On Sunday, my Florida travels brought me to Port St. Lucie as the New York Mets entertained the St. Louis Cardinals. The mercy rule probably should have been enacted as the home club scored in every inning from the third on and often in a 13-3 shellacking.
Behind Pat Misch, the Mets started their regular lineup with the exception of Carlos Beltran. The choice in right was instead Scott Hairston, who answered the call with a pair of home runs and a single, raising his spring average to .407. Given the injury uncertainties inherent with the Mets, Hairston is a player to be remembered late in drafts.
Centerfielder Angel Pagan, more of a speed player, slammed a three-run shot of Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia. In his third outing of the spring, the St. Louis sophomore was hit especially hard in the third inning, raising his Grapefruit League ERA to an even ten.
In a small but important occurrence, David Wright swiped his first base of the spring. It wasn’t against anyone, either. The battery was All-Star catcher Yadier Molina and the prospect with the best pickoff move in the St. Louis system in John Gast.
Cardinals’ third baseman David Freese had Misch’s number, collecting a pair of hard-hit doubles. Freese is scheduled to play again on Monday for the first pair of consecutive starts this spring, so continue to watch his health reports.
Oddly, Tony La Russa must have proclaimed Sunday left-hander day, as all four of his hurlers threw from the left side. Former Met Raul Valdes finished receiving the punishment and seems destined for Triple-A.
Like Garcia, Misch had his worst outing of the spring, allowing three runs in 3 2/3 frames.
On Monday, I will check out a six-inning “B” game between the Braves and Cardinals prior to their regular contest.