Not everyone was forunate enough to score Game 7 tickets, or didn't want to spend 4x the ticket price for them. Instead we are here with friends live blogging the Cardnials vs Mets!
The Cardinals' Jeff Suppan is a better pitcher, but we don't think he'll have the night he had during Game 3. Oliver Perez has a lot to prove, but manager Willie Randolph will pull him and throw everyone in the bullpen at him - even El Duque was tossing some pitches!
Well, that's a tough way to end a season, a called third strike with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7. Especially when Mets had the best record in the regular season and they lose to the team with the worst league out of all post-season teams. If Beltran could have hit something, we would have less of this empty feeling inside. And all the times they loaded the bases and stranded runners - augh! So many what-ifs, starting with Pedro.
Suppan gets the MVP award, Molina is named the game's MVP, the Cards get their trophy. Well, now it's off for them to lose to the Tigers - perhaps to be swept, a la 2004 World Series with the Boston Red Sox.
Willie Randolph's press conference is on SNY. He says he was proud of being part of the game, a pitcher's duel. And that in spite of the disappointment, he feels good that they came such long way in such a short time but they have a lot of work to do.
Bottom of the 9th:
Coming up: Valentin, Chavez, PH. Wainright, the rookie Cards closer, is called to pitch. Lets hope those fans at Shea are screaming their heads off. We've put our Rally Cap on, hope you are all doing the same. Valentin works the count to 3-2 and hits the fastball to center for a lead off basehit. Basehit to left by Chavez, first two on base 2nd and first. Cliff Floyd coming up to bat as a pitch hitter. Floyd at 2-2, and Eyelashes throws to 1st to try and catch Chavez with no luck. Breaking ball to Floyd for a strikeout and the first out of the inning. We can't really understand why they would waste an out on Floyd. They should have had someone bunt the runners over, not someone who hasn't seen a live ball in six games. Reyes hits it to center field and it's caught for the 2nd out, hitting the worst curveball of the post season. La Duca up and is walked to load the bases. Carlos Beltran at the plate. Lo Duca replaced as a runner by Anderson Hernandez. Beltran strikes out looking. Cardinals win the Pennant. Final score 3-1.
Top of the 9th:
With the rain continuing to pour, it would do the Mets some good to make this the final inning. With Valentin, Chavez and the Pitcher spot, your mind begins to wonder who will step into that spot if needed. Edmonds to the plate vs Heilman. Down swinging for the first out. Tim McCarver on our nerves as much as ever. Talks about the sign we posted innings ago! Rolland works his way into a full count agains Heilman after being down by two. Foul tips it into the Cardinals dugout, might have hit a playmate. Rolen wears down Heilman to hit into the hole for a single. It looked like they had Wright in a nothing down the line position. Molina hits it to deep left field for a two run homer. The wind has been sucked out of Shea, and alot of stepping up needs to happen in the next half.
Middle of the 9th score 3-1
Bottom of the 8th:
Upset that you couldn't buy an expensive beer at the game? Don't fret because you can get a Mets Bud Light bottle on eBay. Suppan stays in the game, but Spiezio doesn't stay in the game. Instead Mr. Perfect, So Taguchi is in right field. Fox tells us that Billy Wagner is warming up, Mets fans groan. Carlos Beltran leads off the inning with a walk, causing La Russa to yank Suppan. Suppan finishes the game with 7IP, 2H, 1R, 5BB and 2SO. In comes lefty Randy Flores for the Cardinals. Flores hasn't given up a run yet this postseason, but it's never too early to start. Carlos Delgado strikes out as the 3rd base umpire says he didn't check his swing. David Wright strikes out for the 2nd out of the inning. And to end the inning, Shawn Green hits a sharp grounder to Stinky Poo-Hole.
After 8, we're still deadlocked at 1.
Top of the 8th:
Well, here we are. Top of the 8th inning with Aaron Heilman pitching to the top of the Cardinals order. To start off the inning, Eckstein starts grounds out to first. In for Preston Wilson is Scott “I have a feminine hygiene product on my chin” Spiezio. Heilman gets Spiezio on a called strike for the second out of the inning. After getting to 3-0 against Stinky Poo Hole, Heilman issues the intentional walk to bring up Encarnacion. With the count 0-2 to Encarnacion, the towels come out to wreak havoc. And havoc they bring! Encarnacion strikes out swinging to end the top of the 8th.
We're knotted up at 1. Due up for the Mets are Carlos y Carlos and Mr. Wright.
