What began as a well-pitched game for seven innings turned into a contest between the Mets and Brewers to see which team's bullpen was less awful than the other's. The Mets' lone run off Randy Wolf came in the top of the fourth inning after Jason Bay was hit by a pitch, advanced to third base on a single, and score on a balk by Wolf.
With one out in the bottom of the inning, Mike Pelfrey gave up a single to Ryan Braun and fell behind 3-0 to Prince Fielder. To absolutely nobody's surprise, Fielder homered and put the Brewers up 2-1.
Neither team scored again until the eighth, but the Mets scored plenty in the top of the frame. Jose Reyes led off with an infield single, stole second, and Justin Turner walked. Carlos Beltran doubled to tie the game, and Angel Pagan singled to drive in Turner. Beltran probably could have scored on the play, too, but it didn't really matter when Ronny Paulino stepped up to the plate - after a strikeout by Bay - and hit a ridiculous bomb to left field to put the Mets up 6-2. It looked pretty good at that point.
Pedro Beato began the bottom of the inning by walking Craig Counsell. Yep, really. After Rickie Weeks grounded out, Nyjer Morgan singled, and the Mets looked vulnerable. Ryan Braun drilled a double to bring the Brewers within two, and Terry Collins called upon Jason Isringhausen, who quickly surrendered another two-run home run to Price Fielder. He managed to keep the game tied through the end of the inning, but the damage certainly was done.
The Mets briefly threatened with two outs in the top of the ninth after Beltran walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Pagan struck out looking to end the inning. And then Terry Collins went to Dale Thayer to pitch the bottom of the inning. Counsell singled with one out, and after Thayer went to a full count on Rickie Weeks, he was running on the pitch. Weeks struck out on a check swing, but Paulino didn't attempt a throw to second base.
Gary Cohen used his jinxing powers well during the inning as he pointed out that the Mets had neither won nor lost a game in walk-off fashion yet this season, and with Counsell standing on second and two outs, Nyjer Morgan lined the ball down the right field line, and the Mets lost.
It's a real shame that Francisco Rodriguez was sitting in the bullpen for the eighth and ninth innings, waiting for a save situation that never came. There's no question that he's a far better reliever than anyone who pitched in those innings, and when Braun and Fielder came up in key spots in the eighth inning, bringing in Frankie would have made perfect sense, regardless of his contract situation. That's not how managers do things, though, and the results of Terry Collins' bullpen choices were unsurprising.
Big winners: Ronny Paulino, +30.1% WPA, Carlos Beltran, +24.3% WPA, Jose Reyes, +13.9% WPA
Big losers: Dale Thayer, -35.5% WPA, Jason Isringhausen, -29.7% WPA, Pedro Beato, -15.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Carlos Beltran rib eye, game-tying double in the eighth, +28.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Nyjer Morgan game-winning double in the ninth, -38.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -74.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: +24.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Nyjer Morgan
Nice job by astromets; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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