The New York Mets defeated the St. Louid Cardinals 4-1 today to take three out of four against the reigning National League champions, with Daisuke Matsuzaka tossing a hitless ninth to earn his first career save.
Matsuzaka, 33, began this season as a starter for the Mets AAA affiliate in Las Vegas after being beaten out for the fifth starters role by Jenrry Mejia, but was recalled on April 16th when the team outrighted another former starting pitcher that was being used in relief, veteran left hander John Lannan. Dice-K is a veteran of eight Major League seasons, split between the Boston Red Sox and the Mets, but has made only four career relief appearances, with only one of them coming before this season. Dice-K became the fourth Mets pitcher to record a save this season, along with Bobby Parnell, the teams incumbent closer, who is out for the season, Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth. Valverde has already been removed from closer’s duty in favor OF Farnsworth in the early season, but Farnsworth was unavailable to pitch today.
The Mets racked up 7 hits, including a long home run from Chris Young and an RBI double from Daniel Murphy, but the key to the game was the team’s solid pitching: starting with Bartolo Colon who hurled seven strong innings allowing only one run, with Carlos Torres, Scott Rice and Matsuzaka pitching two scoreless frames to seal the victory.