The Cardinals and Mets faced off in game two of a three game series at Busch Stadium on Saturday night. On Friday night, the Cardinals defeated the Mets in a close 3-2 battle that came down to the wire. However, Saturday night’s game was a lot more lopsided.
St. Louis scored four runs in three different innings en route to a 12-2 blowout of New York, as they now are now 25 games over .500 entering the end of the weekend.
The pitching match-up for Saturday’s game featured two veteran pitchers whose combined age totaled 78 years old: 36 year old John Lackey (7-5, 2.99) for the Cardinals, and 42-year old Bartolo Colón (9-7, 4.46) for the Mets.
In the bottom of the first inning, St. Louis started off the game strong by extending the inning to the point where the Mets’ bullpen was already warming up.
It started with a lead-off walk by Kolten Wong. Matt Carpenter then grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Wong being thrown out at second. Matt Holliday then doubled to deep center, his first base hit since being back from the disabled list, sending Carpenter to third base. Jhonny Peralta singled afterwards, scoring Carpenter to make it 1-0 Cardinals. Jason Heyward then singled home Holliday. to make it 2-0.
Yadier Molina followed with a ground rule double, scoring Peralta, giving St. Louis a 3-0 lead. First baseman Mark Reynolds walked to load the bases with one out for Randal Grichuk. Colon hit Grichuk with a pitch, scoring Heyward, making it 4-0. Colon was able to strike out Lackey and Wong consecutively to end the inning, but not before the Cardinals made an early impact.
Both Lackey and Colon pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the second, as the game headed to the third inning with the Cardinals ahead 4-0.
After four scoreless innings by both teams, St. Louis once again had themselves a four run inning in the bottom of the fifth. Peralta started it off with a ground rule double, and scored during the very next at bat, during which Heyward doubled. Molina then flied out, and Heyward stole third. Reynolds singled home Heyward to make it 6-0 Cardinals. Carlos Torres entered the game to face Grichuk afterwards, who hit a two-run home run to make it an 8-0 lead for St. Louis.
The Mets finally got on the board in the top of the sixth with a solo home run by Michael Cuddyer, as they trailed 8-1. In the top of the eighth inning, Miguel Socolovich entered the game to pitch in relief of Lackey, whose final line for the game was: 7.0 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks.
During the top of the eighth, the Mets scored their final run of the game. Kirk Nieuwenhuis singled to right field, and Ruben Tejada doubled him home to make it an 8-2 game.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Pete Kozma was issued a one out walk, bringing up Heyward, who singled, as he went 5-5 on the night. He would leave with an injury, but it isn’t expected to be anything serious. Dan Johnson entered the game to pinch run for Heyward. Tommy Pham pinch hit for Randy Choate, grounded into a fielder’s choice, but Kozma scored on a fielding error. After a ground out by Reynolds, Grichuk stepped up, and capped off his night by hitting a three run home run.
Heading into the ninth inning, St. Louis had themselves a 12-2 lead.
Sam Tuivailala entered the game to pitch the ninth inning, and shut down the Mets, as the Cardinals improved to 25 games over .500 and, thanks in part to the Pittsburgh Pirates losing to the Milwaukee Brewers, they are now 4.5 games ahead in first place in the National League Central.
On Sunday afternoon, Tim Cooney will get the start on the mound.
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)