Bottom of the 7th:
Pitch hitting for the mets is Michael Tucker. Suppan is still in, throwing over 90 pitches. Last night Tucker and Reyes scored giving the Mets the runs they needed to win. Rain starting to come down hard at 10:37, at 11pm its supposed to downpour. Tucker flies out to Edmonds. Jose Jose Jose hits it right to Pujols for the 2nd out. Beltran to Eckstein to Pujols for the third out. 1 - 2 - 3 inning, with the top of the Cards lineup coming to bat.
At the end of 7: 1-1
Top of the 7th:
Bradford taking over for Perez. His totals were 6 IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 2BB, 4SO, a brilliant job from Perez tonight. Molina up. Eyelashes hits it off balance to Chavez for the first out. Nine pitches on that at bat. Belly lard up. Hits it over the head of Bradford and Valentin grabs it for the out at 2nd. Two outs. Suppan hits it to Reyes who tosses it to first for a 1-2-3 inning. The pitching spot is up first for the Mets, so this is the only inning we will see Bradford pitch.
Score at the middle of 7: 1-1
Bottom of the 6th:
We are still floored at last innings double play, wowie wow wow wow. Chavez took two curtain calls! Beltran hits a slow roller that Soupy tosses to Pujous for the out. Delgado walks for the third time tonight. Wright up with one out, Bradford still keeping warm in the pen. Wright hits the ball, Rolen grabs it and throws it past Pujous and tosses it to the outfield! Runners on 2nd and third! Reyes intentionally passing on Green to load the bases. John Franco is in the audience cheering along to lets go mets! Cardinals meet at the mound to discuss the situation. Valentin strikes out swinging on a 75 MPH curveball. Endy Chavez swings at the first pitch and pops it out to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded. Mets have left 7 batters on base, the Cards 5. Both starting pitchers are at 88 pitches.
Score at the end of 6: 1-1
Top of the 6th:
With all the talk of rain and potentially heavy rain tonight, it should be pointed out that this game is now a regulation game. It would be a tragedy if a trip to the World Series could be decided on an abbreviated game no matter what the result. The 6th inning starts off with a ground ball to Wright from Encarnacion. People are getting wet with the rain. Those towels will now come in handy. Edmonds gets the walk, which is the first unintentional walk by Perez. Wow! For a moment it looked like Willie left Perez in the game one pitch too long. And thanks to Endy Chavez, it looks like Willie made the right move. Chavez saved a two run homerun by Rolen by jumping and grabbing the ball back from over the fence - snowcone style. Chavez then doubled up Edmonds who was well around 2nd when Chavez came down with the ball. We're told that on WFAN Howie Rose said the Chavez play was "the play of the year, maybe of the franchise history." 7-4-3 on the double play for those scoring at home.
Bottom of the 5th:
Perez stays in the game and flies out to Not Mookie. Reyes makes life easy for Suppan by hitting the second pitch for an out to center. Lo Duca ends the inning with a fly ball to left-center. Preston Wilson and Jim Edmonds run into each other as Wilson makes the catch. You have to wonder if the crowd noise played a role in that collision. Edmonds walks away hobbling.
To build on the Perez point. Not including the playoffs, Perez has faced the Cardinals three times this season. All while he was with the Pirates. In the first game, the Pirates won 12-4 with none other than Suppan as the losing pitcher. In the second game, the Cardinals beat up on the Pirates and Perez with Pujols leading the charge. In their third meeting, Perez again lost despite a good outing.
Top of the 5th:
Perez still in, pitching to Belly Lard, he grounds a basehit after being delivered four straight sliders. Soupy sacrifice bunts to advance the Belly. We wish the Mets pitchers actually helped out the way Soupy has done in this series. Chavez misses the easy foul ball and now Eckstein is hit in the foot. Two men on. Hernandez is warming up in the pen, Willie makes a quick visit. The trip seems to have helped as Perez gets out Wilson swinging! Pujols is up, 9 for 28 against Perez. He pops it up and Reyes makes the catch to end the inning. Randolph's gamble to keep Perez in pays off huge.
Bottom of the 4th:
Delgado at the plate. We are reminded that spring training started 6 months ago, wow. He works the full count and winds up on first with a walk. (his second time tonight). Wright hits to Rolan, gets Delgado out at second, but Wright is safe at first. Green up, he comes to the plate on a song by Audioslave, can anyone name that title? Great stat - 11 straight times has the home team won game 6 they have won game 7. Green strikes out foul tips to the catchers glove. La Russa is so cool he has to wear shades. (Does Eyelashes wear makeup?) Valentin at the plate, hit in the face from a pitch that bounced in the dirt! Two on, Chavez up. Swings at the first pitch (we hate that) fouled for strike one. Mist beings to fall in the stadium with heavy rain on the way, we hope they speed this game up! Chavez pops out to Edmonds. The Mets have now left four on base.
