Cardinals will try to avoid getting swept in series finale with Mets
The Mets will look to continue their strong opening weekend and to extend the Cardinals’ misery Sunday afternoon when the teams play the finale of a three-game series with an Easter matinee at Citi Field.
New York left-hander Steven Matz (2-7, 6.08 ERA in 13 starts in 2017) is scheduled to oppose St. Louis right-hander Luke Weaver (7-2, 3.38 ERA in 13 appearances in 2017).
The Mets cruised to a second straight win Saturday afternoon when Jacob deGrom allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings and Todd Frazier finished with three RBIs in a 6-2 victory.
The fast start has been fueled by a balanced attack under rookie manager Mickey Callaway, who is the first New York skipper since Joe Torre in 1977 to win his first two games at the helm. Ten players have scored at least one run while eight have at least one RBI for the Mets.
Three players who had little to no impact on Thursday’s 9-4 win played huge parts in Saturday’s wire-to-wire victory. Asdrubal Cabrera, who was the only player held hitless Thursday, went 3 for 5 with an RBI double out of the leadoff spot. Travis d’Arnaud (homer) and Juan Lagares (two hits) also thrived after not playing Thursday.
The Mets are looking to start 3-0 for the first time since winning their opening four in 2012.
“Nothing better than getting off to a good start,” d’Arnaud told reporters afterward. “The clubhouse feeling in here is amazing.”
The feeling is decidedly different down the hall, where the Cardinals have held a lead for only one half-inning in the first two games. Starting pitchers Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha have combined to allow nine runs (eight earned) in nine innings while Jose Martinez and Yadier Molina have eight of St. Louis’ 13 hits.
In addition, the Cardinals have displayed poor fundamentals thus far. Jose Martinez airmailed a throw that led to the Mets’ first run Thursday.
On Saturday, center fielder Tommy Pham cut in front of left fielder Marcell Ozuna for a routine fly and then uncorked an errant throw home as Yoenis Cespedes raced home from third. Later, right fielder Dexter Fowler was playing too shallow and took a bad route on Cabrera’s RBI double.
“We’re going to get there for sure,” Jose Martinez told reporters following Saturday’s game. “Everybody knows what we’re capable of doing. And we’re going to show up (Sunday) and try to win.”
The Cardinals are looking to avoid starting 0-3 for the second time in three years after doing so in 2016.
Matz took the loss in his lone career start against the Cardinals on July 9, when he allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Mets fell 6-0 at Busch Stadium. That defeat began a season-ending eight-start stretch for Matz in which he went 0-6 with a 10.19 ERA. Weaver has never faced the Mets.