Digital Domain Park, Port St Lucie, FL
Ahem. Did I just go out on a limb only a few days ago, by publicly announcing that, yes, I think the Cardinals will be more formidable than many people realize, and that Jaime Garcia may be one of the best pitchers in the NL that nobody's talking about (that much)? Yes, that was me. This game should be no indicator, it is Spring Training and if this one REALLY counted, LaRussa would have given Garcia the hook instead of leaving him in to 'get out of it.' What "it" was, was the Mets.
This reminded me of a Spring Training exercise 2 years ago, indeed, my very first post...I am much more comfortable with the lineup changes and a bit more adept at scoring the game...it was really the lopsided advantage displayed by the Mets, nearly making their opponent hapless in nature. But this is the CARDINALS, I mean...no way...
Chris Capuano pitched an unreasonably great game for the Mets, going 5 innings, allowing 8 hits and 3 earned runs. Garcia on the other hand...uff da! Things were going great for Garcia, just a coupla runs in the first (from a David Wright 1 out 1 on HR), no biggie...with 2 outs in the 4th, Brad Emaus reaches on a single, Schumaker commits an inning-changing error, and that really starts the commotion. Emaus' single would start a run of 9 consecutive hits for the Mets over 2 innings. Garcia leaves the game after 4 innings, 78 pitches, giving up 14 hits (OUCH), 10 runs (only 3 earned) and just one strikeout.
If you like games with gross offensive display...this game was just fine with that. the Mets launched 4 HR as a team, big blasts like those of Matt Den Dekker and pinch-hitter Josh Thole (who hit the ball so far it ended up in the alligator pond outside the stadium) were legendary; besides Wright, Emaus (who went 4-4 for the day) and Angel pagan went yard.
The Cards did their best, but just got clobbered. They thanked goodness that Miguel Batista came along in the 7th and kept the Mets quiet for the rest of the game.
And if you haven't seen Lance Berkman the outfielder yet...he's just as good as you thought he would be. Only a little bit better than Jason Bay.