Flushing, NY: After a suspended game that resulted in a 10-inning 5-4 loss for the Mets to the St. Louis Cardinals,attributed to Edwin Diaz the 2018 Latino Sports Al MVP relief pitcher of the year, it was time to play the scheduled game Friday night at Citi Field.
Long night at the ballpark and more for the Mets than the Cardinals. Right-hander Daniel Ponce de Leon in his second Major League start pitched 4.0 innings, gave up a run, and four hits. Though 84 pitches gave way to the Cardinals’ bullpen.
St. Louis would win 9-5, and once again the Mets bullpen failed as Jeurys Familia continued to struggle and gave up two home runs in the eighth inning and got the loss. Diaz in that first game saw the Mets bullpen sustain their 16th blown save, the most in the majors that started in the 9th inning Thursday night before the game was suspended.
And for Ponce de Leon, from Southern California, with a Mexican background, this was a start that could keep him in the Cardinals rotation. He felt that his arm was lively and the fastball was locating.
“Pretty much a fastball game,” he said. “My arm felt good. Just got it down,” he said about the fastball.
Ponce de Leon, worked 3.0 scoreless innings and allowed one hit in a start at Tacoma June 6th. With the Cardinals short in the rotation, right-hander Adam Wainwright on the injured list with a hamstring strain, he got the call to come up last week.
“It’s a work in progress,” he said about throwing more innings and limiting the pitch counts.
St. Louis has won nine of their last 14 games. They matched their season high with four home runs in a game for the fifth time this season which also leads the major leagues. One of those home runs was a pinch-hit three-run homer in the fifth inning, the 4th for Jose Martinez that gave the Cardinals a 4-1 lead.
“Always feeds off lefthanders,” said Cardinals’ manager Mike Shildt about Martinez and his third career pinch home run who came to bat for Ponce de Leon.
As for Familia, the Mets have to depend on the right-hander who was re-signed in the offseason to a three-year contract and is pitching with a 6.01 ERA.
“For any athlete sometimes you have bad seasons,” he said through an interpreter. Familia usually speaks without the assistance of team translator Alan Suriel, perhaps he needed to get the right words across and for the Mets that patience for a once dependable arm out of the pen is starting to fall apart.
For the Cardinals, a team that is in contention, and they expect that to be the case before the all-star break, getting an effort from Ponce de Leon does not hurt.
It was that type of night for the Mets even though Wilson Ramos gave his team a 5-4 lead with a two-out two-run single in the seventh inning. He is batting .350 with 29 RBI with runners in scoring position.
All-in-all a productive night for the Cardinals who also saw Carlos Martinez (1-0) pitch a perfect ninth to preserve the first game win.
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