Friday, June 14, 2013

Wainwright outduels Harvey, Cardinals beat Mets 2-1 in rubbermatch

Matt Harvey pitched great. Adam Wainwright just pitched better than great to say it with ease, and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Mets 2 to 1 inside Shea Stadium in New York on Thursday afternoon in the third and decisive game of the three game series' rubber-match in a Major League Baseball regular season contest.

This game was an instant classic thus far throughout a majority of the games played so far in this 2013 season. Wainwright earned the win and became the first pitcher in baseball this season to reach double-digits in the win column from a starter. He went 7 innings in the game and gave up no runs on four hits -- including six strikeouts and two walks.

It was an ending that made Cardinal Nation sweat it out though -- which hasn't been the case very many times in the situation of a two-run lead and Edward Mujica being the closer. Mujica earned his 19th save in as many opportunities but gave up a 430 feet bomb off the bat of Marlon Byrd, breaking up the almost-combined shut out and was just the fourth home run he had given up all season. Trevor Rosenthal pitched a scoreless eighth-inning frame for St. Louis too help Wainwright's cause though.

Matt Harvey matched Wainwright in the innings department with seven -- but he ended up giving up one run on five St. Louis hits -- and seen his undefeated record crumble to 5-1 even after such an impressive start that ended with seven strikeouts.

The bullpen for the Mets used three men -- Scott Rice, LaTroy Hawkins, and Josh Edgin. The three combined for two innings as Rice gave up one run on two hits in two-thirds of an inning before Hawkins finished the Cardinals off in the same inning. Edgin pitched a scoreless ninth inning frame himself as he struck out a batter and gave up just one hit.

The Cardinals got the first run of the game in the top of the third when Matt Carpenter tripled to center field and drove in Pete Kozma from first base. Allen Craig then made it 2-0 in the eighth inning as he drove in Matt Holliday with an RBI single to right field. Allen Craig has driven in 49 runs on the season so far, while Matt Carpenter has drove in 25 himself.

St. Louis left New York with another 'Happy Flight' as they improved the leagues best record to 43-23 -- 20 games over the .500 mark with a 3.5 game lead over Cincinnati for the Central division lead -- while the Mets fell to 24-37 overall, and are now 12.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for first in the East. 

The Cardinals will now travel to Florida where they will begin a three game series in Miami against the Marlins. The Marlins enter the weekend with a record of 19-46, which is among one of the worst in baseball and are just 11-22 at home while St. Louis is a league-best 24-11 on the road this season. The series opener on Friday will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest with the first pitch coming at 6:05 pm Central Time. 

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