It was an afternoon of mixed emotions for the Mets and their fans, as they fell in defeat to the Brewers for the third straight day by a score of 4-2. The bad end of it was that, oh hey, the Mets lost three straight games to the Brewers by the score of 4-2. That's not cool. But on the other side, there was a slight ray of sunshine in the clouds of defeat. With the loss, the Mets clinched a protected draft pick in the June 2014 amateur draft, their first protected pick in a couple of years. Small potatoes in comparison to teams clinching playoff spots the past few days but still important for the future of the organization, as you likely remember the Michael Bourn saga from February. Maybe the Mets will actually sign a free agent that was given a qualifying offer this offseason! Or maybe not.
Of course, any loss is a sad occurrence and in the final homestand of the year, the Mets took their third consecutive at Citi Field. Aaron Harang received the ball for the Mets for the fourth time and outside of a long home run allowed to Carlos Gomez in the fourth inning, the veteran pitched pretty well. Harang went six innings, allowing just that run on five hits, while walking two and striking out seven. It's been an ugly season for him but he was certainly serviceable his four starts with the Mets.
Down 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Mets got right back. Lucas Duda led off the inning with a walk and then advanced to second and third on a wild pitch followed by a David Wright groundout. With one out, Daniel Murphy lined a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Duda from third and evening the score.
The Brewers had a shot to get back on top in the sixth inning as a Jonathan Lucroy leadoff walk nearly came back to bite Harang. After Lucroy somehow stole second base, Scooter Gennett got up to the plate and lined a single to center field. When I say that Lucroy "somehow" stole second base, you must realize I say that after having watched him try to score from second on Gennett's hit. It was not pretty to say the least. Lucroy took an ugly turn around third base and lumbered home like he had a pile of bricks on his back. Meanwhile, it should be noted that Juan Lagares was the man fielding the ball in center field and Mets fans know plenty of Lagares' success in throwing out baserunners this year. Well, he got another Juan. Unfortunately, the Brewers' third base coach must not have heard of Lagares' throwing prowess, as he waved Lucroy home and Lagares tossed out the Brewers' catcher at the plate to keep a run off the board. For Lagares, it was his 14th outfield assist of the season.
Fast forward to the bottom of the seventh inning and the Mets had themselves a chance of their own. Anthony Recker led off with a single and Omar Quintanilla reached base on a bunt attempt that was muffed by perennial negative WAR infielder Yuniesky Betancourt at third base. Josh Satin then walked to load the bases with no outs. That sounds like a recipe for at least a run, right? Well, not this time. Eric Young lined out to center field and Recker could not test Carlos Gomez's arm. Lucas Duda popped out to third base, then David Wright grounded out to shortstop, and just like that, the Mets got nothing.
Yuniesky Betancourt did contribute something positive for the Brewers in the eighth inning, as he hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly against Vic Black. The sac fly put the Brewers ahead 2-1 and the score would stay like that into the bottom of the ninth. Facing Donovan Hand with one out in the ninth, Zach Lutz and Andrew Brown walked back to back to put runners on for Eric Young and the left fielder delievered, knocking a hit right down the third base line to tie up the game. With runners at second and third and one out, Hand hit Lucas Duda to load up the bases for David Wright. The Mets were in great position to win the game but Wright hit a groundball up the middle that deflected off the glove of Hand, bounced right to the shortstop Jean Segura who turned a double play.
Scott Atchison came on in the 10th inning and got into immediate trouble. He walked Caleb Gindl and the next batter Lucroy singled putting runners at the corners. That brought up Carlos Gomez who blooped a single into center to put Milwaukee back on top. The Brewers scratched out one more against Atchison on Yuni Betancourt's single and that was it for the Mets. Earlier this year, this probably would've been an infuriating loss but in late September, all you can do is laugh. And enjoy the fact that the Mets will absolutely have a first round draft pick next June to add to the farm system. It's the little things.
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Eric Young (+38.2%), Aaron Harang (+19.0%)
Big losers: David Wright (-49.2%), Scott Atchison (-45.6%)
Teh aw3s0mest play: Eric Young's game-tying RBI single in the 9th (+52.1%)
Teh sux0rest play: David Wright's double play in the 9th (-32.8%)
Total pitcher WPA: -33.8%
Total batter WPA: -16.2%
GWRBI!: Carlos Gomez