ST. LOUIS — The Mets went down swinging.
They were hot and bothered after Pete Alonso was hit in the helmet on Tuesday and after J.D. Davis was plunked in the foot and had to exit the game Wednesday. Then, an up and in pitch from Yoan Lopez left Nolan Arenado jawing toward the mound and set off a frenzied pile up in front of the mound.
The Mets never seemed like they would be the one's to throw the first punch, but when incited, they rose to the cause. It was one parting shot for the Mets as they dropped the final game of the three-game set, 10-5, to the Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium.
"I’m totally for standing up, not just for myself, I’m totally for standing up for teammates," Alonso said. "What happened today didn’t make sense. The ball wasn’t even close. It’s something that started for no reason. It wasn’t even close. I know it’s a five-run ball game, but we’re trying to come back. To me, the whole thing didn’t even make sense."
After a pair of scoreless performances against Max Scherzer and Chris Bassittt, something had to give for the Cardinals. Carlos Carrasco allowed seven earned runs on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 3⅔ innings. After the tough outing, his ERA swelled to 4.09.
The Mets had already taken the first two games to grab a franchise record sixth straight series to start the season but could not grab their first sweep of the Cardinals since April 2007.
The final scenes of Wednesday's game showed a cohesive unit that is not going to back down from any challenge that comes their way this season. After their six-game road trip against the Diamondbacks and Cardinals, the Mets raised their record to 14-6.
"We had a good road trip. Quite frankly, I think we’re all tired of talking about it," Buck Showalter said. "We understand it’s newsworthy. The team had another good road trip and we’re playing well, just ran into some things today that we couldn’t overcome. We’re looking forward to getting in front of some friendly fans."
Carrasco was the victim of the Cardinals offensive onslaught.
An error helped the Cardinals' first run cross on an RBI single by Corey Dickerson in the first inning before Arenado blooped in a two-run single into right in the third.
The Mets led 4-3 after the third inning but the Cardinals broke away.
"The fastball command was OK. The breaking ball, I got a lot of damage off of that," Carrasco said. "That pitch was always a base hit. Maybe one or two of those was hard contact. Other than that, it was a bloop over second base and they got two runs like that. It’s one of those days. I’m just getting ready for the next time."
The dagger came in the fourth as Carrasco allowed five runs and was pulled after two outs.
Yadier Molina started things off with a double down the right-field line before Edmundo Sosa was hit by a pitch. Tommy Edman pushed across the go-ahead run on a double to right field, and Arenado, who collected an RBI single in the bottom of the third, was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Sosa scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch and Carrasco was run from the game on a swinging bunt from Dickerson that scored a run. Carrasco inherited two more runs when Dylan Carlson ripped a two-run triple off Sean Reid-Foley to make it 8-4.
"He went through some periods where he was pretty crisp and made some good pitches," Showalter said. "I think sometimes it’s so hard to sweep a team on the road, especially a team as good as the Cardinals. I think sometimes it’s just timing on his part. It was just a matter of time before they broke out a little bit.
"Carlos has been throwing the ball well, he’s healthy and he feels good. Today was one of those you put behind you and move on to the next one."
A sweep seemed in play after the second inning when Alonso and Eduardo Escobar led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Luis Guillorme reached on a two-out single that glanced off the glove of former Mets starter Steven Matz.
The Mets made him pay with back-to-back two-run doubles from Tomas Nido and Brandon Nimmo.
Four different Mets players collected two hits in the game, but they could not cash in. They left six runners stranded.
Matters were made worse in an 8-4 game in the top of the sixth as Mark Canha was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double and Guillorme suffered a similar fate at third base after a strong throw from Carlson in center field.
"I know what it looks like after the fact, but it’s one of those things, like a 30-foot jump shot, if you make it, it’s a good shot," Showalter said. "It didn’t work out, and I think it was more them doing real well, making two really good throws. With that type of lead, you always want to try to be safe, but I’m not going to take that aggressiveness against them."
Francisco Lindor's lone hit of the series came on an RBI double in the seventh that cut the Mets' deficit to 9-5.
Andrew Tredinnick is the Mets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Mets analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and download our app.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @andrew_tred
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NY Mets vs. Cardinals: Pitching falters in loss, brawl