St. Louis-The main problem for the New York Mets this season has been their offense. The Mets have gotten good performances from their starting pitching all season, but have failed to take advantage of it far too often. Tuesday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals was another example of this problem. Starter Jonathon Niese gave the Mets (31-40) a solid effort, but the poor offense and shaky defense led to a 5-2 loss to the Cardinals (39-32).
The Cardinals grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when Yadier Molina homered to left field off of Niese. The solo shot was Molina's sixth home run of the season. The Mets tied the game in the top of the fourth when David Wright hit a solo homer of his own. Wright's blast was his fifth of the season and his first home run away from Citi Field this season.
The score would remain tied until the fifth inning, when Niese (L, 3-4) ran into trouble. Niese hit Daniel Descalso with a pitch to start the inning, and he got two outs after a sacrifice from pitcher Michael Wacha and a strikeout of Peter Bourjos. Jon Jay gave the Cardinals the lead with a two out RBI triple, and Matt Holliday made it 3-1 with an RBI double of his own.
Niese got into trouble in the sixth inning too, although this wasn't entirely his fault. Niese recorded the first two outs of the inning, sandwiched around a ground rule double from Jhonny Peralta. Niese should have been out of the inning when he induced a ground ball from Descalso, but second baseman Daniel Murphy's error extended the inning. Pinch hitter Kolten Wong took advantage, delivering an RBI single to make it 4-1. Bourjos reached on an infield single, plating Descalso to make it 5-1. Niese would get out of the inning, but the damage was already done. Niese lasted six innings and allowed five runs (only three earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out three.
The Mets got little going offensively against Cardinals' starter Michael Wacha. Wacha (W, 5-5) tossed six innings of one run ball to pick up his fifth win of the year. Wacha scattered five hits and two walks while striking out seven Mets' hitters. The only other Mets' offense came in the ninth inning, when Lucas Duda led off the inning with a home run against Cardinals' reliever Jason Motte. Duda's solo shot made it 5-2. Eric Campbell followed with a pinch hit double, leading Cardinals' skipper Mike Matheny to yank Motte in favor of Pat Neshek. Neshek retired the side in order to pick up his second save of the year.
Player of the Game:
Today's Player of the Game Award goes to Cardinals' starter Michael Wacha. Wacha dominated the Mets' bats to pick up his fifth win of the year.
Post Game Notes:
- Only five Mets' players got hits on the night.
- David Wright and Duda each got two hits.
- Jay and Holliday collected two hits a piece for the Cardinals.
The Mets will look to avoid getting swept by the Cardinals in the series finale Wednesday afternoon. First pitch for the matinee affair is scheduled for 1:45 pm. at Busch Stadium. Bartolo Colon (6-5, 4.15 ERA) and Lance Lynn (7-4, 3.16 ERA) will be the starting pitchers.
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