The Mets recalled Joey Lucchesi to give Kodai Senga an extra day of rest between starts. Lucchesi had been on the IL and made two brief rehab starts with Brooklyn. But he came up and did a very nice job, helping lead the Mets to a 7-1 win over the Cardinals Friday night in St. Louis.

Brandon Nimmo led off the game with a home run, giving Lucchesi a lead before he threw a pitch. It was part of a three-hit night for Nimmo. And one of his two outs was a 104.2 mph line drive that was snagged by Nolan Arrenado.

Lucchesi struggled in the first inning, loading the bases before retiring the side. But he was terrific in innings two thru five before running into some trouble in the sixth. It might have been an early hook from Buck Showalter but with Lucchesi not necessarily being stretched out, it made sense. Phil Bickford got the final out of the inning, snuffing out a bases-loaded situation.

Meanwhile, the Mets scratched out a run in the third inning with an RBI single by Jeff McNeil. And then they broke the game open with a five-run seventh. The frame was helped by two poor defensive plays by the Cardinals and was climaxed with a three-run homer by McNeil.

The Mets pounded out 13 hits in the game. In addition to Nimmo and McNeil, three others had multi-hit games, including cleanup hitter Francisco Lindor, who had two hits, two runs and an RBI. Pete Alonso just missed a potential HR, as his blast to straightaway center field was caught right at the top of the fence.

It was the Mets’ fifth win in their last six games. It’s nice to see them putting some wins together. Still, I couldn’t help but think this was a rather uninspired effort by the Cardinals. They looked more like the June-vintage Mets rather than the team that seemingly makes the playoffs every year.

3 comments on “Gut Reaction: Mets 7, Cardinals 1 (8/18/23)

  • TJ

    Nice job by Lucchesi, again…he deserves to pitch every 5th day for the balance of 2023. He is controllable for 2024, at a very low cost, and has to be a candidate for the 5th starter position. Now, it’s one start, against a dead team, albeit one with a good offense and at home. Lucchesi may never be a top of the rotation guy, but he knows what he’s doing. He’s very similar to Quintana, which could be a rotation concern, but separating them in the rotation would mitigate to some extent. Joey frankly merits a closer look than Megill and/or Peterson. To the extent that they want those two to get starts every 5th day for the balance of 2023, Carrasco should be moved to long relief.

    If the Mets could ever find another leadoff hitter (Gilbert???), Nimmo could really be a nice #3 as he ages…he does have those Keith Hernandez attributes. And, McNeil starting to show life is good too. To Gus’s point, I’d love to see Lindor hitting 5th, behind Alonso. A lineup with a 3-4-5-6 (or 2-3-4-5) of Nimmo-Alonso-Lindor-Alvarez-(Baty?) should be reasonably productive.

  • Metsense

    Gut Reaction: Lucchesi was good last night. He has a resume as fifth starter with the Padres prior to his injury. He should be rotation to evaluate for the remainder of the season. Maybe he can fit that role or a bulk reliever/ spot starter in 2024.
    In the last month , McNeil is salvaging his season. He has an OPS+ 89. A good September, he could have be above average and will increase his trade value. McNeil will be a good discussion in the off season. Let’s face, it something has got to change in the offense. Maybe it will be McNeil.
    This season, Lindor has an OPS of 872 when batting third and a carreer OPS of 801. He should always be the third batter in line up. Carreer-wise Alsonso has a OPS of
    938 when batting second. He has not batted second this year. Why ?
    The Cardinals are not good this year but they still had 42,000 in attendance. They have a good fan base.

    • Hobie

      What would be the possible causal factor to an improved OPS batting 2 vs 4?
      I can imagine a different mind-set at 7-8-9 vs 3-4-5, but 2 v 4? Just curious.

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