The Mets lost the afternoon matchup to close out the series against the St Louis Cardinals, falling to 34-37 in the process. A day game after a long, winded, night game featured an interesting lineup, including both J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith batting at the top of the order.
Smith, who has quietly earned his stay onto the Mets lineup card, reached base successfully three times today. My Gut Reaction is that the Mets should not be so quick to trade Smith as rumors have suggested.
Robinson Cano made his return to the Mets lineup and went 1-3 with a walk; Cano looked comfortable around the bases and it is interesting to note that he batted in the fifth spot of the order for the first time since playing with the Yankees. My Gut Reaction is that the lineup is stronger when players like Smith, Conforto, Alonso (and soon enough McNeil) are getting more plate appearances. Cano should continue to be slotted into the fifth spot until he can consistently prove a better option than his counterparts.
Jason Vargas left the game with a leg cramp after fouling a ball of himself. Vargas did his best to keep the Mets in the game but only lasted four innings. With Syndergaard already injured the Mets will hope that Vargas can stay healthy, which would have been a crazy thought in the beginning of the season.
Chris Flexen and Brooks Pounders made their Mets relief debut in the eighth and ninth innings respectively. Flexen lost the lead and the game on a Paul DeJong homer, his third in four days. My Gut Reaction is that the bullpen will improve as more arms become available for support; Justin Wilson has made rehab starts in the minor leagues and should be contributing soon enough.
The Mets will head out for ten straight on the road, with tough matchups against the Braves, Cubs and Phillies. This next stretch of crucial baseball for the club will shape the landscape in which the front office will make roster decisions on come the trade deadline.