Coming off a thriller in 14 innings in which they unfortunately lost by a score of 2-1, the St. Louis Cardinals faced off against the New York Mets in game two of the four game series. The two National League first place teams once again had strong pitchers on the mound: Michael Wacha for the Cardinals and Jon Niese for the Mets.
And with the help of a bolstering offense, the St. Louis Cardinals emerged victorious on Tuesday night in a big 10-2 victory.
The game began with both pitchers throwing near 30 pitches just to get through their respective half inning of work (25 pitches by Niese and 23 by Wacha). In the top of the first, with Peter Bourjos on first already, Randal Grichuk, who struck out five times the night prior, hit a double towards Michael Cuddyer, scoring the fast Bourjos and giving the Cardinals a 1-0 early on.
During the top of the second inning, after a single by Mark Reynolds, Kolten Wong hit into a force out, as he (Wong) would get on first. Pete Kozma then singled, advancing Wong to third. Wacha followed with a sacrifice bunt laid down the first base line that scored Wong and gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. St. Louis increased their lead once again by a run in the third inning when Jhonny Peralta hit a sacrifice fly that scored Grichuk.
Heading into the top of the fourth inning, the Cardinals were leading the Mets 3-0.
That changed when in the top of the fourth, Reynolds hit a solo home run to right center to give them a 4-0 lead. It was his third home run of the season. In the bottom of the fourth, Cuddyer led off with a walk issued by Wacha, and Daniel Murphy put the Mets on a board with a two-run home run that was barely fair at Citi Field.
Both Niese and Wacha pitched very well during the fifth inning, with it still being anybody’s game, as the Cardinals led 4-2. But it was the sixth inning that put the game well out of reach.
The top of the sixth started with back to back singles by Peralta and Yadier Molina. Reynolds singled as well, loading the bases with nobody out, and Wong up to bat. He followed with a double that scored both Peralta and Molina, while Reynolds went to third. Erik Goeddel replaced Niese following the Wong at-bat. After a single by Wacha on a bunt, Bourjos singled, scoring Reynolds, as the score was now 7-2 Cardinals.
But the Cardinals were not done there. Grichuk doubled to score two runners, and Matt Holliday hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Bourjos, and giving St. Louis a 10-2 lead.
It was a lead they did not give up, as they wound up winning big, 10-2, as Wacha improved to 6-0 on the season. The St. Louis Cardinals record improves to 26-13, while the New York Mets drop to 23-17 and have their three-game winning streak snapped.
Carlos Martinez faces off against Bartolo Colon tomorrow.
Two interesting game notes: Holliday’s on-base streak improved to 37 straight games with a walk in the first inning. Also, reliever Randy Choate hit for himself in the top of the ninth inning, and walked. Since 2005, his OBP is 1.000.
(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)