Game Recap: Missed Call Spoils Mets’ Comeback in 5-4 Loss

By Matt Musico

The Mets were battling from behind most of the day during their series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals. Down one run in the top of the ninth, Andres Torres appeared to get the inning off to a good start with a lead-off double, but after an appeal from Mike Matheny following the urge of Carlos Beltran, first base umpire Dave Rackley ruled Torres missed first base, foiling New York’s opportunity for a comeback and fourth straight win.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

As they watched the Cards jump out to a 4-0 lead, the Mets didn’t get their offense in gear until the seventh inning, when they were finally able to put some runs on the board. Ike Davis and Lucas Duda started the frame with outs, but Mike Baxter drew a walk in front of Kelly Shoppach, who hit his eighth homer of the season, third since coming to New York. They came right back in the following inning, as Ruben Tejada singled in front of a Daniel Murphy homer to bring them within one. Davis walked and Jason Bay singled, but neither Shoppach or Scott Hairstoncould bring them home in the eighth. After Torres was called out at first, the Mets went down silently in the ninth, stranding Tejada after he walked. New York went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, stranding 7 men on base.

Cardinals Offensive Highlights:

Collin McHugh immediately got himself into a jam, allowing a lead-off triple to Jon Jay in the bottom of the first, and he came into score on a Matt Carpenter ground out. In the third, Joe Kelly helped himself with a double, then moved to second base off a sacrifice bunt from Jay. Then, it was Carpenter again, hitting a sacrifice fly this time to plate the second run of the game. With two outs, Matt Holliday and Allen Craig both singled in front of Yadier Molina, who singled as well, driving in another run. In the fourth, Skip Schumaker gave St. Louis some breathing room with his first homer of the season. Once the Mets started to mount a comeback, Craig hit an RBI single in the seventh inning to give the Cards a 5-2 lead at the time, and that run ended up being the difference in the game.

Pitching Highlights:

McHugh’s second start was much less impressive than his first one, as he went 4 innings and gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, no walks, and 2 strikeouts. Manny Acosta followed him with two solid innings of shutout relief, but it was Robert Carson who gave up the difference maker, allowing Jay to reach after hitting him with a pitch. Bobby Parnell allowed the inherited runner to score, as he allowed 2 hits and 1 walk in 0.2 innings. Josh Edgin threw a perfect eighth inning to round out the afternoon.

Joe Kelly went a career-high 6.2 innings in today’s ballgame, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts in getting his fifth victory of the season. Mitchell Boggs served up the Murphy homer, but he and Edward Mujica built the bridge to Jason Motte for his 33rd save of the year. Sam Freeman made an appearance, but gave up a hit to the only batter he faced.

The loss snaps the Mets’ three-game losing streak, as they lose the first game in a series for the first time since they dropped the opener to the Astros last Friday night at Citi. At 64-71, New York remains a game behind the Phillies for third place in the NL East.

Probable Pitchers Tuesday:

With only two or three starts left before he’s shut down for the year, Matt Harvey (3-3, 2.76 ERA) takes the mound, hoping to get the Mets back to their winning ways. He’s opposing Jaime Garcia (3-6, 4.52 ERA). Game time at Busch Stadium is set for 8:15pm.