The Bottom Line:
– The St. Louis Cardinals (74-62) defeated the New York Mets (64-72) by a score of 5-1 on Tuesday evening. The Cardinals temporarily move to one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second slot in the National League wild card race.
– Jaime Garcia continued his success in 2012 at Busch Stadium. He gained his first victory in over three months by pitching 7.1 innings while only giving up 1 unearned run. Garcia also put down three successful sacrifice bunts, becoming the Cardinals player to do so since Mike Morgan in 1996.
– The Cardinals began the bottom of the second inning with four straight singles, the first of which was Yadier Molina’s 1,000th career hit. David Freese followed up with a single, moving Molina to second base. Then, after a passed a ball, Skip Schumaker and Daniel Descalso each hit RBI singles. Later in the inning, Matt Carpenter chipped in a sacrifice fly to give St. Louis a 3-0 lead.
– The Cardinals then gutted out their fourth run of the night in the sixth inning. After Descalso led off with a single, Garcia sacrificed him to second and then he stole third. Jon Jay brought Descalso home by grounding out to second.
– Matt Holliday left the game with lower back tightness after leading off the seventh inning with a walk. Holliday is day-to-day. Adron Chambers pinch ran for him and remained in the game to play left field for the final two innings.
– Although Holliday was removed from the game, his walk did lead to another St. Louis run in the seventh. After Allen Craig lined out to center, Molina and Freese both hit singles to make the score 5-0.
– The Mets did threaten in the eighth inning. After Mike Matheny brought in Lance Lynn from the bullpen, Lynn almost had an inning-ending double play, but Descalso committed an error. This allowed one unearned Mets run to later cross the plate, but Chambers made an impressive jumping catch to prevent further damage.
– Lance Berkman pinch hit for Lynn to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning. This was Berkman’s first plate appearance in over a month. He forced a full count, but struck out.
– Trevor Rosenthal pitched a one-hit ninth inning to finish the game.
It was a great to see the Cardinals win two games in a row for the first time in over a week. St. Louis took the lead in the second inning and did not look back. The Cardinals move to 42-26 at home this season and still hold onto a lead in the second NL wild card spot.
In addition, Berkman made progress tonight by swinging the bat against live pitching. Although he struck out, the Cardinals need him in the lineup down the stretch. They will need Carlos Beltran to get back soon, too.
What’s Next: The Cardinals look to complete the sweep over the New York Mets at 12:45 pm central time on Wednesday. The afternoon game can be seen on Fox Sports Midwest and as always, pre and post game information can be found on CardsBlog. Go Cards.