Z-Cap 7-20-11: Pagan Walk-Off Blast Leads Mets Over the Cards

 

AP

Angel Pagan drilled a walk-off home run off the face of the Pepsi Porch facade in right field to lift the New York Mets over the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-5, in ten innings.  It was the teams first walk-off home run of the season, as the Mets rallied from two separate deficits to pull back over the .500 in the process.

R.A. Dickey did not have his best knuckle ball on the evening allowing four runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings of work.  The Cardinals wasted no time against Dickey, as a Matt Holiday sac fly plated Skip Schumaker with the games first run, 1-0, in the top of the first inning.  St. Louis tacked on three more runs on  four hits in the third, highlighted by back-to-back RBI hits off the bat of Holliday and Berkman to give the Cards a 4-0 lead.

The Mets were able to cut the Cardinal lead in half, 4-2, in the bottom of the frame when Josh Thole — who was activated from  the paternity list this afternoon — drilled a run scoring double before being plated by an R.A. Dickey single to left.

New York tied the game at 4-4 just two innings later when Carlos Beltran displayed his awesomeness by drilling a two run bomb deep into the Pepsi Porch.  After R.A. Dickey picked up his second hit of the evening, Jose Reyes grounded into a would be double play if not for a errant throw by St. Louis short stop Daniel Descalso, leaving Reyes standing safely at first base.  Justin Turner followed by striking out on five pitches before Beltran launched a fastball into the seats in right field.  With all the rumors circulating around Carlos the past few weeks, this tweet by Casey Stern, Host of Inside Pitch on MLB Network Radio, is pretty classic:

Carlos Beltran goes into the Upper Deck - scout goes to text into his blackberry "Okay, yes we will take THAT guy." #Phillies #Braves #Other
@CaseyStern
Casey Stern

With the score tied at four, Dickey was relieved by Tim Byrdak with one out and a runner on third base in the top of the seventh inning.  Byrdak recorded the second out of the inning when he induced pinch hitter Tony Cruz to ground out to a drawn in Jose Reyes at short which did not allow the go-ahead run to score.  With the lefty on the mound, Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa called upon Albert Pujols to pinch hit (Pujols was not in the starting line-up because LaRussa did not want the knuckle baller to mess up his swing). Terry Collins countered the move by bringing in Rule 5 Draft pick Pedro Beato.  Doesn’t even seem fair that a rookie would have to face the most feared, and in my opinion, the best hitter in baseball with a runner on third of a tied game.  Well, low and behold, Beato made easy work of Pujols as the Rule 5 pick threw three nasty pitches, including an 0-2 inside fastball that jammed King Albert and resulted in an inning ending pop out to third.

The Cards regained the lead, 5-4,  in the top of the 8th when Gerald Liard noticed how deep Daniel Murphy was playing at third base and dropped a beautiful bunt down the third base line to score Matt Holliday.  The Cardinal lead did not last long as Josh Thole picked up his fifth hit of the game, a 2-out single to left, in the bottom of the 8th to plate Angel Pagan who reached base safely on a throwing error from St. Louis short stop Daniel Descalso earlier in the frame.

AP

The rally was capped off in the bottom of the 10th when Pagan absolutely drilled the first pitch he saw from Cardinal closer, Fernando Salas into the right field seats to give the Mets their second win in as many days against the red birds.  After the game, Pagan told Buster Olney of ESPN the following about his walk-off blast:

I wanted to do something for the team, I’m trying to win the ballgame. We obviously tied it up and we could win it, but we kept battling and we got the victory.”

New York is back at it tomorrow afternoon as they send Jon Niese to the mound to oppose Jake Westbrook in the series finale at 12:10 pm.

*Notes-

Angel Pagan connected on his first walkoff home run of his career and his second career walkoff hit (4/10/08 vs. Philly).
@NewYorkMets
New York Mets

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York:

Jason Bay said he hurt his entire right side, hamstring to hip, when his back leg tripped over Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard’s foot on Saturday while crossing first base. The issue prompted him to be removed in the fourth inning from Wednesday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

 

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