Sunday, October 15, 2006

Unhappy Recap: Cardinals 9 Mets 6

Before the playoffs Reissberg and I spoke about an article in Sports Illustrated that showed the Mets were strong in the areas that most indicated postseason success, according to an evaluation of previous World Series winners. One of them was the ability of their pitchers to get strike outs. The big reason for this loss was the inability to get that final strike in several key spots.

And it was especially painful because another aspect of the Mets success (scoring early) was in evidence when Carlos Delgado slugged a 3-run homer in the first inning.

The John Maine went to work, he walked Edmonds and Encarnacion despite having them at two strike counts. Yadier Molina then doubled in 2 runs.

The Mets got another back in the bottom of the second but Maine quickly blew that lead.

He walked the Mighty Pooh Holes on 8 pitches (four foul balls) then gave up the game-tying home run to Edmonds after having him in an 0-2 hole.

But the Mets offense would not be deterred, another home run by Delgado and a double by Lo Duca gave the Mets a 6-4 lead, until Mota came in.

Mota had been great late in the regular season and even pretty good in the playoffs; he did blow Game 1 of the NLDS but the Mets won anyway. Mota got the first two batters easily, then came up the Patient Pooh Holes. He started with a 3-0 counted, then a strike, then 6 straight foul balls, before Pooh Holes singled. Edmonds walked on four pitches. Mota settled down and got 2 strikes on Spezio, but couldn't put him away. He hit one deep to right that Green could have caught, but didn't and it resulted in a game tying triple.

In the 8th inning, Heilman needed 12 pitches to get out David Eckstein.

Leading off the the 9th, So Taguchi comes off the bench. On the 9th pitch of the at bat, which started with an 0-2 count, he homered to win the game. Yes, the Cardinals scored two more runs and the Mets still had an inning, but the game was over. Wagner blew another one at the wrong time. But he had a lot of help from Maine and Mota.


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