Middle of the 4th:
Gothamist is dying to see Borat, cause we don't want him to be executed! We've paused the DVR and are watching a Borat trailer.
Top of the 4th:
Yes! Another reminder of how bad Perez has been this season with the Pirates. Those towels are making noise again. They must have caused Edmonds to fly out toe Endy Chavez. Joe Buck says that Perez should be "sticking with the hard stuff." Buck is so dirty. And stick to the "hard stuff" he does with five fastballs in a row. Good at bat by Rolen, but Perez comes out on top at the end as Rolen pops out to his fellow third baseman. Ruh roh. Watch out Eyelashes, the fans have broken out the towels again. Tim unleashes a wicked joke on the TV audience, telling us that it's okay to stand at home. Joe Buck had to hold back the laughter on that one! Eyelashes flies out to right to end the inning.
Bottom of the 3rd:
Does anybody else think that it was a little quiet that last half inning? Sure, we’re not at the game tonight and they tone down the crowd noise on the broadcast, but it sure seems like it’s those towels. We just can’t make out the woosh sound from the twirling. Jose! Jose! Jose! pops out to right. Another easy out as Lo Duca grounds out to 3rd. Boy do we love these player personality profiles! Toy poodles!! Aww, Carlos. The toy poodle owner pops it out to Mookie's step-son. Yet another easy inning for Suppan. Gothamist is going to take some flomax right now. Too many drinks. Hopefully it will make a difference in a week.
Top of the 3rd:
Perez skips to the mound as he avoids the baselines, a strange but common Pitcher superstition. Eckstein back up, Cards back to the top of the order. They remind us that Perez has the third highest walk average, thanks for the reminder. Pedro is in the dugout, with his arm in a sling post rotator cuff surgery. Eckstein for a double to the left corner. Not Mookie is up. The real Mookie is in the audience and he looks asleep as always, talk about being torn on who to root for though. Wilson strikes out swinning. Pujols steps to the plate to the standard mets Boos. They are intentionally walking him with Eckstein on first, and one out. Encarnacion is up. Shattered bat to Wright to Valentin to Delgado for the double play!! Gotta love the 5-4-3. The intentional walk pays off and the Cardinals leave one on.
Bottom of the 2nd:
Valentin swings at the second pitch and flys out to Encarnacion. "Bad Hair" Belliard (Belly lard?) seemed upset at having his catch taken away from him. Chavez to Pujous for the easy out in first. Perez flys out to not Mookie Wilson for the 1, 2, 3 inning.
Top of the 2nd:
Jim Edmonds leads off with a basehit. Never good, but Scott Rolen flies out to Beltran. Can of corn. Yadier "I have the most beautiful eyelashes in baseball" Molina was moved up one spot in the order. Eyelashes hits a flair to left, advancing Edmonds to 3rd. Ronnie "I have the worst hair in baseball" Belliard bunts it to 2nd, scoring Edmonds and, with the throw barely beating him to the bag. Perez gets out of the inning by striking Suppan out. At least this time Suppan didn't hurt the Mets with his bat! After one and a half innings, the score is tied at 1.
Bottom of the 1st inning:
Mets up: It's Jose Reyes, who hit a home run in his first at bat last night. But he grounds out to Eckstein. Paul Lo Duca grounds out to Scott Rolen at second. Carlos Beltran hits to the left field and gets to second base. Yay! After that Delgado walk (the Mets now have two Carloses for the price of one hit). Suppan isn't doing so well. Must be all those white towels! Woo!! Wright goes to right and the Mets draw first blood! Greene lines out to end the inning, but like last night, the Mets start the game with a 1-0 lead. All day, Gothamist has been thinking that as long as the Mets didn't fall behind early, they would have a very good chance to win this game despite Suppan's pervious game. If the Mets get behind, the crowd could be deflated, negating the home-field advantage.
Top of the 1st inning:
Cardinals up: David Eckstein leads off, and flies out. Mookie Wilson's stepson Preston is up next...he strikes out while looking! Albert Pujols at bat...and he hits what would be an easy-pop, but Carlos Delgado bobbles it and Pujols is on second. Juan Encarnacion flies out to Shawn Green to end the inning. Phew.
The fans at Shea got free towels! They are doing that Cardinals thing, where they twirl the towels in the air!
Photograph of Mets fan Justin D'Angelo watching the Mets take batting practice before tonight's game by Julie Jacobson/AP