The Mets defeated the Cardinals by the score of 3-2 at Busch Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Bartolo Colon had a fantastic game, pitching eight strong innings for the win while also notching his first career extra base hit.
The Mets appeared poised for another long day after Matt Carpenter led off the game for the Cardinals with his 3rd home run of the season. However, the 41 year old Colon settled in and tossed a gem, needing only 86 pitches to get the ball in the hands of his closer Jenrry Mejia.
In a move that drew the ire of the Met’s twittersphere, Terry Collins pulled his aging hurler from the game despite his low pitch count and dominant performance. Mejia struggled, allowing a double and a hit batsman before inducing Matt Holliday into a crucial double play. After surrendering an Allen Craig RBI single, Mejia was pulled in favor of left-hander Dana Eveland, who went on to secure his first major league save in 9 seasons.
Following consecutive games in which the Mets batted their pitcher eighth in the lineup, their weakest hitting hurler, Colon was relegated back to the traditional 9-hole. In spectacularly ironic fashion, Colon delivered the first extra-base hit of his 17 year long career to lead off the 6th inning. Eric Young Jr. subsequently doubled himself, and Colon lumbered around the third base bag to tie up the game at 1-1.
David Wright went on to drive in Eric Young later in the inning with an RBI single. In the top of the 7th, EY drove in Wilmer Flores, effectively putting the game out of reach and notching his second RBI double of the afternoon.
Colon’s hit was his first since 2005 when he won the Cy Young award with the Angels. His run scored was the first since August 9th, 2002 when he pitched for the Montreal Expos; a team that hasn’t been in existence for nearly a decade. Perhaps most unbelievably, Colon was already 29 years old at the time.
Despite a stressful final frame, the Mets escaped St. Louis with their first road win in 9 contests. The Amazin’s will travel to Miami for a 7:10 pm matchup tomorrow night at Marlins Park. Zack Wheeler (2-7, 4.38 ERA) will take on 23 year-old Andrew Heaney, who is making his first career big league start for the Fish.