June 24, 2009: Mets Rout Cardinals in 4-Hit Shutout

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Date: June 24, 2009
Mets starter: Fernando Nieve
Mets: 11
Cardinals: 0
Winning pitcher: Fernando Nieve
Key player(s): Fernando Nieve, Ryan Church, Nick Evans, David Wright
Key play: Church’s single in 1st, Evans’ home run in 4th

The Mets faced the Cardinals on a Wednesday night at Citi Field. The team collected 16 hits against five St. Louis pitchers. A collection of four Mets pitchers teamed up for a four-hit shutout in an 11-0 win over the Redbirds.

Mets’ starter Fernando Nieve retired three straight batters after a leadoff walk to Skip Schumaker in the top of the first inning. In the bottom half, Luis Castillo got a one-out single and David Wright followed with a double to left field. A single by Ryan Church scored Castillo for a 1-0 Mets lead. Cardinals’ starter Brad Thompson got Fernando Tatis to hit into an inning-ending double play. Nieve and Thompson each pitched a perfect second and the Cards failed to score after loading the bases on two singles and a walk in the top of the third. Thompson shut down the Mets after Nieve’s leadoff single in the bottom of the inning. Fernando then limited St. Louis to a single by Jason LaRue in a scoreless top of the fourth.

Wright singled and went to third on Church’s ensuing double in the bottom of the fourth inning. Tatis grounded out to shortstop Brendan Ryan to drive home Wright. Fernando Martinez grounded out to second baseman Schumaker to move Church to third. A two-run homer by Nick Evans lengthened the Mets’ lead to 4-0. Thompson retired Brian Schneider on a grounder to first baseman Albert Pujols for the third out of the inning. Nieve shut down the Redbirds despite two walks in the top of the fifth. The Mets then failed to score against Thompson in the bottom half.

Nieve set down the Cardinals 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth inning. Wright singled to lead off the bottom half and Thompson was replaced on the mound by Trever Miller. Church grounded out to advance Wright to second. Against Cardinals’ reliever Josh Kinney, David stole third and came home on a single by Tatis. Martinez hit into a force play and advanced to third base on Evans’ single. Schneider hit a double to score Martinez and Evans for a 7-0 Mets lead. Pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed followed with an infield single. Kinney then retired Alex Cora on a fly ball to right fielder Rick Ankiel to close out the inning.

Mets’ reliever Brian Stokes yielded only a single to Ryan in pitching a scoreless top of the seventh. Facing St. Louis reliever Chris Perez, Castillo reached on an error by center fielder Colby Rasmus to start the bottom of the inning. Luis moved to second base on Perez’s wild pitch and to third on an infield single by Wright. Church doubled to score Castillo and send Wright to third. For the Redbirds, Blake Hawksworth came in to pitch and gave up a single to Tatis that drove home Wright. Martinez reached on second baseman Joseph Thurston’s error to plate Church with the Mets’ tenth run. Pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Tatis. Hawksworth then recorded outs on the next two batters to end the inning.

Mets’ reliever Pat Misch set down the Cardinals in order in the top of the eighth. Hawksworth held New York to a single by Argenis Reyes in the bottom half. In the top of the ninth inning, reliever Bobby Parnell got Tyler Greene to fly out to center fielder Martinez. LaRue grounded out to second baseman Reyes. Parnell then retired Thurston on a line drive to left fielder Reed to finish off the game. The Mets had an easy victory over the National League Central Division leaders.