“You’re not gonna take me down off of this high!”
With arms raised, Mets fans have been given the right to strut their stuff after witnessing the franchise’s first-ever no-hitter by Johan Santana last night against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Who’s to say that today’s Mets starter, knuckleballer RA Dickey, will not be able to follow suit and replicate Santana’s historical feat. You ask Mets fans and they’ll tell you that Dickey’s just as legitimate a choice as Santana was to being the first Mets pitcher in franchise history to throw a no-no. So why not make up for lost time. Mets fans have waited fifty years for their first no-hitter why not allow for another no-hitter the very next day. Oh well, that possibility didn’t last long. Dickey gave up a double to Carlos Beltran in the second inning.
The Mets in this contest have taken advantage of some Cardinal miscues in the field. RA Dickey has been the story line. He has been able to keep Cardinals hitters off-balance with his knuckleball. He has also continued to tally up strikeouts, six to be exact, and keep the Cards at-bay. With four hits allowed until this point, Dickey has been efficient with his pitches and in control.
As for St. Louis starter Lance Lynn, he has been the victim of three runs, two earned to go along with five hits which up until know has been the difference in the game. Bad defense in the second inning and a high pitch-count (105 pitches) have contributed to Lynn being lifted after just four and two-thirds with the bases-loaded. The St. Louis bullpen would eventually close out the bottom half of the fifth saving the Cards from an even further hole to climb out of.
It’s now up to the heart of the order for the Cards. Clean-up hitter Carlos Beltran was part of last night’s history-making event. He stroked a ball down the third-base line that looked-fair-but-was-called-foul by third-base umpire, Adrian Johnson, in the sixth. Fair-or-foul, his controversial play will be talked about when mentioning Santana’s no-hitter.
In this inning, Beltran has managed to produce nothing and the top of the seventh inning for St. Louis concludes pretty much the same as those innings that preceded it. Not much production from the Cards on the offensive side. For the Mets, shortstop Omar Quintanilla made a fantastic play to end the top-half of the seventh inning and has added him self to the long list of starting shortstops working to fill the void left by the departed Jose Reyes.
Now at the bottom-half of the seventh, the Cardinals defense is playing Lucas Duda straight-up. Lucas smacks a single into center field off St. Louis right-hander Victor Marte. Up next is second-baseman Daniel Murphy, who has been given the responsibility by his manager of driving runners home now that he’s batting fifth in the order. On an 0-and-2 count, Murphy pokes a double into left field. With just one lefty in the Cards bullpen, this bodes well for the left-handed-heavy Mets lineup.
I’ve felt that the Mets should be able to gain an advantage on St. Louis in this series due to their surplus of right-handed arms. Duda, Murphy, and a slumping Ike Davis could do some damage at the plate against the Cards which forces their skipper Mike Matheny to play Russian roulette the rest of the way in this one. St. Louis relievers are currently holding a high ERA coupled with poor execution. The Redbirds bullpen has been the odd-man out that has added to their descent.
Now, with the bases-loaded, the Mets have been given another opportunity to capitalize knowing that if they fail to produce add-on runs their up-and-down bullpen will be made to rear its ugly head. The Mets relievers performance has been just as head-scratching as their opponent's.
Mets score a run on a wild pitch and go up, 4-0.
For the eighth, check out Cards Tied for First and Saint Louis Sports both Cardinals blogs.
In the ninth, Mets News Now will bring you their perspective with Ball & Strikes blogging for the Cards.
Special thanks to Aaron Miles’ Fastball (seventh for STL) and On the Outside Corner (proceeding sixth for STL)
Click here for the link to which bloggers, Mets or Cards, will be giving their take on today's game.