in April. Thankfully, the pitching has been very good and they’re 10-10 at a time when I expected worse. They’ll hit eventually, I hope. In the meantime, I’m glad to know I’m not alone in worrying about a lack of run production.


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Curtis Granderson whiffs

Granderson will keep playing, because it’s still April

Terry Collins has no intention of benching Curtis Granderson, who is hitless in a career-high 22 straight at bats.

“He hasn’t changed his demeanor at all, and that’s why I know he’s not letting it get to him,” Collins said after Tuesday’s loss to the Cardinals. “He’s going to battle his way through it. There’s a certain time, and you see it with a lot of guys, where after a while something is going to get slammed down. But he’s handled it great. … It’s April still. We’ve got to get him some at-bats and get him ready.”

Granderson is batting .116 through 80 plate appearances this season, during which he has struck out 30 percent of the time and hit just one home run.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Apr. 22: He’s been brutal, there is no way around it. He has shown zero power and is costing the team on all sides of the ball, including their wallet. … So far, he has a .163 batting average on balls in play, all while swinging at more pitches than he usually does, but making significantly less contact. Pitchers are barely throwing him strikes, yet he just keeps swinging >> Read more.