Saturday’s Game Report: Cardinals 10, Mets 2
By Rob Rains
Sitting in his office at Busch Stadium before Saturday’s game, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt defended his starting pitchers even though they have not performed as well as many expected in the early stage of this season.
“The confidence I have in our rotation is still high,” Shildt said. “We’ve got a lot of guys we have trust in. Starting today I think we can go on a run. We could do it for the rest of the year.”
Time will tell if that proves to be the case, but Miles Mikolas certainly did his part on Saturday to ease concerns at least about his individual performance.
Mikolas became the first starter, in the 20th game of the season, to record an out in the seventh inning. He finished the seventh, and eighth too, as the Cardinals rode his strong performance to the win over the Mets.
The Cardinals entered the game with a combined 5.28 ERA from their five starting pitchers. Only two teams, the Mets and Brewers, had a higher ERA among the 15 National League teams. The top ERA among Cardinals’ starters was a 4.64 mark from Michael Wacha.
Mikolas came into the game with a 6.00 ERA and saw it drop by a run as he allowed just four hits and two runs.
“As a rotation I think we probably have caught some bad breaks, but that’s baseball,” Mikolas said. “When you look at our starters across the board that’s not who we are. Things will autocorrect themselves.”
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Every Cardinals’ starter except Dexter Fowler had at least one hit or scored a run … Mikolas got the offense started with a two-run single in the second inning … Jose Martinez had three more hits and drove in three runs, raising his average to .333 … Paul DeJong had two doubles and drove in a run while Marcell Ozuna walked three times and scored three runs … Paul Goldschmidt tied Ozuna for the team lead in home runs with his eighth of the season in the eighth inning, capping the Cardinals’ scoring … DeJong’s 27 hits include nine doubles, a triple and four home runs.
On the mound: Mikolas allowed just four baserunners through the first six innings on two singles and two walks, both on 3-2 counts. He gave up the other two hits, and both runs, in the seventh before working a 1-2-3 eighth and claiming his second win of the season … Giovanny Gallegos finished the game with a perfect ninth inning, throwing only nine pitches.
Key stat: Martinez has 13 hits in 26 at-bats, an even .500 average, in his last six starts. In the four games he has started since both Tyler O’Neill and Harrison Bader went on the injured list he is 6-of-18 with one homer and four RBIs.
Worth noting: Matt Carpenter came out of the game in the seventh inning after fouling a pitch off his left knee in the sixth. He is not likely to miss any games … The home run by Goldschmidt was estimated at 464 feet, the longest hit by a Cardinal this season and Goldfschmidt’s longest in the last four years … The 10 runs were the most scored by the Cardinals in a game against the Mets since scoring 12 on July 18, 2015 … After being rained out the last two days, Alex Reyes started for Memphis on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader and pitched three shutout innings, allowing just one hit. He walked one, struck out four and threw 25 of his 40 pitches for strikes. He also had a throwing error on a pickoff attempt at first base.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals and Mets close out the series with a 1:15 p.m. game on Easter Sunday. Dakota Hudson is scheduled to start against the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains
Mike Shildt, Miles Mikolas, Jose Martinez, Paul DeJong