The New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 in their final game of the series on Thursday. The Mets now possess a 13-13 record and are ranked second in the NL East division. After a rocky start, it seemed the Mets would not acquire a win. However, the increased effort of New York’s offense, plus the elimination of unnecessary errors put this one in the books.
Cardinals Exhibit Strong Defense Early On
The Mets had an offensive presence in the top of the first, yet the Cardinals’ defense was armed to combat it. Jeff McNeil sent a ball into the outskirts of the field, which should have been a guaranteed double. Yet the effort of Harrison Bader did not go unnoticed. He charged to the boards and eliminated the potential of this play. For the remainder of the first, the New York Mets placed each hit directly into the grasp of the St. Louis Cardinals.
John Gant began the second inning by striking out Dominic Smith, but could not deter the following lineup. Kevin Pillar hit a line drive-through first and second, followed by a walk from Gant. However, after a forced play and another strikeout, what should have been a maximum opportunity for New York, left them without runs on the board.
The bottom of the second demonstrated a lack of communication and effort from the Mets’ defense. Jonathan Villar overthrew McNeil, which led to Cardinals’ runners at the corners with no outs. St. Louis did not fail to capitalize on this glorious opportunity. Bader hit a sacrifice fly ball to Smith and gave the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead.
The Mets Bounce Back
The Mets had created plenty of offensive opportunities in the first half of the game, but the Cardinals’ defense was on their toes. Nevertheless, the New York Mets were able to get back to their game in the fifth inning.
Pete Alonso singled after a high throw from Cardinals third baseman, Nolan Arenado. This hiccup later allowed for Alonso to score after Gant walked Jonathan Villar. Kodi Whitley replaced Gant but failed to retire the side. A few moments later, Whitley walked James McCann and gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. The pattern continued into the eighth inning. Once again, Pete Alonso was walked and Jeff McNeil scored. The Mets took a 3-1 lead regardless of the Cardinals defense’s initial effort.
New York closed the scoring in the top of the eighth. Smith and provided Francisco Lindor with the opportunity to run home. The Mets defeated the Cardinals with a final score of 4-1.
Taijuan Walker‘s performance can not go unnoticed. The Mets pitcher threw 8 strikeouts over the course of 7 innings and decreased his seasonal ERA to 2.38. Walker completely shut down the Cardinals’ offense after the second, securing him as one of the most important players of the game.
New York will face the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 7 at 7:10 PM. This game will mark the first of a four-game series at Citi Field.