In what started out as a pitching duel between Johan Santana and Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia ended in a 20-inning marathon. Even though the Mets won 2-1, they should be embarrassed in how it happened.
If there was ever a game a team didn’t deserve to win, it was this one. Both teams exhausted their bullpens. The difference is the Cardinals started using position players to pitch and the Mets only could muster one run in the 19th inning. (Wacky stat: the Mets hold the record for most runs scored in the top of the 19th inning.)
Here is a note to Dan Warthen, Mets pitching coach. Next time an opposing position player pitches in a game, tell your hitters not to swing. Don’t bunt when you have a man on first and no outs. You’re just giving up an out. Make the pitcher throw strikes until it gets to a 3-2 count, then swing.
The fact that David Wright, Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur couldn’t get a hit off of two different position players, shortstop Felipe Lopez, who hit the game-winning grand slam in last night’s game, and center fielder Joe Mather, is just embarrassing.
Someone who should be proud is Cardinals starter Kyle Lohse, who found himself playing left field when the Redbirds ran out of position players. He shagged two fly balls.
While Lohse was making do in his newfound position, Francisco Rodriguez wasn’t in his role as closer. K-Rod allowed a run to tie the game and send it into the 20th inning. He is paid to do one thing: save games. He couldn’t even do that when the team needed him the most up to this point in the season.
Instead of a save, he’ll have to settle for a win. Rodriguez was the pitcher of record when the Mets scored their second run against Mather, who pitched two innings. He took the loss. Instead of K-Rod pitching another inning, Mike Pelfrey came into close the game. So, now Pelfrey leads the team in wins and saves.
So, yes, Mets. You want today’s game, but you shouldn’t be proud of it. A win’s a win, but it’s one that should be quickly forgotten.
Both teams now have to unwind before they meet each other in the finale of this crazy series tomorrow night on ESPN.