ST. LOUIS — For the Mets, it was not a very good game on Saturday. The news beforehand about the ace Jacob deGrom was decidedly better.
Before a 10-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said that deGrom might not need a magnetic resonance imaging test on his sore right elbow after all.
Callaway said the team reversed course because deGrom, who was placed on the injured list on Friday retroactive to April 16, responded well to treatment.
“Much improved,” Callaway said. “We’ll get him back to New York and get him checked out and go from there.”
DeGrom, the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner, was coming off two shaky starts and is 2-2 with a 3.68 E.R.A. this season. He played catch in the outfield before Saturday’s game and said his elbow soreness probably came from altering his routine during a recent bout of strep throat.
“After getting some treatment and getting things moving around, it started feeling a little better,” said deGrom, who had been scheduled to start. “So decided to throw and felt good with how it went.”
He added about the sore elbow: “I’m not really worried about the spot it’s in, it’s just more being smart and not trying to go out there and do too much too early and risk a more serious injury.”
Chris Flexen (0-1) took deGrom’s place as the starter for the Mets and surrendered six runs and seven hits in four and a third innings. He was making his first major league start since July 18, 2018.
“I got beat on a few pitches up, struggled putting guys away with two strikes,” Flexen said. “All in all, I went out there and battled, stayed aggressive, and attacked these guys.”
In another injury scare for the Mets, first baseman Pete Alonso received X-rays on his left hand after being hit by a foul ball in the eighth inning. X-rays were negative, and Alonso said he hoped to play on Sunday.
The Cardinals’ starter, Miles Mikolas, went eight innings and also drove in two runs. Mikolas (2-1) became the first St. Louis starting pitcher to record an out in the seventh inning this season. He allowed two runs and four hits.
Jose Martinez had three hits and three R.B.I. for the Cardinals, and Paul Goldschmidt hit his eighth home run, a 464-foot shot in the eighth inning against Paul Sewald.
St. Louis third baseman Matt Carpenter left the game after the sixth inning with a bruised left knee. He appeared to foul a ball off himself, but stayed in and drew a walk, and then scored before exiting. Cardinals Manager Mike Shildt said he talked to Carpenter after the game and Carpenter told him he would be fine.