The Mets, gaining a bit of belated revenge for their National League Championship Series loss to the Cardinals in 2006, have turned seven double plays in the first two games of the three-game series.
And something that teams don't necessarily prepare for in spring training is the hitting of the opposition's pitchers. But Mets starters Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez have gone 3-for-5 with a sacrifice and two RBIs.
Glavine's single on Sunday set up a two-run inning, and Hernandez made a 2-0 lead a 4-0 cushion with a two-run double off St. Louis starter Kip Wells in the sixth inning Tuesday. The hit came on a bad breaking ball.
"I know Kip is kicking himself," manager Tony La Russa said. "You get Hernandez out there, and it's a two-run game."
Though the Cardinals have scored only two runs on 16 hits and haven't played that well in the field -- especially in the outfield -- La Russa said, "I like the way we're going about it a lot."
METS 4, CARDINALS 1: The Cardinals were kept off-balance for the second game in succession by an off-speed pitcher, this time Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez. The Cardinals mustered only six hits and had just three at-bats with men in scoring position. Scott Rolen hit the club's first homer of the season, a solo drive in the seventh inning.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--RHP Chris Carpenter will miss his next scheduled start Friday at Houston to rest inflammation in his right elbow, which had swelled after he had pitched Sunday. RHP Adam Wainwright will make the start Friday instead of pitching Saturday as scheduled.
--RF Skip Schumaker dived for a flyball that he lost in the lights, and the ball nearly hit him between the eyes. An unearned run resulted. The play came one game after LF So Taguchi lost a liner in the lights. LF Chris Duncan, who had a rough postseason defensively last season, was cheered wildly when he made a fairly routine catch in the sixth inning.
--SS David Eckstein, who had a poor spring training after recovering from a strained oblique muscle, has reached base six times in eight plate appearances. He has three hits and two walks, and he was hit by a pitch.
--The Cardinals hadn't lost their first two games since 2004. They finished 105-57 that season in winning the National League title.
--RHP Kip Wells struck out seven in his Cardinals debut but paid for walking leadoff man Jose Reyes and throwing wildly on a pickoff throw, leading to a first-inning run. 1B Albert Pujols just missed Reyes on a previous pickoff attempt.
--RHP Ryan Franklin made his Cardinals debut Tuesday, working a perfect seventh inning