Tuesday’s Game Report: Mets 3, Cardinals 0
By Rob Rains
The second start for Jordan Hicks didn’t last as long as the first, but the reason had nothing to do with how he was pitching.
Hicks was hit by a line drive on his right wrist in the second inning on Tuesday night and had to come out of the game after facing three hitters in the third, allowing two doubles and a walk.
The two-run inning was all the Mets needed to win the game at Busch Stadium and hand the Cardinals their third consecutive loss.
X-rays on Hicks’ wrist were negative, and his injury was diagnosed as a contusion. Hicks said he felt the wrist getting swollen and stiffer when he came back out for the third.
Hicks had pitched three innings in his first major-league start last week in Miami, and the Cardinals were hoping he could throw five innings on Tuesday night.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals were shut out for the second time in their last six games. They were held to three hits, all singles, and did not have a runner reach third base … The Cardinals have not homered in their last six games, and have not had an extra-base hit in the first two games against the Mets … The six consecutive games without a home run is their longest such streak since 2015 … Paul DeJong started at shortstop after two days off and struck out in his first two-bats, extending his streak to seven consecutive strikeouts, before hitting a single in the seventh … Brendan Donovan made his first career start, at first base, with Paul Goldschmidt serving as the DH. Donovan was 0-of-2 and was hit by a pitch.
On the mound: Hicks allowed just one walk in his first two innings, getting the final out of the second after he was hit by the line drive off the bat of Dominic Smith. He gave up back-to-back doubles to the eighth and ninth place hitters to start the third before a walk ended his night after 42 pitches … Andre Pallante allowed one of the inherited runners to score before working a scoreless fourth and fifth innings … The Mets scored their final run in the ninth thanks in part to a missed call on what would have been an inning-ending strikeout.
Key stat: It was only the second time in 50 games against the Mets that the Cardinals were shut out since Busch Stadium 3 opened in 2006. The only previous shutout was 10-0 loss on April 4, 2007.
Worth noting: MLB and the player’s union reached an agreement that when rosters are reduced from 28 to 26 players after Sunday’s games, teams will be allowed to carry 14 pitchers. Previously the maximum had been 13 pitchers, meaning now teams could cut either two pitchers or one pitcher and a position player. The 14-pitcher limit will be in place until May 30, when teams have to return to a maximum of 13 pitchers.
Looking ahead: Steven Matz will start against his former team in the 12:15 p.m. game on Wednesday as the Cardinals try to salvage the final game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains