On a sultry night along the Mississippi, two aces squared off: Jacob deGrom for the Mets, Carlos Martinez for St. Louis. On a sultry night along the Mississippi, the ball was flying. deGrom gave up four home runs, Martinez gave up two and a bushel of doubles.
Martinez was in trouble from the jump, but the Mets could take scant advantage. Curtis Granderson started the game with a walk, Asdrubal Cabrera did the same. Yoenis Cespedes squirted a single past third. Jay Bruce then waved feebly at three changeups, but T. J. Rivera took a fastball off his elbow pad and the Mets led 1-0. It could have been more, but Lucas Duda hit a liner to left and Cabrera tried to score, but was thrown out by five feet at the plate by Randal Grichuk. In the second, Jose Reyes led off with a bullet to right that just cleared the wall.
To this point, deGrom had been cruising, retiring the first six Cards he faced. He would not be so sharp in the third. St. Louis tied the game on two fat pitches, one that Grichuk deposited over the left field fence and the other that rookie shortstop Paul DeJong launched into the stands in center. The Mets got those two back right away when Reyes punched a double to the right centerfield wall and Travis d’Arnaud singled him home. deGrom, failing to drop a bunt, forced d’Arnaud at second. He scored when Granderson roped a double into the right field corner. It wasn’t to last very long. deGrom fed his the gopher again in the fourth when Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko both went yard. Since all of those homers were of the back-to-back variety, deGrom allowed four home runs in the span of seven hitters. But that wouldn’t last long, either. With one out in the top of the fifth, Bruce scaled one past the Cardinal bullpen and the Mets had taken the lead once again. This time, it stuck around awhile.
The Cards threatened in both the fifth and sixth innings, both times deGrom was bailed out by double plays on the infield. John Brebbia replaced Martinez in the top of the sixth and got the Mets 1-2-3. He came out for the seventh and met all kinds of trouble. Cespedes hit a grounder that scooted under the glove of second baseman Matt Carpenter and Bruce launched a base hit to right, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it — at least he was out according to the dreaded replay challenge. Rivera brought Cespedes home with a shot off the left centerfield fence that didn’t miss a homer by much.
deGrom ended up having a very strange night, especially on the heels of his previous four stellar starts. His line: seven innings, eight hits, no walks, five strikeouts, four earned runs. It was down to the bullpen in the eighth and ninth. Jerry Blevins started the eighth and gave up a base hit to Carpenter. He was immediately replaced by Paul Sewald, who gave up a single to Stephen Piscotty and induced Fowler to hit into a force play, putting runners at first and third. The dangerous Gyorko hit a sacrifice fly to Bruce. The Mets gladly exchanged the run for the out when Sewald got perpetual pest Yadier Molina to line out to left.
After the Mets went meekly in the ninth, Addison Reed got them 1-2-3 in the bottom half and the Mets had a decidedly weird win.