The fight for the Mets number five spot in the starting rotation got a little clearer on Friday, as Livan Hernandez substantially out pitched Freddy Garcia in a 9-8 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hernandez was sharp, pitching two shut out innings without giving up a single hit. In the first inning alone, Hernadez threw only seven pitches.
As for Garcia, it was tourture watching him get through the third. Garcia gave up two hits, four runs and three walks in two-thirds on an inning. He was missing badly with his fastball and rarely threw strikes. With two on, Jon Jay drilled a double to right center to bring home one to get St. Louis to within 3-2.
After Garcia walked the bases loaded, Yadier Molina reached on a fielding error by David Wright to bring home the go ahead run to make it 4-3 Cardinals.
St. Louis would make it 9-4, before the Mets made it interesting. In the bottom of the ninth, Bobby Kielty hit a three-run home run to make it 9-7 before an out was recorded. The Mets were able to get two runners on, but Angel Pagan grounded out for the second out. Later, Alex Cora grounded right to the pitcher to end the rally.
The Mets are now 3-1 on the preseason. The Mets beat Team Italy of the World Baseball Classic 5-4 early Friday morning.