In the last days of another lost season, there are few, if any, reasons to watch the Mets that aren't "it's baseball." However, there is one compelling interest about them right now: whether or not their first round pick will be protected in 2014. Considering the ramifications it could have on the team's offseason spending, and on its actual 2014 draft, it's something worth watching.
Tonight, they took a big step towards ensuring that they would have a first rounder in 2014.
Falling behind early after a three-run first for Milwaukee, the Mets were unable to come back against Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers bullpen, as they fell 4-2 to the Brewers on Friday. A loss in either of their final two games will guarantee the Mets a protected first-round pick in 2014.
Reliever/starter Carlos Torres got the start for the Mets. After a pair of September outings against the Braves and Nationals in which he gave up six homers, Torres had managed to allow just one in his last three starts. Old habits die hard though and they came back to bite Torres in the first inning.
On the fourth pitch of the game, Norichika Aoki hit a solo shot into the seats in right, making it 1-0. Scooter Gennet followed by striking out swinging. However, the pitch was unable to be reigned in by Travis d'Arnaud, and Gennett reached. He would advance to second on a balk. Following a Jonathan Lucroy groundout, Khris Davis made the Mets pay for their mistake by launching a Torres curveball into the Party Deck seats in left, making it 3-0.
Galardo, who has had a down season for the most part, held the Mets at bay in the first, retiring them 1-2-3. The second inning presented him more trouble. Justin Turner, playing in place of David Wright, led off with a single Andrew Brown followed with a hit of his own, putting runners at first and third with nobody out. Juan Lagares was able to drive in the Mets first run of the game with a sac fly to center, making it 3-1. Gallardo retired d'Arnaud and Wilfredo Tovar via strikeout to end the inning.
From there, both pitchers settled down. The Mets got a two-out double from Lucas Duda in the third, but he was stranded at second. d'Arnaud led off the bottom of a fifth with a single but was quickly erased on a double play from Tovar.
Torres, having allowed just a single hit from innings two through five, ran into trouble in the sixth. After retiring the first two batters, Davis reached via single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Carlos Gomez drew a walk, putting two on with two out. However, Jeff Bianchi flew out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Mets finally started to get to Gallardo. Duda singled with one out, and Daniel Murphy followed by hitting a flyball which landed over Davis's head in left and bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Turner helped the Mets get closer by hitting a groundball to the hole at short. Bianchi made an errant throw, pulling Lucroy off the bag, allowing Duda to score and Murphy to reach third. Andrew Brown walked to set up a bases loaded situation for Lagares. However, he struck out, keeping the runners stranded.
With two outs, d'Arnaud stepped to the plate. On a 1-2 pitch, the pitch bounced away from Martin Maldonaldo briefly. Murphy saw this, and attempted to score. However, Maldonaldo was able to recover, pick up the ball, and tag Murphy to record the out and end the inning.
Scott Atchison relieved Torres in the top of the seventh, and the Brewers quickly added insurance. With one out, Maldonaldo clubbed an Atchison fastball off the second deck in left, making it 4-2.
After the missed opportunity in the sixth, the Mets' bats went silent against the Brewers bullpen. A two-out single by Mike Baxter off of Rob Wooten in the seventh would be the only baserunner the Mets would get in the final three innings. The game ended with d'Arnaud flying out against Jim Henderson in the bottom of the ninth.
The Mets play their penultimate game of the season tomorrow with Aaron Harang scheduled to face Jimmy Nelson.
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Justin Turner, +12.1%, Andrew Brown, +8.9%
Big losers: Wilfredo Tovar, -15%, Eric Young Jr., -10.5%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy ground-rule double in sixth, +13.6%
Teh sux0rest play: Martin Maldonaldo solo homer in seventh, -13.4%
Total pitcher WPA: -15.7%
Total batter WPA: -34.3%
GWRBI!: Khris Davis