Both Santana and Lohse got out of their respective first innings with the help of double plays.
After David Wright flew out to shallow center, Carlos Delgado hit a longer fly to center, J. Reyes scoring on a tag up at third while center fielder Skip Schumaker alertly fired back in to second base, almost, but not quite doubling off Chavez. With the Mets up 1-0, Carlos Betran drove a single to right field, Ludwick firing to the plate, but short-hopping the throw which got away from Yadier Molina. Chavez was beat by the throw, but safe on the play.
The game seen a total of 18 runs on 37 hits, no errors.
Sixteen pitchers threw, eight from each team.
Skip Schumaker went 6-for-7, scoring three of the Cards’ runs and seeing his batting average rise to .302 due to the bevy of hits.
Albert Pujols went 5-for-8 with three RBIs and the game-winning hit, a home run.
The Mets tallied four home runs in their loss, all of them solo shots.
Mets’ pitchers walked five and struck out 12.
Cards’ pitchers walked nine and struck out nine.
Mets’ pitchers threw a combined 256 pitches.
Cards’ pitchers threw a combined 261 pitches.
The Mets used all their relief pitchers.
The Cards had only one pitcher remaining in the bullpen: Randy Flores.
Albert Pujols — 65
Troy Glaus — 57
Ryan Ludwick — 38
Skip Schumaker, Chris Duncan — 34
Rick Ankiel — 33
photo by Alan Penner
Like La Russa said, it ain’t the bullpen. Or, even if he didn’t say that, it wasn’t the bullpen tonight.
Lack of offense; starter not going deep enough into the game. Bullpen hanging on by a thread.
The Cardinals suffered their sixth loss in a row tonight at the hands of starter Mike Pelfrey, who came right at the Redbirds, allowing them only one run in his seven full innings of work, striking out five. Pelfrey threw 103 pitches in his duration on the mound.
Tony La Russa had a choice between Mitchell Boggs and Brad Thompson to start against the New York Mets in the first game of a three-game series in New York. Shy a starter and with an overworked bullpen, it was six of one, half a dozen of the other, and Boggs got the nod.
It’s possible the hope was to get more than five innings out of whomever the starter would be, with anything over five a bonus. Boggs didn’t make it five innings, lasting only until he got one out in the fifth before La Russa pulled him, handing the ball over to Randy Flores.
The Mets were first on the board, scoring a run in the third, two in the fourth, and rallying for three runs in the fifth, leading 6-0.
The Cards didn’t get on the board until the sixth, Ryan Ludwick scoring on a Troy Glaus single up the middle.
Boggs gave up six runs on eight hits, walking four, but if he failed at anything, it was that he burned up far too many pitches, reaching 95 in a little more than half a game. Whether it was a lack of control or trying to pitch in too precise a manner, neither way will work, and things didn’t work out for Boggs. Much easier said than done, Boggs would’ve been better off pitching to contract, especially considering how good a defense the Cardinals possess. In this way, Boggs would’ve lasted longer, even if he gave up just as many runs.
Flores cleaned up the rest of the fifth and then threw a scoreless sixth, a good piece of middle relief, which encouraging.
Thompson took over from there, starting the seventh, striking out a couple, but getting touched up for the longball, a solo homer by Argenis Reyes. Thompson continued pitching well in the eighth, a scoreless frame this time.
Meanwhile, the score is 7-1 with an inning of outs left to hit with.
The never-say-die attitude of the Cardinals kicked in, loading the bases on an Adam Kennedy single, a Brendan Ryan walk, and a Joe Mather single. The Mets brought in reliever Pedro Feliciano; Schumaker popped out. The Mets then went with reliever Aaron Heilman to face Ryan Ludwick, who took him a full count, fouled off a bevy of pitches, then flew out to deep right, Kennedy tagging up and scoring to cut the lead to 7-2.
Albert Pujols got a shot at continuing the rally. He had struck out three times in the game. Pujols grounded out to third baseman David Wright, however, and the Cardinals suffered their fifth loss in a row.
Boggs took the loss, now 3-2. Mike Pelfrey took the win for the Mets, his record now 9-6.
The Mets used four relievers, but none of them for more than three outs, and manager Jerry Manuel avoided using his best closer, Billy Wagner.
photo by Alan Penner
On deck: The Cards are in New York for what will probably be their last games ever in Shea Stadium as the Mets will be moving to a new facility next season. The Cards will be in New York to start a seven-game road trip; three games with the Mets and four in Atlanta. The road trip will take the Cards through the July 31 trade deadline.
Game time will be 6:10 p.m. CDT.
Probables: STL-Mitchell Boggs RHP (3-1, 6.59) vs. NYM-Mike Pelfrey RHP (8-6, 3.81)
Boggs has been a welcome fresh arm for a troubled starting Cards’ rotation, winning three in a row before the Mets roughed him up pretty good in his last outing before being sent back to Class AAA Memphis. The 10 out of 11 earned runs the Mets pounded Boggs for accounts for most of high lofty ERA.
Pelfrey has given up the longball lately, according to the St. Louis Cardinals Official Web Site, but his prior record suggests that was an unusual occurrence.
Birds’ Perch: The Redbirds are roosting in third place these days, not yet close to any danger of slipping into fourth in the NL Central, but slipping into a slightly uncomfortable zone in relationship to the second place Breweres and first place Cubs, three and four games behind, respecively.
Streaky worries: The Cards current lock on third is due to a several-game spread between them and the teams above and below. But the first place Cubs have won their last two in a row, the second place Brewers are on an eight-game tear, and chasing, the Reds have won their last two while the Pirates have a four-game winning streak alive. About the only team not on the positive streak is the last place Astros, who, like the Cards, have lost their last four. Yikes!
Whatcha done for me lately? These are the Cardinals with the most in the last seven games.
ABs: Skip Schumaker — 28
Runs: Albert Pujols — 6
Hits: Skip Schumaker — 9
Doubles: Troy Glaus — 4
Home Runs: Ryan Ludwick — 2
RBIs: Rick Ankiel — 7
Total bases: Troy Glaus — 14
Walks: Skip Schumaker, Troy Glaus — 4
Strikeouts: Ryan Ludwick — 11
Stolen bases: Cesar Izturis — 2
On-base percentage: Albert Pujols — .429
Slugging percentage: Aaron Miles — .579
Batting average: Aaron Miles — .368
photo by Iscan