Found September 03, 2012 on
Fox Sports Midwest:
(AP) -- Carlos Beltran wasn't very effective in his much anticipated return to Citi Field to face the New York Mets back in June, and he's slumping currently.
Beltran is enduring a 20-game homerless drought for the St. Louis Cardinals, who are clinging to the NL's second wild-card spot as they open a three-game home set Monday against the surging Mets.
It was a major story when Beltran came back to New York (64-70) for a series that began June 1. The outfielder signed a seven-year deal worth 119 million with the Mets in 2005, and was 2 for 18 with five strikeouts in his return as St. Louis (72-62) dropped three of four.
Beltran is hitting .160 with 23 strikeouts in the 20 games since he went deep Aug. 10 at Philadelphia. He was 5 for 35 with 10 strikeouts on the Cardinals' 4-6 road trip.
With little chance of catching Central-leading Cincinnati, St. Louis is one-half game ahead of the Dodgers and 1 12 in front of Pittsburgh in the race for the second wild card.
Five of the last six starters to face the Cardinals have not allowed an earned run against them, with Stephen Strasburg pitching six scoreless innings Sunday in Washington's 4-3 victory.
"I hate walking out of here when we could have been, through a tough trip, 5-5," manager Mike Matheny told the Cardinals' official website.
Mets starters fared well in the June series against St. Louis, with the first three not allowing a run before Dillon Gee gave up three in the finale. The Cardinals batted .180 with 41 strikeouts in those four games.
St. Louis will get its first look at New York right-hander Collin McHugh (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who will make his second career start. His debut was outstanding as he struck out nine and yielded two hits over seven scoreless innings Aug. 23 in a 1-0 home loss to Colorado.
"It was trying to contain the nerves," said McHugh, an 18th-round draft pick in 2008. "A lot of people gave some really good advice and said you're going to be nervous. It's a fact. Just contain those and go out and do your thing."
The Cardinals' top hitter, Yadier Molina, will be back in the lineup to face McHugh after Matheny gave him Sunday off. Molina, bothered by shoulder and neck pain, is batting .322.
"We just try to give him a little time when we can, even though it doesn't seem like September is the time to do it," Matheny said. "He needs it."
The Mets have won seven of eight after completing a three-game sweep in Miami with Sunday's 5-1 victory. Jason Bay, making his first start since Aug. 25, hit a grand slam to highlight a five-run first inning.
"It didn't feel any different - that was the weird part," Bay said. "My first start in a week or whatever it's been, but I've done this a million times, it wasn't really that awkward."
The Cardinals will start rookie Joe Kelly (4-6, 3.61), who owns a 2.30 ERA in day games as opposed to a 4.25 mark at night. Kelly also is better at home with a 3.06 ERA compared to his 4.45 road ERA.
The right-hander returned to the rotation to replace the struggling Lance Lynn on Wednesday and yielded five runs over five innings in a 5-0 loss at Pittsburgh.
BEST OF MAXIM
Chris Carpenter's shoulder surgery was expected to end his season, but now not only is there a strong possibility that he will return to the Cardinals some time this season, he might come back as a starting pitcher, MLB.com reported. Carpenter threw live batting practice on Friday for the first time since undergoing thoracic outlet surgery on his shoulder July 19. He will...
The New York Mets won for the 7th time in their last 8 games today when they took down the Marlins by a score of 5-1. With the victory the Mets regain a share of third place in the NL East as Chipper Jones helped the Braves to a walk-off victory against the Phillies.
To top it off, the Mets offensive hero on Sunday was none other than Jason Bay, who delivered a grand slam in the...
I do a lot of searching through minor-league lists of top prospects and I often find it interesting where “experts” decide to rank Met prospects. Using the basic rankings of MLB.com’s pre-season picks for the Met’s top 20 prospects, Here’s a little review in preview of my full system review that I’m starting to work on as we speak.
#1 Zack Wheeler:
What They Said –...
Barring some more umpiring hijinks, we should be in for a treat tonight as a two good young hurlers take the hill for the middle game of a three-game set in St. Louis. First pitch is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. and the game can be seen on SNY or heard, as always, on WFAN 660AM. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @dailystache or yours truly, @DevOnSports.
Matt Harvey makes...
The regular season is over for all three upper minors teams. That means no more baseball for the Bisons and B-Mets, and a best-of-three divisional series for the St. Lucie team. Let’s take a look at who finished up the season strong, and who didn’t.
Wilfredo Tovar 2B, Binghamton- Tovar had a strong first half with St. Lucie, but had a tough time adjusting in...
With the end of the Buffalo Bisons season on Monday, the Mets will be recalling four players, and purchasing two contracts from Triple-A. The players will be:
Jordany Valdespin, UTIL
Elvin Ramirez, RHP
Jeurys Familia, RHP
Jenrry Mejia, RHP
And the contracts that will be purchased are
Fred Lewis, OF
Justin Hampson, LHP
This is in addition to Colin McHugh being called up for today’s...
According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Buffalo Bisons manager Wally Backman is expected to join the Mets on Sunday, for the series finale at Citi Field against the Atlanta Braves. According to Rubin:
“It will mark the second straight season in which Backman has joined the coaching staff for the final month. Backman’s Triple-A Buffalo squad completes its season this afternoon...
Unless you’re a Mets fan living under a rock or have “boycotted the team”, the hot topic after yesterday’s 5-4 loss to the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals was Andres Torres being called out on an appeal play. Personally, I’ve never seen a player actually called out on an appeal…yet for some odd reason I just felt in the pit of my stomach when the Cardinals actually...
For those of you wondering Mets Fever will return, I started this blog in December of 2006 and built it up to become one of the biggest Mets blogs around. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a blogger whether I was spouting off to ten people or a thousand and have no plans of discontinuing the site. As some of you know my real life has been extremely hectic over the last two years...
And some Mets fans out there think Terry Collins should be fired? HA! What a job by Ozzie Guillen last night. MarLOLins Ace Josh Johnson, was mowing down Mets hitters all night and carried a 2-1 lead into the 9th inning. But as what has become a custom, the closer automatically was brought in to the 9th inning, to add to a meaningless stat. Johnson had only thrown 105 pitches...
Bonus notes from our MLB on Fox broadcast of the St. Louis Cardinals-Washington Nationals game on Saturday ...
It was as if the ghost of Tony La Russa visited the Cardinals' dugout, whispering, "Play a hard nine," in everyone's ears.
Just when the Cardinals' season appeared on the verge of collapse, the team responded Saturday with one of its most stirring...
Kelly Shoppach has been solid since coming to the Mets.
The Mets came back to win 5-3 against the Miami Marlins tonight. Jeremy Hefner threw 6 innings of two run ball en route to the victory. Manny Acosta added a scoreless inning of relief while Frank Francisco came on in the ninth and earned his 23rd save of the season.
The Mets had difficulty with Josh Johnson until Josh Thole...
ST. LOUIS - The Cardinals began play on Monday hanging onto a wild-card spot in the NL playoffs - which manager Mike Matheny says might come as a surprise to some people. They ended the day hanging on for a victory. "If you were to just read or listen to what's being said and asked about this team, you'd have thought we were fighting to stay out of last place,"...
Wow, what a game!
The Mets combined a solid start by Jeremy Hefner with a huge ninth inning rally and a clutch save by Frank Francisco to stun the Miami Marlins by a score of 5-3 on Saturday night.
After Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen pulled his ace Josh Johnson while in the midst of a three-hitter, the Mets came roaring back from the dead to score four runs in the ninth inning...