Gut Reaction: Cardinals 5, Mets 1 (4/1/18)

The Mets continued a trend from 2017, where they were unable to win the third game of a series. On Sunday, the Mets failed to complete the sweep of the Cardinals, falling by a 5-1 score.

After two dominating performances from their starting pitchers in the first two games, Steven Matz was unable to keep pace. While he struck out two batters in a scoreless first inning, it was all downhill from there. Matz allowed 3 ER in 4 IP, including two solo homers. A victim of a high pitch count, Matz needed 89 pitches to throw four innings.

Paul DeJong, who terrorized the Mets last year, hit two homers to pace St. Louis’ offense. Marcel Ozuna also hit a solo blast.

After strong offensive days the first two games of the series, the Mets couldn’t mount much of anything against Luke Weaver and the Cardinals’ bullpen. Their only run came on an RBI single in the second by Amed Rosario.

Juan Lagares paced the offense with three hits.

11 comments for “Gut Reaction: Cardinals 5, Mets 1 (4/1/18)

  1. TexasGusCC
    April 1, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    We all know its hard to sweep a good team, and the Cardinals are that. But, the bats were lethargic and Matz’ pitches flattened out at the most inopportune times. Ozuna hit a mislocated and flat breaking ball for a two out RBI double down the line in left, Molina hit a fatball over the plate about knee high to the bleachers, and DeJong’s first homerun was “a high fastball right down the pipe” according to McCarver’s play-by-play. Matz really needs to command his stuff better. On DeJong’s second homerun off Rhame, McCarver called it a good pitch as it was running away from DeJong with a little break, but he recognized it and hit it hard.

    Conversely, Cespedes just missed a hanger, Frazier just missed a hanger, and in a clutch spot with two on Rosario didn’t get around on a good pitch to hit. Oh well, tomorrow’s another one.

  2. Chris F
    April 1, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    We take a series win and a .667 winning percentage. I take that all day every day. The list of things to like is long, on both sides of the ball and from the dugout. Very complete team wins.

    I do want to note: we need to keep a close eye on the starters. Already, my eyes are seeing similar tendencies as we saw last year: elevated pitch counts. What this does to the pen is well known.

    • April 1, 2018 at 8:04 pm

      The first game in both 2017 and 2018, the Mets SP went 6 IP and three relievers each pitched an inning to close the game out. In the next two games of 2017, Collins made 10 pitching changes and only one reliever pitched more than one inning. The 2018 Mets have already used four pitchers for more than an inning. Collins used Salas in all three games and Callaway has not done that.

      I look forward to the starters going deeper but even if they don’t, the bullpen is going to be used better this year than it was in 2017. Or the last seven years.

      • TexasGusCC
        April 1, 2018 at 9:02 pm

        Wow, you better hope Preller doesn’t read that, he will not like you picking on Collins like that.

        Wow! Speaking of the difference in managers, today after Matz start:

        “He just couldn’t get the ball over the plate consistently,” manager Mickey Callaway told reporters after the game. “Really deep counts, falling behind, things like that. … It didn’t look like he had the confidence to throw it over.”

        • Steve S.
          April 2, 2018 at 6:50 am

          True that Matz wasn’t very good, but umpire Buckner squeezed him.

  3. MattyMets
    April 2, 2018 at 8:08 am

    A few observations:
    1- That umpire was wildly inconsistent with the strike zone.
    2- Some of these Mets pitchers have to alter their approach and not try to strike out every batter. Syndergaard got some first pitch easy comebackers for quick outs. JDG consistently does likewise with flyouts. Matz and Wheeler especially seem to go deep into every count trying to get a finesse strikeout. I hope Harvey has the right approach today.
    3- Sometimes you have to credit the other team. Luke Weaver looked really good to me. I thought we’d beat up on Matt Bowman – that was the real lost opportunity.
    4- So far it seems that every time Rosario is up there are 2 outs and men on base. At this rate maybe we should bat Conforto in that magic 9 hole. just kidding of course.

    • Pete In Iowa
      April 2, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Sad fact is Matty that home plate umpires consistently miss 20-30 calls per game. No matter who they are. Day in and day out. It’s like clockwork and it really, really needs to be fixed.
      Next time you watch a game — any game — take note of the blown ball and strike calls. Let alone the closer ones, but you will be amazed about how many definite strikes and definite balls are missed. As there were yesterday. And Saturday. And Thursday.

    • Chris F
      April 2, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      I agree Matt. I would say this about #2, I think part of what we are seeing is flat out control issues. Seemed pretty clear Matz simply cannot finish his pitches, so he leaves everything up up up up. Then he overcorrects and bounces or leaves it over the middle “urging” a strike…those get hit a long way by MLB hitters. It seems hes not pitching, but trying to “will” the ball. 101 Pithces for Noah in 5 2/3 even worse for Jake. Im not calling the mayor of panic city at this point, but for this team to be serious. Id like to see more from the starters.

  4. April 2, 2018 at 10:35 am

    2-of-3 every series is 108 wins.

    I’ll take it.

  5. TJ
    April 2, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    When purchasing my Met tickets this season, I will certainly stay away from Sunday afternoon games.

    That said, 2 of 3 to start it off is nice… Matz can turn the page and focus on improvements next start.

  6. mikeyrad
    April 3, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    The problem with the “I’ll take 2 out of 3” logic is that the wins were from our #1 and #2 pitchers. The Mets need heir #3 to #5 to at least keep them in the game. Otherwise, it will be a long season.

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