I guess the Cardinals are tired of people talking about their ability to win close games.
After winning a wild game against the Nationals in their most recent road victor, the Redbirds scored an uncomfortably close home win Monday against the Mets.
Joe Kelly pitched a strong 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits while the Cardinals built a four run advantage on Jon Jay lead-off triple in the first followed by a Matt Carpenter RBI groundout, a Joe Kelly lead-off double in the third followed by Jay and Carpenter sacrifices and a Yadier Molina RBI single and a solo home run from Skip Schumaker in the fourth.
But the Mets scored two in the top of the seventh to halve the lead. And when the Cardinals were unable to add on after scoring a run in the bottom of the inning to leave the men on first and third with one out, New York tacked on two more with a homer off the usually reliable Mitchell Boggs to make the score 5-4.
Jason Motte had to come in with one out in the eighth to bail out his set-up man, which he did on nine pitches. But in the ninth it looked like the Redbirds were in trouble when Andres Torres hit a ball into the right field corner on a ball that was cut off by Shane Robinso. Torres seemed to get to second base exceedingly quick to give the Mets a chance to sacrifice the runner to third and sacrifice him home with the top of the order to tie the game. But Motte appealed the play to first base and the umpire emphatically signaled that Torres missed first base and called him out.
The reprieve from a dangerous situation allowed Motte to steady and he ended the game with no further complications to help the Cardinals stay ahead of the Dodgers in the wild card race while adding a game to their lead against the Pirates who suffered the humiliation of losing to the Astros at home.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Kelly.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Apparently injured Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran earned his keep by noticing Torres missed first base and pointed it out to manager Mike Matheny.
Lowlight: The game wouldn't have been as close as it was if Yadier Molina could have managed to hit a fly ball in the eighth inning. But he offered at the first pitch and grounded into a double play to let New York off the hook.