National League Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, April 21st (All times eastern)
St. Louis Cardinals (11-8) at New York Mets (9-9), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: St. Louis - Tyler Lyons (0-0, 0.00) New York - Jenrry Mejia (2-0, 2.81)
(SportsNetwork.com) - Tyler Lyons makes his first start of the season for St. Louis Monday night when the Cardinals open a four-game set against the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Lyons was 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts at Triple-A Memphis before getting called up to fill in for an injured Joe Kelly (hamstring) in the rotation. The left-hander went 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA in 12 games (eight starts) with the Cardinals last year in his rookie season.
"We just hope he can carry that momentum forward here (Monday)," manager Mike Matheny said of Lyons' promising first few starts in the minors. "He did a great job for us when he got the opportunity last year. And we go with that hot hand."
The Cardinals starting rotation leads the majors with 11 wins and boasts a minuscule 0.61 ERA over the last seven games.
For New York, right-hander Jenrry Mejia is 2-0 with a 2.81 in his first three turns through the rotation. A torn blister on Mejia's finger forced him out of Tuesday's 9-0 win over Arizona after five shutout innings, although he does not expect to be limited on Monday.
He'll hope to get continued offensive production from third baseman David Wright, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games after Sunday's 4-for-6 showing in a 4-3, 14-inning win over Atlanta. Wright is batting .380 with eight RBI during the streak, and he has hit .452 over his last eight games against St. Louis.
Curtis Granderson, who signed a four-year, $60 million deal with the Mets in December, was hitting just .127 through his first 17 games and had been hearing more and more boos. He went 0-for-6 on Sunday but did deliver the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 14th inning.
"I needed something positive," Granderson said. "You've got to keep trying different things, continue to keep working. Things will turn. I understand that. I've done this before. It's just a matter of time."
Meanwhile, the Cardinals are in the midst of playing 20 games in 20 days. They traveled by train for the first time since 2009 to get to New York after Sunday's 3-2 loss at Washington.
St. Louis hitters struck out a season high-tying 12 times in that game, while starter Shelby Miller tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings. The bullpen was unable to hold down the fort, and a few misplayed balls defensively proved costly.
"We talk so much about the pride we're taking in trying to be that clean defensive team, which I still know that we are," Matheny said. "But I think it's just showing the caliber of competition. When you give extra outs to a good offense, it's going to come back to bite you."
The Cardinals won five of seven between the teams last year and have won eight of the last 11 head-to-head meetings overall.
04/21 10:36:16 ET