The game of baseball is extremely hard to figure out. Today, the point was backed up with the way the Mets pounded Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright.

After struggling to score or even collect hits on the entire 11-game road trip, the Mets knocked Wainwright out of the game after five innings, scoring six runs.

The Cardinals had something cooking in the first inning against Jon Niese, putting two men on to start the game on soft singles.

Niese recovered and retired both Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, with David Wright throwing out a runner at the plate to get through the big bats.

Ryan Ludwick then hit a soft comebacker to Niese, who couldn’t snare the ball, allowing Ludwick to beat it out for a run-scoring infield hit.

It looked like the Mets were already in trouble, being the Cardinals were a Major League-best 39-9 when scoring first this season, and they had 14-game winner Adam Wainwright on the mound.

Wainwright looked sharp in the first, inducing three groundouts, but it looked like his curveball wasn’t at its best.

The Mets tied the game in the second.

David Wright worked out a leadoff walk and went to third on a double by Carlos Beltran. Now, only if Beltran had gotten that double nearly four years ago, history would’ve been different. Ike Davis followed with a run-scoring groundout, tying the game at 1-1.

The Mets broke through against Wainwright and finally got to his breaking stuff in the fourth.

After a walk to Beltran and single by Davis, Jeff Francoeur cracked a three-run home run to left field, giving the Mets a 4-1 lead.

Francoeur got the start in right field after the news that Jason Bay was sidelined with a concussion.

The Mets added two more in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Wright and RBI single by Beltran, extending the Mets lead to 6-1.

Wainwright would not return, going five innings, allowing six runs on six hits. He also uncharacteristically walked three batters in the game, having only walked 36 all season.

Niese, who has been starved for run support, held the Cardinals down nicely. He got into his biggest jam in the sixth.

After recording the first two outs, he loaded the bases on two walks and a Wright error. He would not allow anything, getting Aaron Miles to fly out to end the frame.

The Mets blew the game open with two more in the sixth on a two-run home run by Jose Reyes, making it 8-1.

After allowing two hits to start the seventh, Niese was pulled by acting manager Dave Jauss, filling in for the suspended Jerry Manuel.

The Cardinals would score another run in the eighth off Manny Acosta, as the Mets beat the first-place Cardinals, 8-2.

Niese didn’t have his best stuff, but pitched solidly. In six innings, he allowed one run on eight hits, he walked two and struck out one.

With the win, the Mets are now 15 games over .500 at home, and are 51-49 through the first 100 games of the season.

They gain a game in the NL East, with the Braves having lost to the Nationals.

The Mets will have Johan Santana on the mound tomorrow night against Jaime Garcia.


NL East standings (top 3 teams)
Atlanta 57-42
Philadelphia 53-46 (4)
NY Mets 51-49 (6 1/2)

Series probable pitchers:
July 28
New York: Johan Santana (2010: 8-5, 2.79 ERA) vs. St. Louis: Jaime Garcia (2010: 9-4, 2.21 ERA)
July 29
New York: R.A. Dickey (2010: 6-4, 2.55 ERA) vs. St. Louis: Blake Hawksworth (2010: 4-6, 5.23 ERA)

Upcoming schedule:
New York Mets:
July 28-29 vs. St. Louis Cardinals
July 30-August 1 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks

St. Louis Cardinals:
July 28-29 @ New York Mets
July 30-August 1 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

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