|Mets, Cards wrap up wild series Sunday|
Say this for the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals: Even with one game still to go, they've already packed plenty of weirdness into their only regular-season series in the Big Apple.
The Mets and Cardinals will conclude an eventful four-game series Sunday, when New York left-hander Jason Vargas (3-3, 3.68 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound against St. Louis right-hander Dakota Hudson (5-3, 3.47).
The Mets maintained their hopes of earning a split on Saturday when Pete Alonso's three-run homer -- which glanced off the third deck in left field at Citi Field and was measured at 458 feet -- keyed a five-run first inning before New York barely hung on for an 8-7 win.
The Mets led 8-3 when starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard left with a strained right hamstring with none out in the seventh. The Cardinals scored three times in the seventh, left the bases loaded in the eighth and got within one run in the ninth before St. Louis pitcher Jack Flaherty, who started Thursday's game and was pinch running, was thrown out at home by second baseman Jeff McNeil after trying to score from first on a bloop single to end the game.
"That was just a whirlwind of emotions," Alonso told reporters after the game. "I saw the ball drop, because that landed right in the honey hole between Jeff and (Michael Conforto) and it's just 'Oh Lord.' And then Jeff made an absolute dime of a throw. I was just like 'Yeah!'
"I'm happy that we made the play and won the game. That's definitely needed and just need to do it again tomorrow."
The frantic ninth inning was the latest wildness experienced by the Mets and Cardinals. The series opener was suspended due to rain after the Cardinals scored against Diaz twice in the ninth to tie the game 4-4. The game resumed Friday night, and St. Louis scored again off Diaz in the 10th to earn the win before scoring four runs after the eighth inning of the regularly scheduled game to record a 9-5 victory.
"You see Flaherty chugging the bases and I thought he was going to score," said Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha, who took the loss Saturday after allowing six runs (five earned) in four innings. "The guy made a heck of a throw from right field, right on the money. So, I mean, you've just got to tip your cap at some point and go get them tomorrow. But it was a crazy ending, that's for sure."
Vargas won his second straight start Tuesday when he allowed three runs over six innings as the Mets beat the New York Yankees, 10-4. He has a 2.20 ERA in his last eight starts after producing a 6.32 ERA in his first 23 appearances (22 starts) since signing a two-year deal with New York in February 2018.
Hudson also earned a win Tuesday, when he gave up one run over a season-high seven innings as the Cardinals beat the Miami Marlins, 7-1. The victory extended Hudson's unbeaten streak to six starts, during which he's gone 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA to lower his overall ERA from 4.63 to 3.47.
Vargas is 1-2 with a 4.99 ERA in six career appearances (five starts) against the Cardinals. Hudson won his lone start against the Mets on Apr. 21, when he allowed three runs over five innings in St. Louis' 6-4 victory.
--Field Level Media