There's a good chance it will take you longer to read this recap than it took the Mets to fall to the Brewers this afternoon. After two days of relative competence, the offense needed just two hours and twenty minutes to revert back to its impotent second half form. Brewers starter Wily Peralta turned in the best start of his career so far, though that's not saying much given 1). He'd only made two prior to this one and 2). He was facing the Mets. Still, Peralta came into this year as the Brewers top prospect and he pitched like someone deserving of the ranking today. The rookie tossed eight scoreless innings using a fastball-slider combination that was sharp enough that it likely would have given fits to a good lineup.
And a good lineup is not something the Mets possess right now. The only batter to reach base more than once was Josh Thole who, as usual, struggled to get the ball out of the infield, though he managed to hit a grounder deep enough in the hole that he could leg it out for a single. He also drew a one-out walk in the eighth inning as Peralta began to tire, but Andres Torres flew out to shallow center (on a 3-1 pitch, no less) and pinch hitter Scott Hairston lined a ball as hard as any Met had all day...directly into the glove of third baseman Aramis Ramirez for out number three.
More bad batting news: With an 0-for-4, the David Wright's OBP dropped below .400 for the first time all season. He also got caught looking twice and hasn't been a tough out since mid-July. Or maybe it was the first half of 2012 that was out of character for David. Either way, it seems more and more likely that the MVP candidate that manned third base for the Mets from 2006 to 2008 was misplaced during the move to Citi Field.
On the pitching side of the ledger, Chris Young was decent enough. As he gave up more hits than innings pitched, the rules of sportswriting require me to say that he "scattered" eight base knocks over his 6 2/3 frames. However, three of the eight were home runs. Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez went back-to-back in the bottom of the fourth and two innings later, the Hebrew Hammer drove the final nail into the Mets coffin by sending another Young fastball pitch into Miller Park's upper deck. Unlike FedEx, Ryan Braun delivers on Sundays.
The Mets are now 66-80 and a season-worst 14 games under .500. They return home for three against the Phillies and have the chance to clinch a fourth consecutive losing season as soon as Tuesday, though R.A. Dickey and Matt Harvey will do their best to forestall the inevitable until the Marlins come to town. Below are the pitching match ups for the series.
Big winners: Josh Thole 5.4%
Big losers: Ruben Tejada -12.4%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Andres Torres single in the sixth +5.3%
Teh sux0rest play: Ryan Braun solo home run in the fourth -13.1%
Total pitcher WPA: -4.9%
Total batter WPA: -45.1%
GWRBI!: Ryan Braun solo home run in the fourth inning