April 17, 2010: Mets Defeat Cardinals in 20 Innings

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Date: Sunday April 17, 2010
Mets starter: Johan Santana
Mets: 2
Cardinals: 1
Winning pitcher: Francisco Rodriguez
Key player(s): Johan Santana, Jose Reyes
Key play: Reyes' sacrifice fly in 20th

The Mets and Cardinals played on a late Saturday afternoon in St. Louis. The game was scoreless for 18 innings before each team got a run in the 19th. Finally, the Mets came away with a 2-1 win in 20 innings.

Starting pitchers Johan Santana and the Cards' Jaime Garcia each pitched seven innings of shutout ball. The Mets' only hit off Garcia was a single by Angel Pagan leading off the sixth. Santana, despite throwing 54 pitches in the first two innings, held St. Louis to four hits while striking out nine batters.

With the game in extra innings, the Cardinals had a scoring chance in the bottom of the tenth. Mets' reliever Pedro Feliciano retired the first two batters before walking Skip Schumaker and allowing a single to Ryan Ludwick. Fernando Nieve came in and walked Albert Pujols to load the bases, but then got Matt Holliday on a fly ball to end the inning. In the 12th, the Cards loaded the bases again with two out before Nieve struck out Jason Motte to end the scoring threat.

In the top of the 14th, Luis Castillo got a two-out single off St. Louis reliever Blake Hawksworth. David Wright followed with a walk to bring Jason Bay to the plate. Hawksworth got Bay to hit into a force play to end the inning. In the bottom half, the Cardinals had runners on second and third with none out before Hisanori Takahashi struck out the next two hitters. After an intentional walk to Pujols that loaded the bases, Takahashi struck out Hawksworth to send the game onward.

Jenrry Mejia retired the Cards with some clutch pitching. In the 15th, Mejia got Brendan Ryan for an inning-ending ground out with a runner on third base. After two one-out singles in the 16th, he got pinch-hitter Bryan Anderson to hit into a double play for the final two outs. Meanwhile, the Mets were not able to score against Hawksworth.

With the supply of players running short, Cardinals' third baseman Felipe Lopez came in to pitch the top of the 18th inning. Lopez retired the Mets, issuing only a walk to Pagan. In the bottom of half, Raul Valdes retired the Cards with his second scoreless inning.

Lopez moved back third base, switching positions with Joe Mather to start the 19th inning. Mather walked Jose Reyes, who advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. After an intentional walk to Wright, Mather hit Bay with a pitch to load the bases for the Mets. Jeff Francoeur, hitless in seven at bats, hit a sacrifice fly to left fielder Kyle Lohse (a misplaced pitcher) to score Reyes with the game's first run. Following another intentional walk, Mather retired Valdes to end the inning.

Mets' reliever Francisco Rodriguez entered the game in the bottom of the 19th. He walked Ludwick to lead off. With Pujols at bat, Ludwick was caught stealing by catcher Henry Blanco. Pujols followed with a double and Rodriguez got Lohse to ground out. Yadier Molina then singled to right field, scoring Pujols to tie the game before Rodriguez struck out Allen Craig to end the inning.

Pagan started the top of the 20th inning with an infield single off Mather. Mike Jacobs followed with a single to right field, sending Pagan to third base. Reyes then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Angel with the go-ahead for the Mets.

Mike Pelfrey, normally a starter, came in to pitch for the Mets in the bottom of the 20th. He retired Lopez and Mather to start the inning before Ryan singled and Schumaker walked. Pelfrey then got Ludwick to ground out to second baseman Castillo to end the ballgame. The Mets had a victory in a game that lasted nearly seven hours.

Notes

  • This was the Mets' fourth game in their history that reached at least 20 innings. They had lost their previous ones in 1964, 1968 and 1974.
  • Every Mets' player on the roster got into game except for Oliver Perez, the previous night's starter.
  • Reyes' bat that drove in the winning run was sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.