Friday, June 16, 2023

Megill, Marte & McNeil Lead Mets To Win Over Cards To Open Weekend Series

Tylor Megill firing one in to Nolan Gorman in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.


The Mets got a great start from Tylor Megill; and Starling Marte and Jeff McNeil ignited two rallies to give them a comfortable 6-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at Citi Field.

This was the Mets' second win in a row, as the energy from their walk-off win over the Yankees was still palpable. They improved to 33-36, while St. Louis fell to a stunning 27-43.

Megill had possibly his best start of the season, as he allowed just one run (earned) on four hits and no walks, with seven strikeouts. He improved to 6-4 and lowered his ERA (earned run average) to 4.83.

"A lot of good things, but it starts with starting pitching," Mets Manager Buck Showalter said in his postgame remarks. "Tylor getting - you know, I'm trying to quit not thinking that six (innings) is deep, but I've changed my thinking. I'm okay with that. We played crisp, we did some heads-up things on the bases."

The Mets got the early lead against Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas in the bottom of the first inning, as Brandon Nimmo walked, and Starling Marte and Jeff McNeil each got singles to load the bases.

Francisco Lindor then bounced one in front of the plate, and Mikolas tossed it back to catcher Willson Contreras to start the 1-2-3 double play, as they got Nimmo at the plate and Lindor at first base.

The Mets still had runners at second and third for Brett Baty, and he lined one down the right field line to bring in Marte and McNeil. Tommy Pham then brought in Baty to make it 3-0 Mets.

In the third, Marte and McNeil opened the frame with singles, and Lindor hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Marte. 

After Baty grounded out to first base, Pham got another RBI single to open up a 5-0 lead for the Mets.

Meanwhile, Megill retired the first seven Cardinals he faced until Paul DeJong singled with one out in the third inning. Megill then retired the next five Cardinals' batters. 

Contreras led off to open the fifth inning, and he hit a towering fly ball down the left field line that snaked inside the foul pole for a solo home run. It was the eighth home run of the season for Contreras, who has had a rough go of it in his first season in St. Louis after spending his entire career with the Cubs.

That sparked a rally for St. Louis, as Jordan Walker doubled, and Dylan Carlson reached on a hit-by-pitch.

Megill then struck out DeJohn, and with Tommy Edman at the plate, Walker tried stealing third base, and was easily thrown out by Mets catcher Omar Narvaez for the second out. Showalter said that "was big for us, kind of a momentum change."

Edman then bounced one in front of the plate, and Narvaez fired to first base, where Mark Canha was once again, for the third out of an eventful frame.

After Megill worked around a Brenda Donovan single to open the sixth by retiring the next three batters in order, the Mets added to their lead in the bottom half of the inning.

Daniel Vogelbach, who had missed the Yankees' series to take a mental break, was 0-for-2 when he came up with two out in the bottom of the sixth, and he tore into one into the second deck in deep right field for a solo home run to make it 6-1 Mets.

It was just Vogelbach's third home run of the season, and his fifteen RBI, and all his teammates ran up to the top rail to celebrate as he rounded the bases. 

Dominic Leone came on for the Mets in the seventh, and he pitched a scoreless frame, as he worked around a single and notched a strikeout

Left-hander Josh Walker pitched the final two innings, in which he retired the Cardinals six-up, six-down, while striking out three.

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