Postcard from Cardinals camp for Saturday, March 18

By Rob Rains

Weather: 74 degrees, partly cloudy

Result: Mets 5, Cardinals 4


JUPITER, Fla. – Michael Wacha became part of Tebow-mania on Saturday.

After facing Cardinals’ minor leaguers on a back field on Friday, Tim Tebow was in the major-league lineup for the Mets on Saturday against Wacha and in the second inning, lashed a single to left field on a two-strike pitch.

“I left a pitch over the middle of the plate and he put a good swing on it,” Wacha said. “I was trying to go in on him. When you make a mistake guys take advantage of it.”

That includes players such as Tebow, the focus of much national attention as he tries to become a baseball player after playing quarterback at Florida but failing to make it in the NFL.

Wacha threw a called third strike past Tebow in his second at-bat, and on his third at-bat, Tebow hit a comebacker to pitcher Arturo Reyes, who threw him out at first base.

Wacha would not be drawn into offering his opinion on Tebow, but did say it did not seem to him like Tebow was “out of place” on the baseball field. Tebow also made a nice play in left field, with a twisting catch on a fly ball.

The hit by Tebow was his fourth of the spring against major-league competition. That is the same number of hits the Cardinals’ Stephen Piscotty has this spring.

Other news and notes from Saturday:

High: Jonathan Broxton was the only Cardinal pitcher who did not allow a run. His scoreless inning improved his spring totals to just two runs allowed in eight innings.

Low: After Matt Adams was called out on strikes as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning, he was ejected by home plate umpire Nick Mahrley. Manager Mike Matheny said all Adams said after the strikeout was “terrible” before he was ejected. “He (the umpire) wanted to announce his presence with authority I guess,” Matheny said. Adams did offer a parting wave to Mahrley as he left the field.

At the plate:
Matt Carpenter had a single and drew a walk in three plate appearances. In his other at-bat, he fouled twice on bunt attempts trying to beat the infield shift before flying out … Randal Grichuk and Harrison Bader had RBI singles for the Cardinals, who rallied to tie the game 4-4 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Patrick Wisdom … Jhonny Peralta hit his fifth double of the spring … Adolis Garcia had two more at-bats after entering the game in the sixth inning, flying out to right and reaching on a throwing error … The Cardinals were only 2-of-11 with runners in scoring position.

On the mound: Wacha allowed five hits and three runs in his four innings of work. He walked one and struck out four in his 70-pitch outing. One of the hits was a home run by Juan Lagares … Reyes also allowed a home run, by Kevin Plawecki … The Mets broke the 4-4 tie with a run in the ninth off Mike Mayers on back-to-back doubles.

In the clubhouse: The Cardinals sent pitchers Luke Weaver and Mitch Harris to the minor league clubhouse on Saturday. Not counting the three players still participating in the World Baseball Classic or injured players, there are 43 players remaining in camp, 23 position players and 20 pitchers … Matheny said if Tyler Lyons gets medical clearance he likely will pitch in Sunday’s game against the Braves.

On the back fields: Adams was taking fly balls in left field before Saturday’s game, hoping to increase his versatility … Matheny said Paul DeJong, normally an infielder, also will likely receive some outfield instruction in the last couple of weeks of spring training for the same purpose.

Up next: Lance Lynn will get the start for Sunday’s game against the Braves in Lake Buena Vista. Also scheduled to make the trip and pitcher are relievers Seung Hwan Oh, Kevin Siegrist, Matt Bowman and Brett Cecil.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains