Game 21: Mets 3, Cardinals 2

Posted by Scott Wuerz on April 23, 2014 

Michael Wacha became the first pitcher in St. Louis Cardinals history Wednesday to strike out nine batters over the opening three innings of a game.

That's quite an accomplishment. Especially when one considers that the Redbirds trace their history back to 1892.

Unfortunately Wacha also became the first pitcher in franchise history to lose a game in which he struck out nine batters in the opening three innings, departing early in a contest that St. Louis fumbled away by a 3-2 score.

Wacha's flashy feat caused him to quickly rack up his pitch count. He tossed 93 offerings in four innings of work before being pulled by manager Mike Matheny for a pinch hitter in the top of the fifth. As he neared the end of the line, Wacha's magnificent control abandoned him. While the 22-year-old left with a career high 10 whiffs, he also set a person standard for most bases on balls issued in a game: 5.

Two of the walks happened with the bases loaded which accounted for two-thirds of the Mets runs.

The Cardinals scored a single time in the first inning when Matt Carpenter singled and Matt Holliday walked in front of a Yadier Molina double.

The Mets added an insurance run in the sixth inning when Lucas Duda hit a solo home run. The score held up at 3-1 until the ninth when the Cardinals had runners on first and second with Daniel Descalso at the plate. Descalso doubled and it appeared that the tying run would score. But Carpenter was gunned down at the plate and the Redbirds ended up stranding the tying run in scoring position. 

It was a frustrating end to a game in which the Birds out-hit the Mets 11-4. 

Cardinal Star of the Game: Carpenter collected four hits in five at-bats to raise his batting average to .296.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Descalso's hit should have been the dramatic game tying stroke. It would have left the potential winning run in scoring position. But Carpenter missed getting the job done by half a step.

Lowlight: Jhonny Peralta was hitless in four at-bats to see his season batting average fall to .151. He also has five errors in the first three weeks of the season.

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