Wacha Leads Cardinals to 5-0 Win over Mets

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), July 19, 2017 | Go to article overview

Wacha Leads Cardinals to 5-0 Win over Mets


NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Wacha busted it out of the batter's box on a hot night and was thinking about an RBI as he raced down toward first base trying to beat out a double play during a big second inning.

Not only did he do that, he also threw a three-hitter for his first career shutout, helping the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 5-0 on Tuesday night.

"Yeah, I am not fast by any means, but I was just trying to get down there and beat it out," said Wacha (7-3), who previously pitched 11 days ago.

Despite a slow start that has them one game under .500, the Cardinals were able to move within 3 1/2 games behind the National League Central Division-leading Milwaukee Brewers thanks to Wacha, who won his fourth consecutive start, and Matt Carpenter, who had four hits.

"Oh, it was awesome. He came out from the first pitch and you could tell he had good stuff," said Carpenter, who picked up his 10th-career four-hit game and first since May 31, 2016, at Milwaukee.

Wacha struck out eight and walked one in his 99th start, allowing only three runners to reach second base.

The 26-year-old right-hander, who was ineffective last season, had not won four straight starts since the 2013 playoffs when he helped lead St. Louis to the World Series.

There were rumors off a possible move to the bullpen for Wacha prior to this season, but St. Louis manager Mike Matheny always thought otherwise.

"You can't forget, it was '13 and this kid came on the scene and then pitched on the big stage and threw some of the better games that we had seen," Matheny said. "And that stuff, when he's healthy, that stuff is right. You know days like this I know reaffirm for him the kind of pitcher that he should be. We see it. Just want to continue to watch it."

Wacha and the Cardinals capitalized on a shoddy Mets defense that let down starter Rafael Montero (1-6) with three errors. Montero allowed four runs, two earned, in six innings. New York has lost three straight and eight of 11.

"We've talked about it. In this league you can't give away outs," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Big league teams, you can't give them extra outs. …

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