The Bottom Line
— The St. Louis Cardinals (73-62) defeated the New York Mets (64-71) on Monday afternoon by a score of 5-4. They move up to 1 game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second slot in the National League wild card race.
— Joe Kelly gave up 2 earned runs and 5 hits over 6 2/3 innings. He also recorded 4 strikeouts and gave up one home run to Kelly Shoppach
— Mitchell Boggs had a rare poor appearance as he gave up a two-run home run to Daniel Murphy in the eighth inning.
— In his sixteen appearances as a Cardinal, Edward Mujica is still yet to allow an earned or inherited run.
— Jason Motte converted a five-out save, his 33rd save of the season.
Wow, what a way to end the game. This game certainly got a little worrisome in the eighth inning when the Mets had a couple of runners on and threatened to tie the game. I liked Matheny’s move to bring in Motte for the five-out save. According to Bill James, you should always be bringing in your best pitcher at the most crucial time in the game, and that’s exactly what Matheny did as Motte got Scott Hairston to fly out to center and Kelly Shoppach to strike out.
It’s not often runners get called out for missing a base. Strangely enough, this is a recurring problem for the Mets. When Andres Torres hit that ball, all I was thinking was “Oh God, here we go again.” To be perfectly honest, it does not appear as if Torres missed the bag, but that’s baseball. Perhaps some karma for Carlos Beltran’s double not being called fair against Johan Santana? I don’t know, but regardless, Motte luckily recovered and helped earn the Cards their 73rd victory on the season.
Kelly was great today and for the most part kept the Mets off the base paths. His composure on the mound continues to impress me as he improved to 5-6 on the season. Of course, he has really pitched much better than that as he now holds a 3.54 ERA. It will be interesting to see how Matheny will handle him down the stretch, particularly if the Cards make the playoffs.
What’s Next: The Cardinals play the middle game of their three-game set with the New York Mets on Tuesday night. First pitch is at 7:15 PM CST and Matt Harvey will oppose Jaime Garcia. As always, all pre and post game information can be found on CardsBlog.