Series preview: Mets at Cardinals

Do not count the Cardinals out (0:55)

Pedro Gomez and Raul Ibanez explain the reasons why the Cardinals can make the playoffs this season. (0:55)

NEW YORK METS (62-62, third place/NL East) at ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (66-57, second place/NL Central)

Tuesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (8-7, 5.30) vs. LHP Jaime Garcia (10-8, 4.11), 8:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.73) vs. RHP Carlos Martinez (11-7, 3.24), 8:15 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Seth Lugo (0-2, 3.04) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (9-7, 4.71), 7:15 p.m. ET


  • The Cardinals have been hit hard by injuries this month, with shortstop Aledmys Diaz (broken thumb), left-hander Tyler Lyons (knee), right-hander Michael Wacha (shoulder), left fielder Matt Adams (shoulder), Matt Holliday (broken thumb) and right-hander Seth Maness (elbow) all landing on the disabled list. Greg Garcia has taken over at shortstop for the All-Star Diaz, who was hitting .312 with 14 homers and 57 RBIs in 353 at-bats during his rookie season. Diaz was struck by a pitch from Miami Marlins right-hander Andrew Cashner. Holliday also was hit by a pitch, by Chicago Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery. Holliday had surgery and might be lost for the season.

  • Jedd Gyorko has 20 home runs in only 272 at-bats. On Friday while manning shortstop, Gyorko became the first player in franchise history to homer at all four infield positions in a single season. Jake Flowers (1926-32) and Rogers Hornsby (1916-33) had done it over their entire Cardinals careers.

  • Jaime Garcia surrendered a career-high three home runs last Tuesday against the Houston Astros.

  • The Cardinals have set a franchise record for a single season with 14 pinch-hit home runs. That included an MLB-record three in an April 8 game in Atlanta. Jeremy Hazelbaker is tied with Pittsburgh’s Matt Joyce for the MLB lead with four pinch-hit home runs.

  • Cardinals reliever Matt Bowman was a Rule 5 pick from the Mets in December.

  • The Cardinals' Matt Carpenter and Mets' James Loney were high school teammates in Missouri City, Texas, while playing for Carpenter’s father.

  • St. Louis leads the National League with 173 home rnus. The Mets rank third with 162.


  • Steven Matz, who had been lined up for Thursday’s start, instead landed on the disabled list with a mild shoulder strain and rotator-cuff inflammation. Rookie Seth Lugo will make his second major league start in place of Matz.

  • Neil Walker is to be placed on paternity leave and miss the entire series. The Mets intend to promote rookie infielder T.J. Rivera from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Walker's roster spot.

  • Yoenis Cespedes has three home runs in three games since returning from the disabled list. Cespedes had struggled while trying to play through a right quadriceps strain before being placed on the DL. Cespedes slugged his 40th and 41st home runs as a Met on Saturday, in his 153rd game with the organization. That was the quickest in franchise history to the 40-homer mark, topping the 175 games it took Carlos Delgado to reach that threshold.

  • Jay Bruce, acquired from the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 1 for second baseman Dilson Herrera and 19-year-old left-hander Max Wotell, is hitting .169 (12-for-71) with two home runs and six RBIs in 19 games with the Mets.

  • Curtis Granderson is hitting .152 (12-for-79) in his past 21 games. He recently has been asked to play center field against right-handed pitching. Justin Ruggiano handles the position against southpaws.

  • Jacob deGrom is coming off a five-inning start against the San Francisco Giants in which he allowed career highs with eight runs and 13 hits. He had been 4-1 with a 1.49 ERA in his previous nine starts.