The Mets were home today at Tradition Field to face the St. Louis Cardinals and Daisuke Matsuzaka was on the mound to face Red Birds pitcher Shelby Miller. Behind a strong pitching performance from Dice-K and timely hitting, the Mets defeated the Cardinals 5-3 and improved their Grapefruit League record to 14-11.
The Mets once again went with the pitcher batting eighth and this time, Ruben Tejada batting ninth.
Dice K, who is competing with Jenrry Mejia for the fifth and final spot on the Mets starting rotation, earned the victory by tossing six strong innings, giving up one earned run, on three hits, allowing three walks and struck out five. After today’s performance, he surely deserves the starting nod.
Jose Valverde pitched the ninth and earned his first save of the spring as a Met and only allowed a hit and struck out a batter.
Daniel Murphy, who went 2 for 3, with a run scored, got the Mets on the board in the bottom of the third inning, with a ground ball past the first base bag and into the right field corner for a double, scoring Ruben Tejada (0 for 2, R, BB) and and lead-off hitter Eric Young, Jr. (1 for 3, R), who also singled in the inning.
Chris Young continued his hot spring hitting and was 1 for 1, with two walks and now has a .362 batting average.
Travis d’Arnaud had an RBI single in the sixth inning to put the Mets up 4-0. He finished the day, 1 for 3, with an RBI.
The Mets travel on Tuesday to Viera, Fl to play the Washington Nationals at Space Coast Stadium, with the first pitch at 1:05 pm.