David Wright returned to the lineup as the Mets hosted the Cardinals in their final spring game at Tradition Field. The Mets opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth when Ruben Tejada stroked a two run double to left field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Later in the frame, Collin Cowgill pinch hit for Matt Harvey and crushed a two run homer to left field to increase the Mets’ advantage to 4-0.
The Cardinals answered back in the fifth when Adron Chambers doubled off LaTroy Hawkins to drive in two and cut the Mets’ lead to 4-2. The Mets tacked on three runs in their half of the fifth, courtesy of a Lucas Duda RBI single, a bases loaded walk by John Buck, and a Ruben Tejada sacrifice fly. That made it 7-2 and closed out the scoring.
- David Wright, playing in his first Grapefruit League game since straining his intercostal muscle, played five innings at third base and went 0 for 3. After he exited the game, he said that he planned to play tomorrow and that he’d be ready for Opening Day.
- Matt Harvey got the start for the Mets and was solid. He tossed four scoreless innings (by design), giving up three hits, walking two, and striking out four. Harvey will next take the mound for the second game of the season on Wednesday night at Citi Field.
- Daniel Murphy went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Like Wright, he’s on track to be in the lineup on Opening Day.
- Ruben Tejada, who has struggled mightily this spring, delivered a two run double in the fourth and a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
- Collin Cowgill hit a two run homer in the fourth.
- LaTroy Hawkins was roughed up in the fifth. He gave up two hits, walked one, and allowed two runs.
- Brandon Lyon allowed three Cardinals to reach base, but pitched a scoreless sixth.
- Bobby Parnell struck out the side in the ninth.
Marlon Byrd got the start in center field, with Lucas Duda and Mike Baxter flanking him in left and right respectively. Adam Rubin guessed that the above formation could be the one the Mets use on opening day. For everyone’s sake, it would be great if Terry Collins came to the realization that Marlon Byrd simply doesn’t have the range to play center field. Forgetting the putrid defense he’d provide, using Byrd in center, Duda in left, and Baxter in right would mean two of the Mets’ better leadoff candidates (Collin Cowgill and Jordany Valdespin) would be nailed to the bench. Byrd should be in one of the corners or not on the field. It’s that simple.
It was great to see Ruben Tejada, who has had a brutal spring, have a nice day at the plate. He had a two RBI double, a sacrifice fly, and a walk.
The Mets wrap up their spring training slate tomorrow when they travel to take on the Orioles at 12: 05 PM. The game can be heard on WFAN 660 AM/101.9 FM.