for this game

Mets lose fourth straight as Pineiro tosses a gem

Sep 28, 2007 - 3:35 AM By Doug Mittler PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) -- Even a quality outing by Pedro Martinez could not stop the bleeding for the free-falling New York Mets.

Joel Pineiro allowed three hits over eight innings to outduel Martinez, and Albert Pujols had an RBI double as the St. Louis Cardinals sent the Mets to their fourth straight defeat, 3-0, on Thursday.

New York (87-72) lost for the 11th time in 16 games and fell into a first-place tie with Philadelphia in the National League East. The Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves, 6-4, on Thursday night.

The defeat kept the Mets' magic number for clinching their second straight National League East title at four. New York had sole possession of first place since May 16.

"We're even with three games left and we have two choices," third baseman David Wright said. "We can roll over and start making vacation plans or we can battle like (heck)."

After Tom Glavine lost to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday and rookie Philip Humber was ineffective in his first major league start on Wednesday, the Mets desperately needed a big effort from Martinez (3-1), who was making his fifth start since coming back from rotator cuff surgery.

"When I came here (in early September) everything looked so good," Martinez said. "Now I'm a little worried. I hope it changes soon."

The three-time Cy Young Award winner worked seven innings, a welcome relief to a bullpen in shambles, and allowed three runs - two earned - and one walk with eight strikeouts. His night ended when he got Pujols to fly out with two runners on to end the seventh.

Most of the questions afterward centered on whether the Mets had lost their grip, both on first place and in their collective psyche. Manager Willie Randolph kept it positive, saying, "We're going to win this thing. We're gonna win it," as he walked by reporters.

New York had allowed a combined 54 runs in its previous seven games.

Offense had not been the problem for the Mets, who had scored at least six runs in eight of their last nine contests. Their bats, however, suddenly went quiet against Pineiro, the veteran righthander who had his best outing since being acquired from the Boston Red Sox at the July 31 trading deadline.

For the Mets, it was a different script, but the same result.

Pineiro (3-1) allowed just one base runner to reach second base, walked one and struck out six in eight scoreless frames.

"It almost felt like a pennant game out there, even though we're not in it," Pineiro said. "But it felt like one one of those games we needed to win."

Closer Jason Isringhausen pitched a perfect ninth for his 31st save of the season.

Wright doubled in the first to extend to hitting streak to 14 games and was the only Met to get past first off Pineiro.

"We've been scoring a lot of runs," Wright said. "For him to come in and shut us down is a heck of an accomplishment."

One of the quiet bats belonged to Moises Alou, who went 0-for-3 to end his hitting streak at 30 games.

The game was a makeup of a June 28 rainout, a trip that the Cardinals would have preferred not to make. But manager Tony La Russa said his team did not play it any differently since the Mets are in a pennant race.

"You don't want to get into what's at stake for the other club," La Russa said. "It's about representing yourself."

The Cardinals put an unearned run across against Martinez in the first. Second baseman Luis Castillo booted a ground ball that put runners on first and second and Skip Schumaker later followed with an RBI single.

Martinez elected to challenge Pujols in the third and the star first baseman lined an RBI double to right-center to score Rick Ankiel, who had singled. Ryan Ludwick then lined an RBI single to left field to make it 3-0.

Pineiro was helped by a nice play from third baseman Miguel Cairo, who made a backhand stop on a grounder by Paul Lo Duca to begin a double play in the fifth.

Pujols also had a double in the fifth.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 7 0
    NY METS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: STL - JOEL PINEIRO, JASON ISRINGHAUSEN (9TH) AND KELLY STINNETT
    NYM - PEDRO MARTINEZ, AARON HEILMAN (8TH), PEDRO
    FELICIANO (9TH) AND PAUL LO DUCA

    HOME RUNS: STL -

    Sep 27 9:31 PM
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    Cardinals vs. MetsSep 27 9:09 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN LUDWICK SCORED ALBERT PUJOLS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R LUDWICK ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 3
    NY METS 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: S SCHUMAKER (.323, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Cardinals vs. MetsSep 27 7:49 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ALBERT PUJOLS SCORED RICK ANKIEL.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A PUJOLS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ST LOUIS 2
    NY METS 0 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ST LOUIS: R LUDWICK (.269, 0-FOR-1)

    Cardinals vs. MetsSep 27 7:47 PM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ST LOUIS 1 1 2 0
    NY METS 0 0 1 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: STL - JOEL PINEIRO
    NYM - PEDRO MARTINEZ

    DUE UP FOR NY METS: J REYES (.285, 12 HR, 57 RBI)
    L CASTILLO (.286, 1 HR, 18 RBI)
    D WRIGHT (.321, 30 HR, 105 RB

    Cardinals vs. MetsSep 27 7:23 PM
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    Cardinals vs. MetsSep 27 6:02 PM
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    Cullen31 Added 5 roots

    Cardinals vs. MetsSep 27 8:17 AM
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    Cardinals vs. MetsSep 26 4:44 PM
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