With an injury riddled starting rotation, the Mets pitching prospects are pulling their weight, giving NY a wing and a prayer for a position in postseason play.
Thursday, Louisiana born Seth Lugo secured his first major league win, and hit, shutting out the Cards for five innings, taking the rubber match 10-6, bringing the Mets within 3½ games of St Louis in the Wild Card standings.
“This was a tough series,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “They’ve got a good team. We came into the series knowing we had to pick up some ground, and we picked up a game. That means a lot.”
Lugo out dueled the Adam Wainwright, a career Mets killer, who couldn’t pitch past the fifth. Though his teammates shoddy defense, allowing five unearned runs, may have hampered his cause.
Jay Bruce’s lingering cramps kept him on the bench, placing Alejandro De Aza in the lineup, and the streaking centerfielder continued to give the Mets late season surprises. He accounted for 5 of NY’s 10 runs, a two run single in the 4th and 3 run blast to right in the 5th.
“He knows his role,” Collins said of De Aza. “He doesn’t have to like it, but he accepts it, and gets himself ready. He didn’t stop working. He didn’t stop practicing. Any time we had extra BP, he was out. All he needed was a chance to play a little bit and when he got it, he made the most of it. He’s gotten some big hits for us.”
De Aza also flashed some dazzling defense with a leaping grab in the 1st, robbing Matt Carpenter of extra bases.
The Mets gifted Lugo with a seven run lead before a right calf cramp forced an early exit going into the 6th.
“I’ve been needing one of those,” said Lugo, who had not won even a Minor League game since May 10.
In a night filled with a lot of NY good fortune, the Cardinals beat up on the Mets bullpen scoring six combined runs off of Jim Henderson, Josh Smoker and Sean Gilmartin.
Not to take anything away from Lugo and the Mets marvelous offense – every position player, including Lugo, got on base. But if not for some faulty Cardinal fielding, the outcome could have easily fallen in St. Louis’ favor.
With time not on their side, the Mets need to capitalize on this momentum, and take the series against the Phillies at Citi Field.