The St. Louis Cardinals were supposed to see Shaun Marcum take the mound today, but since he’s taking a couple days off after receiving a cortisone shot for his right shoulder, Terry Collins inserted Jeremy Hefner instead. He put together yet another good showing as he prepares to keep Johan Santana‘s rotation spot warm. His spring ERA now stands at a very respectable 3.10.
Adam Wainwright helped get the scoring started for St. Louis, as he hit an RBI single in the second inning, followed by a solo homer off the bat of David Freese in the fourth. The Mets came back to tie things up in the bottom of the fourth, as Matt den Dekker connected for a two-run triple. The Cardinals re-took the lead in the top of the eighth thanks to an Allen CraigRBI single. That was enough, as the Cards leave Tradition Field with the 3-2 victory.
- Hefner was a little wilder than he usually is, but put together another solid outing. The projected fifth starter of Collins’ starting pitching staff went 5 innings innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 4 hitters.
- In relief of Hefner, LaTroy Hawkins walked two in an inning of work, but danced out of trouble without being scored upon, while Scott Rice put together a 1-2-3 seventh inning.
- Brandon Lyon surrendered the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth inning, while allowing 2 hits and 1 walk.
- Bobby Parnell came in for the ninth and needed only three pitches to dispose of the St. Louis hitters.
- Matt den Dekker hit his second triple in as many days, driving in John Buck and Lucas Duda to tie the game back up in the bottom of the fourth inning.
- Justin Turner made a pinch-hitting appearance in the sixth after playing in a minor league game. He singled and didn’t show any signs of favoring his recently injured ankle on the base paths.
- Ruben Tejada started and went 0-for-4; his spring batting average has now dipped to .100.
- Lucas Duda raised his spring average to .256 with a two-hit performance, including a single and double.
It was tough to watch New York go 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position today and leave 13 men on base, but these days happen, especially in Spring Training. Seeing Duda and Ike Davis continue having solid at-bats are encouraging, and it eases the mind a little more as both David Wright and Daniel Murphy are officially question marks at the moment for Opening Day.
Thankfully, Justin Turner’s ankle injury really wasn’t all that serious, as he hit and ran today like it never happened. That’s good since Terry Collins has him slotted to be the starting second baseman in place of Murph, if he needs to hit the DL to start the season.
The Mets travel tomorrow to take on the Miami Marlins for the second night game this week, with a scheduled first pitch set for 7:05pm. The contest will not be televised, but it can be heard on WFAN.