The New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals finished in a 5-5 tie this afternoon at Tradition Field.
Noah Syndergaard pitched very well for the Mets. Thor struck out nine and walked none in six innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Syndergaard has struck out 19 and walked one in 17 2/3 innings this spring training.
The Mets had some good at-bats against Cardinals pitcher Michael Wacha. David Wright walked in the bottom of the first and looked limber tagging up from first to move to second on a sacrifice fly and sprinting around third on a Neil Walker single— although he was tagged out by Mets Nemesis Yadier Molina on a bang-bang play at the plate.
The Mets got on the board in the second inning. Kevin Plawecki reached on an error by former Met Ruben Tejada, who couldn’t keep a tough hop from getting over him. Juan Lagares singled to get Plawecki to third, and Matt Reynolds knocked the game’s first run home.
The Cards struck back in the fourth on doubles from Matt Holliday and Matt Adams, tying the game at one. New York got back out in front on a single from Wilmer Flores, a double from Plawecki and a single from Reynolds that made it 2-1, but Syndergaard hit into a double-play to end the inning before the Mets could capitalize further.
St Louis came right back in the next inning to tie it back up on a single from the pitcher Wacha and a double from Carpenter. But in the bottom of the sixth, the Mets loaded the bases with nobody out when Flores doubled, Plawecki walked, and Lagares reached on an error. Sacrifice flies from Reynolds and Travis d’Arnaud put the Mets up 4-2.
But the Mets closer struggled after getitng the first out. Randal Grichuk homered, Adams and Brandon Moss singled, and Jedd Gyorko doubled to tie the game at 4. After Familia intentionally walked the next batter to set up the double-play and a force at any base, he unintentionally walked Greg Garcia to force in the go-ahead run. Zack Thornton (the prospect from the Ike Davis trade) came in and induced a double-play to end the inning and keep the Mets in the ballgame.
The Mets fought back in the bottom of the ninth. After two quick outs to start the ninth, Eric Campbell singled and stole second, before scoring on a single from Kevin Kaczmarski that tied the game at five. The Mets could not score a sixth run, and the game ended in a tie, snapping the Mets’ seven-game losing streak.
There were some great signs today. Thor looked great, Plawecki, Reynolds, Lagares, and Walker did as well, the bullpen did a good job to get the ball to Familia, and the Mets rallied in the bottom of the ninth to pick up their closer on an off day. At the end of the day, you want to see the team win, but it’s March. Soon, it will be April, and when the calendar turns, then it will be time to obsess over the wins and losses.
Juan Lagares has looked like his 2014 self in the field thus far, although he hasn’t yet needed to make a huge throw, so we’ll have to wait and see whether the cannon is back.
It was weird seeing Ruben Tejada in a Cardinals uniform today. It was, however, nice to see the way in which he interacted with the Mets players whenever they got anywhere near him. Curtis Granderson even hugged him after getting tagged out at one point. I’m hoping for the best for Ruben going forward.
Wilmer Flores played a fine first base today. The more positions he can play, the more value he’ll add to this team. I was glad to see the Mets give him a look at that position today, especially since it made it easier to get Reynolds in the lineup.
It was also great to see Wright playing in back-to-back games. Just like us, he’s waited a long time for this team to be good, and he deserves a championship more than anybody.
The Mets will travel to Disney on Saturday to play the Atlanta Braves at 1:05 PM. Starting for the Mets will be RHP Jacob deGrom who will oppose RHP Bud Norris for the Braves.
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