The Mets dropped the final game of their four-game series with the Brewers on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, losing 2-1. The team, which had been on somewhat of an offensive tear as of late, looked anemic for the second straight game, scoring only one run on a Wilmer Flores home run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Chase Anderson started for the Brewers, and made the Mets look silly with his changeup through the day. He gave up only three singles and one walk, striking out seven across seven innings of work. The only rough patch for him came in the second inning, when the Mets had two men on when Travis d’Arnaud singled, and Lucas Duda was thrown out at the plate.
Zack Wheeler started for the Mets and pitched six and a third innings of decent baseball, giving up ten hits and a walk but limiting the damage to only two runs. Wheeler seemed to always have men on base, and was going deep into seemingly every count. He was aided by three double plays, and did strike out six batters. Wheeler looked quite strong in his last two innings of work, and is continuing his performance over his last several starts.
The most bizarre play of the day happened in the fourth inning. Eric Sogard popped the ball foul, towards the Brewers dugout, and Wilmer Flores ran toward the dugout, and was lined up to catch the ball, but crashed into the Brewers’ bat boy, who failed to get out of the way. The play was initially called interference, but reversed after the umpires consulted together. The rule was debated on the SNY broadcast, but essentially shakes out to this: because the interference was not intentional, and because the bat boy was allowed on the field, it could not be called interference. Terry Collins argued the call to its extreme, and was tossed from the game, leaving bench coach Dick Scott in control of most of the game.
Scott pulled Wheeler in the top of the seventh with one out, and brought in Jerry Blevins, who dispatched the Brewers in order. Showing that the bench coach is indeed simpatico with his manager, Scott inexplicably kept Blevins in the game to start the eighth, and promptly gave up a hit and a walk. He was relieved by Fernando Salas, who loaded the bases but worked out of trouble.
Scott again kept Salas in the game in the ninth, but looked like a tactical genius for doing so, as he struck out the side, recording all five of his outs on strikeouts.
In the bottom of the eighth, Flores hit the first pitch he saw from Jacob Barnes over the Great Wall of Flushing. That, however, was the last gasp of offense from the team who, aside from a Neil Walker walk in the bottom of the ninth, were totally flummoxed by Barnes and closer Cory Knebel.
The Mets start a three-game series with the Pirates tomorrow night, with Matt Harvey and Gerit Cole squaring off in Flushing.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Fernando Salas, +9.8% WPA, Wilmer Flores, +6.2% WPA
Big losers: Jose Reyes, -13,2% WPA, Travis d’Arnaud, -12.5% WPA, Michael Conforto, -10.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wilmer Flores’s solo home run, +13.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Lucas Duda’s game ending pop up, -9.1% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +9.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: -59.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Nick Franklin