In another heartbreaking loss, the Mets could not hold a two-run lead for Johan Santana, losing to the Cardinals 12-7 in 10 innings. Santana wasn’t great tonight. Although he had the longest outing of the season, pitching eight innings, he still allowed five runs.
He even helped himself by hitting a two-run double and making two amazing defensive plays. One was a difficult short pop-up that he had to go back on and another was a ball that he kicked off his heel to David Wright, who threw out the runner at first.
Francisco Rodriguez came into the game in the ninth inning with a two-run lead, but he didn’t have his stuff. It was only his second save chance since the All-Star break and it showed. Rodriguez allowed two doubles in a row to close the gap to one run. He then struck out Colby Rasmus. He then allowed another single to tie the game at seven. He was able to get out of the inning but not before throwing almost 50 pitches.
The 10th inning was even worse. Jerry Manuel tried to play matchups with the Cardinals batters, so he brought in Brian Stokes. He got his job done by getting Yadier Molina to ground out. He then brought in Pedro Feliciano, who gave up a single to Rick Ankiel. Julio Lugo singled to center. Feliciano wasn’t on his game, either. He walked Colby Rasmus before striking out Skip Schumaker.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Sean Green came into the game to face right-handed batter Mark DeRosa. On his very first pitch, Green hit DeRosa, bringing home the go-ahead run. He then faced Albert Pujols, who was 0-12 entering the game. He already hit a solo home run off of Santana in the eighth inning right into the centerfield apple. Green fired and Pujols got all of it, hitting his fifth grand slam of the season and his fourth hit, fifth RBI and third run of the game. Nothing like a thrasing of the Mets to get him out of his funk.
Of course, the Mets didn’t come back. What’s worse is that Luis Castillo injured his ankle going into the Mets dugout. It wasn’t even an injury on the field. He slipped on the stairs and suffered a sprained ankle. He could be out a day or several weeks depending on the severity of the injury.
There’s nothing like watching a game where you think the Mets might actually have a chance of winning and totally get blown out. But that’s what it’s like to be a Mets fan this year.