"He made some mistakes and he paid," said manager Tony La Russa. "Some things he did well but he made a couple of mistakes and he got hurt. Well, more than a couple. This is a tough league."
As their season-high losing streak stretched to five games, the Cardinals never really threatened, although a bases-loaded situation netted them one run in the ninth and forced the Mets to use three pitchers in the inning.
The Cardinals had 10 hits, but nine of them were singles. First baseman Albert Pujols fanned three times for just the seventh time in his eight big-league seasons as he went 0-for-5.
"He had a rough day," said La Russa. "Hank Aaron, Willie Mays... the greatest... Stan Musial. It happened to all of them. It makes you appreciate how great he is. You don't see it too often."
The Cardinals, after losing four straight to Milwaukee, didn't arrive at their New York hotel until about 4:30 p.m., but La Russa said, "There wasn't anything wrong with the way we competed."
METS 7, CARDINALS 2: A missed double play caused when 2B Adam Kennedy booted Mets 2B Argenis Reyes' grounder in the fourth inning proved costly. The play netted only a force out and, with two outs, SS Jose Reyes tripled home two runs. An inning later, 1B Carlos Delgado's two-run homer put the game away. The Cardinals have scored three or fewer runs in all five of their consecutive defeats.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--RHP Chris Carpenter, on the rebound from last year's "Tommy John" elbow surgery, is getting closer to rejoining the rotation. Carpenter, in his second start on the medical rehabilitation program, got 5 2/3 innings out of 78 pitches and gave up four hits and two runs (he hit two batters) for Class AAA Memphis Friday night. "I was happy with the outcome," said Carpenter.
There is some sentiment that Carpenter might need one more rehabilitation start. To the possibility that manager Tony La Russa and general manager John Mozeliak will ask him if he can come back sooner, Carpenter said, "Let's wait and see if they ask me that question." --CF Rick Ankiel hit safely in his eighth straight game. Ankiel, who is 12 for his last 34 (.351), singled and doubled.
--RHP Adam Wainwright, healing from a ruptured tendon in the middle finger of his right hand, will attempt on Saturday to throw breaking balls in a bullpen session for the first time since being hurt.
--1B Albert Pujols suffered his third straight hitless game and is nothing for his last 12.
--The Cardinals have lost three of their first five meetings with the Mets this season.