Francisco Lindor (308435)
Francisco Lindor Credit: Wikipedia photo

The Mets hosted the St. Louis Cardinals for a double-header on Tuesday after Monday’s game was rained out. They have been among the best teams in Major League Baseball since winning nine of their first 12 games. After splitting Tuesday’s set of games, taking the opener 3-1 and dropping the nightcap 4-3, the Mets were 24-14, six games ahead of the second place Miami Marlins.

They had ace Max Scherzer, who was 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA, 0.91 whip and 55 strikeouts, starting last night in the third game of the four-game series at Citi Field in Queens. The future Hall of Famer has been as advertised, coming to the Mets as a free-agent in November. Chris Bassitt, who is also having a noteworthy first season with the Mets after coming to them in a trade with the Oakland Athletics in March, will be on the mound this afternoon in the series finale.

Bassitt, who was the A’s No. 1 starter, is 4-2 and carries a strong 2.34 ERA in seven starts. The Mets’ bats haven’t been as productive or efficient as the pitching. They scored an average 3.5 runs per game over their previous eight games prior to last night, going 4-4 during that stretch. The back-end loss to the Cardinals on Tuesday was an example of the Mets not pushing across vital runs when the opportunity was presented.

Mets second baseman Luis Guillorme and pinch hitter Dominic Smith had one-out singles in the ninth inning, putting their teammates in a favorable position to push across the tying and or winning runs. But Cardinals closer Giovanny Gallegos struck out Mark Canha and Francisco Lindor to end the Mets’ threat. Lindor went 0-3 with two walks and was hitting just .228 with a middling on-base percentage of .315 before facing the Cardinals last night.

The four-time All-Star shortstop, who was acquired by the Mets in a trade with the Cleveland Guardians in January of 2021 and then signed to a franchise record 10-year, $341 million deal three months later, had an underachieving debut season with his new team, hitting an uncharacteristically low .230 in 452 at-bats. His power production was also lacking as Lindor had only 20 homers and 63 RBI.

The Mets will begin a six-game road trip tomorrow, playing three against the Colorado Rockies before a three-game series versus the San Francisco Giants.

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