Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Preview: Cardinals At Mets

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[April 23, 2014]  The New York Mets signed Curtis Granderson to a four-year, $60 million contract during the offseason, and still are waiting to get any sort of return on their investment. Granderson carries a .116 batting average into the third contest of a four-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday while in a 4-for-50 rut and hitless in his last 22 at-bats. "I wish I knew," Granderson told reporters when asked about the slump. "Because if I knew, I would hopefully be able to figure it out."

The Cardinals evened the series with a 3-0 victory Tuesday, but they hope it wasn't a costly one as ace Adam Wainwright left after seven innings with a hyperextended knee. "Just give me a couple of days and everything will be all right," Wainwright told reporters. St. Louis' Michael Wacha is coming off his first loss of 2014 despite registering his fourth straight quality start to begin the season as he opposes Jon Niese, who has received a total of one run of support in his two losses.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), SNY (New York)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Michael Wacha (2-1, 1.73 ERA) vs. Mets LH Jon Niese (0-2, 2.84)

Wacha was let down by his defense, which committed three errors in a 3-1 loss at Washington on Friday as he yielded three runs (one earned) and five hits while striking out seven in seven innings. The 23-year-old Iowa City, Iowa, native recorded his first major league victory over the Mets on June 11, when he yielded two runs and five hits in six frames of the Cardinals' 9-2 victory in New York. Wacha sports an 0.88 WHIP and .206 opponents' batting average this season while striking out 25 in 26 innings.

Niese's season debut was slightly delayed because of left elbow and shoulder soreness, but he's responded with three effective starts. The 27-year-old Lima, Ohio, native yielded one run and four hits while striking out seven in six innings before the bullpen imploded in a 6-0 loss to Atlanta on Friday. Niese, who hasn't allowed a hit to a left-handed batter in 15 chances this season, is 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts against St. Louis, with Matt Holliday and Yadier Molina a combined 5-for-21.

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  1. St. Louis C Yadier Molina has a 13-game hitting streak and is batting .396 during that span, while Mets 3B David Wright had his 12-game streak stopped Tuesday.

  2. Holliday broke out of a 1-for-12 slide by going 3-for-4 on Tuesday and robbed New York's Chris Young of a game-tying two-run homer. "To see the big fella get up like that, it was awesome," St. Louis CF Jon Jay told reporters.

  3. St. Louis has posted four shutouts in 21 games this season.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 3, Mets 2

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