The Mets appeared to be on their way to a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on Thursday night, but the redbirds scored two in the ninth to tie it at 4 before the game was suspended due to rain. They will pick it up on Friday night at 6 p.m. in the bottom of the ninth inning before the regularly scheduled game.
This is the opener of a pivotal four-game series for two teams who entered the season with high hopes, but are hanging around .500 (the Mets at 33-34 and St. Louis at 33-33) in mid-June. Each team is in third place in their divisions – the Mets in the National League East behind Atlanta and Philadelphia, and St. Louis behind Milwaukee and the Cubs – and each is looking to make a move.
Jacob deGrom took the mound for the Mets on Thusday night seeking his fifth straight quality start, as he continues to put his slow start in the rearview mirror.
deGrom delivered, as he threw seven innings, allowing just two runs on six hits and no walks, with eight strikeouts on 116 pitches, but he ended up with a no decision.
deGrom retired the Cardinals in order in the first two innings, including striking out the side in the second.
In the third, Harrison Bader got a one-out double and stole third base. deGrom struck out the pitcher, Jack Flaherty, for the second out.
Cardinals leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was up next, and he hit what looked to be a routine groundball to shortstop, but the shift was on.
Mets third baseman Todd Frazier was the only one on the left side of the infield, so Carpenter was safe and Bader scored to make it 1-0 St. Louis.
deGrom got Paul DeJong to also hit a grounder to the left side, but this time, the Mets infield was at normal depth, and Frazier recorded the force out to end the inning.
When deGrom returned the dugout, he could be seen throwing his glove against the wall, obviously frustrated that he knew he made the pitch to get Carpenter out and the shift cost him that out.
In the bottom of the third, the Mets got a two-out rally going as Jeff McNeil singled and Michael Conforto followed with a two-run home run to right-center field to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
Pete Alonso followed with a single, and Dominic Smith then rocked one to center field, but Bader caught it in front of the fence, as he came up short of a two-run homer of his own.
deGrom worked around a singles from Marcell Ozuna in the fourth and Hader in the fifth, but in the sixth, St. Louis tied it at 2 on a solo home run to center from DeJong.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Mets rallied, as Alonso hit a ground-rule double down the left field line and came home to score on a single from Smith to make it 3-2.
Frazier followed with a single, and Smith hustled and went first-to-third on the hit to give the Mets runners at the corners with one out.
Ramos followed with a walk to load the bases, and that was it for Flaherty.
With Giovanny Gallegos (who was one of the Yankees traded for Luke Voit) on for St. Louis, Amed Rosario hit a rocket to center, which Bader made a leaping catch on. If it landed, it would have cleared the bases, but it was still good enough for a sacrifice fly to score Smith and make it 4-2 Mets.
Frasier tagged up to try to get to third base. Hader’s throw was wide of the bag, but Carpenter recovered to throw it to a trailing Kolten Wong to nail Frasier and end the inning on a wild note and keep the Mets from breaking it open.
in the seventh, deGrom worked around a one-out single for Yadier Molina and ended the inning with a fastball down and away on his 116th pitch of the night to strike out Bader.
Gallegos stayed on for St. Louis and struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh.
Seth Lugo came on for the Mets in the eighth, and he got pinch-hitter Dexter Fowler to ground out to first before hitting Matt Carpenter with a pitch. DeJong then flew out to center for the second out, and Paul Goldschmidt struck out after quite a long battle.
Andrew Miller came on for St. Louis in the eighth and struck out the side, the second straight inning that happened to the Mets.
It got a little wild after the eighth as the rain kept coming down. The Mets grounds crew brought out plenty of drying agent, but after it wasn’t working, the umpires called for the tarp. By the time it came out, the rain had dissipated, so back it went.
That still produced what was officially a nine-minute delay, and iced Mets closer Edwin Diaz, as was shown by how wild he was against Ozuna, which resulted in a walk to open the ninth. Jose Martinez then grounded out and Molina struck out.
Kolten Wong followed with an RBI single off the fence in left, and he came around on a Bader hit into the left field corner to tie it at 4. Bader was then thrown out trying to reach second base on the hit.
Before the bottom of the ninth started, they tried to fix the field with the drying agent once again, but when it looked to be futile, the tarp came out at 10:04 and the game was suspended for the night 45 minutes later.