Fighting against a brutally windy night, Michael Wacha‘s fastball, and a frantic comeback in the 9th, the Mets found a way to scratch out three runs to beat the Cardinals 3-2. With the win, they improve their record to a respectable 11-10, and go for a series win tomorrow afternoon.
Michael Wacha pitched one of the strangest games you will ever see, and not just because the wind caught his cap and blew it off during the game. He recorded his first nine outs via the strikeout. It looked like the Mets boxscore would be as empty as the Citi Field seats tonight. Then, in the fourth inning, Wacha completely lost the strike zone. He walked three batters, two of which with the bases loaded, resulting in two runs. He would leave the game before the end of the fourth inning due to an inflated pitch count. Only the third pitcher in baseball history to pitch four or less innings with at least ten strikeouts.
For the Mets, once again, their starting pitching kept their meager offense in the game. Jon Niese pitched 6.2 innings, allowing only one run. It was then the bullpen’s turn to hold the lead and work out of some key jams. First, Carlos Torres allowed a double to Yadier Molina in the 8th to put the tying runs in scoring position with one out. He got Jhonny Peralta to pop out, before handing the ball to Scott Rice, who got Matt Adams to fly out, preserving the lead. Then in the 9th, things got scary. Facing Kyle Farnsworth in the closing role, the Cardinals put two batters on base with one out. Daniel Descalso promptly doubled in what looked like a game-tying hit, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis relayed the ball to Ruben Tejada, who threw a perfect strike to Travis d’Arnaud, who made a replay-confirming tag to get the tying run. Curtis Granderson would have to fight the wind to make the final out on a fly ball. And the Mets hung on to win.
Since MLB wants to take forever to release the video of the game-saving play at the plate, we will use Lucas Duda‘s eventual game-winning home run as the key gif tonight.
Niese threw a variety of pitches tonight for strikes. He struck out three and walked only two. A lot of balls went in play, which could have been unfavorable with the wind, but only six fell for hits.
As noted earlier, Wacha had a strange night, pushing up his pitch count to get pulled before the end of the fourth inning. In 3.2 innings, he struck out ten Mets, but walked five. He only allowed three hits.FanGraphs. Detailed pitching data courtesy of Brooks Baseball.