Friday’s Game Report: Mets 7, Cardinals 1
By Rob Rains
About the only drama from Masyn Winn’s major-league debut on Friday night was whether he was going to get the ball back from his first career hit.
After his infield single in the fifth inning, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, apparently unaware of the moment, chucked the ball into the stands behind the Cardinals dugout at Busch Stadium.
The players in the Cardinals dugout, led by Miles Mikolas, lit into Alonso, who later apologized for his error in judgment. Cardinals’ personnel were able to negotiate with the fan who caught the ball to get it back for Winn.
That was about all that went right for the Cardinals, who came within one out of being shut out for the second time in the last three games and lost to the Mets for the second night in a row. They have scored in just two of their last 27 innings, a combined total of three runs.
Winn, universally regarded as the Cardinals’ top prospect, was 1-of-4 in his debut, becoming the first shortstop to make his major-league debut for the Cardinals at age 21 or younger since 20-year-old Garry Templeton played his first game on Aug. 9, 1976.
“I’m extremely excited to watch him play,” said manager Oli Marmol. “It’s a new challenge for him. It’s good to get him up here. … I thought he handled the day very well.”
Here is how Friday night’s game broke down:
At the plate: Winn’s hit came on a slow roller to third base in his second at-bat after he struck out swinging in the second. He also grounded out in the seventh and flew out to center in the ninth … Winn had one of only six hits for the Cardinals, who twice left the bases loaded, in the first and sixth innings. They loaded the bases in the first on two walks and a single by Willson Contreras before Jordan Walker struck out. In the sixth, a single by Nolan Arenado, a double by Tyler O’Neill and a walk to Walker loaded the bases but pinch-hitter Alec Burleson struck out to end the inning … Their only run scored with two outs in the ninth on a double by Richie Palacios following a walk to Burleson.
On the mound: Zack Thompson gave up a home run, to Brandon Nimmo, on his third pitch of the game. Making his second start of the season, Thompson allowed one other run over his five innings … The Mets blew the game open with five runs in the seventh inning, the big blow a three-run homer by Jeff McNeil off James Naile.
Key stat: With Winn joining Walker in the starting lineup, it marked the first time that the Cardinals had two 21-year-old position players in the starting lineup in the same game since Sept. 11, 1977 when Templeton and Ken Oberkfell were in the same lineup.
Worth noting: The only other Met to lead off a game at Busch 3 with a home run was Curtis Granderson off Lance Lynn in 2015 … Winn became the 47th player to appear in a game for the Cardinals this season … Five of the 10 players in the Cardinals starting lineup spent at least part of this season at Triple A Memphis. By the end of the game the only two who didn’t play there (counting O’Neill’s rehab assignment) were Burleson and Willson Contreras … Ryan Helsley was in Memphis on Friday night for a rehab appearance. He only faced three batters, giving up an infield single and issuing a walk before retiring the next hitter on a line out.
Looking ahead: Miles Mikolas will get the start in the third game of the series, starting at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday night.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains