A lot of credit for the New York Mets 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals Monday goes to the Mets bullpen. If there was an honorable mention to any of the five relief pitchers who pitched in that 14-inning extravaganza, it would go to the last two pitchers of that game: Alex Torres and Carlos Torres, who are becoming to be known in Flushings as “The Torres Twins.”
Despite starting pitcher Matt Harvey, who is undefeated at home this year, delivering eight shutout innings against the league-leading Cardinals, the Mets could only give closer Juerys Familia one run to work with when he came in to try to close things out in the ninth. Instead, a sacrifice fly by Jason Heyward allowed Pete Kozma to score from third, giving Familia his first blown save of 2015.
With relievers Hansel Robles and Erik Goeddel taking care of things in the 10th and 11th for a combined 1.2 innings of shutout work, in came lefty Alex Torres with two outs in the top of the 11th. With the Cardinals threatening with runners on first and second when this Torres entered the game, he was able to take care of business and keep the Mets out of harm’s way, striking out St. Louis’ ninth-inning hero Heyward. In the top of the twelfth, Torres struck out Randal Grichuk to begin the inning, but a wild pitch allowed Grichuk to go to first. Torres responded by striking out the next two batters and getting Matt Carpenter to fly out.
For the 13th, Carlos Torres came in and retired the birds in order. With one out in the top of the 14th, Heyward again looked to be the Cardinals’ hero on this night by hitting a double. With the winning run likely a base hit away, Torres responded by not letting the Cards hit at all, retiring Grichuk and Seth Maness back-to-back on strikes.
The Mets won it in the bottom of the 14th on a bases-loaded infield single by John Mayberry. Though it took the Mets offense 14 innings to produce a win, the Mets bullpen, which has been the subject of much scrutiny in the month of May, walked away with much of the praise for keeping the Cardinals bats stiff all that time.
However, the praise here begins with Matt Harvey’s eight complete innings and nine strikeouts, allowing just six hits and one walk. This is Harvey’s second straight start being given a no decision, despite pitching a combined 15 innings of shutout baseball and 18 strikeouts in those two outings, and each time, the Mets held a 1-0 lead upon Harvey leaving the game.
Carlos Torres was responsible for surrendering the slim lead in that first game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, and he eventually was handed the loss in that 2-1 defeat. But he redeemed himself Monday, as he received the win in that contest. With him and Alex Torres combining for six strikeouts in their 3.1 innings of work, they were the toast of the town at least for that game, and if that kind of play continues for the two, they could become a legitimate bullpen tandem as the season continues. For right now, we’ll call this duo “The Torres Twins,” unless someone has a better suggestion. Anyone?