Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Jay Bruce's solo homer with two outs in the top of the 10th inning lifted the Mets to their Major League-best 10th come-from-behind win of the season. It was his second long ball of the year and first since April 5, a span of 47 at-bats. Bruce also had an RBI triple and collected three of the Mets' six hits while falling a double shy of hitting for the cycle.
2) With the Mets trailing, 4-1, in the fifth, Yoenis Cespedes crushed a 463-foot three-run homer into the second deck in left field. After falling behind again, Adrian Gonzalez knotted the score, 5-5, with a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
3) Matt Harvey made his first appearance in relief since being bumped from the rotation after last Thursday's start. With the score tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the fifth inning, he retired the first two batters before allowing consecutive doubles that put the Cardinals back on top. Harvey worked around a walk in the sixth and was charged with one run on two hits and a walk with one strikeout in two innings.
4) Zack Wheeler trailed, 2-0, two batters into the game after issuing a leadoff walk and surrendering a two-run homer to Tommy Pham. The right-hander allowed two more runs in the fourth on an RBI double by Kolten Wong and run-scoring single by opposing pitcher Luke Weaver. Wheeler was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks while striking out three in four innings.
5) Paul Sewald pitched two scoreless innings and Robert Gsellman worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the ninth to force extras. Jeurys Familia rebounded from blowing two of his last three save opportunities by striking out two in a perfect 10th for his ninth save of the year.
Postgame reaction from Michael Avallone...
Despite the recent funk the Mets have been in, it's refreshing to feel that they're never truly out of a game. That certainly wasn't the case last year, but it also goes deeper than having the horses on the field to get it done. Mickey Callaway has talked about his club not giving in and battling until the last out ... and through the first three weeks of the season, they have.
Tonight was Jay Bruce's turn to get in on the action, and he couldn't have picked a better time. Struggling virtually from the get-go and an almost automatic out the last 10 days, the Mets' right fielder broke out with three hits, including his go-ahead homer in the 10th. Even with so much of their lineup scuffling, particularly the outfielders, New York is still finding ways to get the job done.
There are certainly things the Mets still need to fine tune. Some of their good fortune won't continue, baseball will see to that. But the bottom line is winning games. As Bill Parcells' (too) oft-used quote suggests, "You are what your record says you are."
The Mets are 15-6 with several 'circle that game' moments already, and it's only April 24.
Highlights from tonight's win...
News and notes...
New York improved to 8-2 on the road and 3-1 against the Cardinals this season. The Mets won for the 10th time in 29 games at Busch Stadium since 2009.
Of New York's 21 games, 14 have been decided by three runs or less. They are 12-2 in those contests, 3-0 in extra innings and 4-4 when trailing after seven. Last year's club went 4-72 when entering the seventh on the losing side.
Gsellman (3-0) picked up the Mets' Major League-best ninth win out of the bullpen.
Sewald has allowed one run on two hits while striking out 11 in his last four appearances spanning 8 1/3 innings.
Michael Conforto walked three times and has reached base safely in all 16 games he's appeared in this season. He's also earned at least one free pass in eight consecutive games, the longest current streak in the Majors.
Bruce entered Tuesday night batting .107 (2-for-28) in his last nine games.
Cespedes struck out twice more to increase his Major League-leading total to 39. He's fanned in all but two of his 20 starts this season and has whiffed nine times in his last 15 at-bats.
Weaver's RBI single in the fourth was the first time in 42 plate appearances this season that an opposing pitcher had reached safely against the Mets.
The Mets (15-6) go for the series win against the Cardinals (13-9) at Busch Stadium on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on SNY.
Steven Matz (1-1, 4.42 ERA, 23 Ks, 1.15 WHIP) starts the middle game after lasting four innings in a no-decision against Washington last Wednesday, the second time in four starts he has not pitched past the fourth. The left-hander surrendered three runs, including two homers, in four innings in his first start of the season against St. Louis on April 1. He is 0-2 with an 8.64 ERA in two career starts against the Cardinals.
Michael Wacha (3-1, 4.22 ERA, 15 Ks, 1.45 WHIP) goes for a fourth consecutive win after allowing one run over 6 2/3 innings in a victory over the Reds last Friday. The right-hander suffered the loss against the Mets on March 31, when he surrendered four runs in 4 2/3 innings of a 6-2 setback. Wacha has allowed one run in 15 innings in two starts against New York at Busch Stadium. He is 4-2 with a 2.70 ERA in six career starts against the Mets overall.