The Mets bullpen has allowed more runs than any pen in the National League. It was at it again Monday night in St. Louis, turning a tie game into a Cardinal victory as the Mets dropped their fourth straight game.
Jeremy Hefner got hit hard in the first inning. He walked leadoff batter Matt Carpenter and retired Carlos Beltran on a long fly to center. Matt Holliday hit a bullet up the middle to put runners on first and second. Allen Craig hit a ground rule double to score Carpenter and put Holliday at third. Yadier Molina walked to load the bases. John Jay hit a sacrifice fly that scored Holliday to make it 2-0. But for some reason Craig tried to tag up and was tagged out to end the inning when David Wright cut off the throw. Hefner was lucky to get out of the inning surrendering just two runs; he can thank Craig for that.
The Mets took the lead in the second thanks to an old friend and some shoddy defense. Two walks put runners on first and second and with two outs Daniel Murphy hit a line drive to right. Beltran seemed to have it lined up but it went right past his glove. He may have lost it in the sun. Whatever the reason, it went for a double and both runs scored tie the game at two. David Wright then hit a slow grounder up the middle. The speedy Wright was going to be safe, but shortstop Daniel Descalso booted the ball, allowing Murphy to score to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. No error was called on the play.
But Hefner could not hold it. Two singles and a sacrifice put runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the second. Carpenter singled to score one run to make it 3-3. Hefner walked Beltran to load the bases but then got Holliday to bounce into a double play to end the inning.
It looked like it was going to be a slugfest, but both Hefner and Cardinals stater Lance Lynn settled down and neither of them gave up any more runs. Hefner ended up going six innings, allowing the three runs on five hits, with two strikeouts and four walks. Lynn lasted seven innings and 124 pitches. He allowed his three runs on four hits, with seven strikeouts and five walks.
With one out in the seventh, Ty Wigginton hit a liner to center off of Scott Rice. Ankiel initially froze and then came in. He dove but the ball bounced out of his glove. It was a catch the fine fielder should have made. Instead, Wigginton had a double. Carpenter then hit a shot that bounced off of Rice’s foot. Rice and John Buck both ran into foul territory between home and first to field it. Wigginton took advantage of the fact that no one was covering home and hustled around to score to break the tie and give the Cardinals a 4-3 lead. Scott Atchison came on and Holliday greeted him with a two run home run to make it a 6-3 game. He then allowed a single and a ground rule double and his night was done. Greg Burke, just back from the minor leagues where he was banished after pitching to a 7.36 ERA in seven April appearances with the Mets, got a strikeout to end the inning.
Mets lose 6-3.