The Mets blew two leads today and dropped their third straight game to the Brewers, 8-7. Despite the offense scoring seven runs, the Mets’ bullpen again could not close out the game. Each of the last three games represented a different kind of frustrating loss for the team.
The game started in a rocky fashion for Zack Wheeler, with Lorenzo Cain leading off with a base hit. The next batter, Christian Yellich, hit a long fly ball to right field that Jay Bruce missed, and bounced in and out of the glove of a diving Michael Conforto. Cain came around to score on a Jesus Aguilar single, putting the Brewers up 1-0. Wheeler would escape the inning with no further runs scoring.
The Mets responded quickly in the next half inning, with five straight batters reaching base before Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacín retired a batter. Bruce got the hit parade started with an infield single, which was followed by Adrian Gonzalez being hit by a pitch on his back leg. Jose Bautista then singled up the middle, loading the bases for Tomas Nido, who hit a sharp opposite field single to plate Bruce, and tie the game at 1-1.
Wheeler then helped himself to a long single over the head of Domingo Santana, knocking in Gonzalez and Bautista, and taking second on the throw home. After an Amed Rosario pop out, Asdrubal Cabrera drove in Nido with a single to right field. Despite a walk to Conforto, the Mets wouldn’t score again this inning.
The bottom of the third inning started in a similar fashion for the Brewers. Lorenzo Cain walked on four pitches ahead of an infield single by Christian Yellich. Aguilar then hit a towering home run to left, tying the game at 4 apiece.
When the Mets took the field in the bottom of the fourth, there was a slight delay in action, after which Luis Guillorme took over third base in place of Wilmer Flores, who left the game with lower back soreness.
Wheeler, despite having a rocky first three innings, settled in nicely, not allowing another run to score in his subsequent three innings of work, ending the day with six strikeouts, six hits, and two walks. While certainly not a perfect performance, Wheeler has been showing a resilience that has not often been there in his career.
In the top of the fifth, Michael Conforto hit what was originally called a solo home run, but after a review was ruled a double. Conforto scored after being moved over by Guillorme, and then driven in by a Bruce single.
After Wheeler completed the sixth inning, he was given an insurance run off the bat of Cabrera, who was turned around by relief pitcher Boone Logan, but hit a solo home run in his first right handed at-bat of the game. Chacin had exited the game one batter earlier, going six and a third innings, striking out three, walking one, and allowing eight hits.
The bottom of the seventh would be the undoing for the Mets.
Robert Gsellman started the inning, and quickly retired pinch hitter Ryan Braun. After a single to Cain, Yellich grounded into a fielder’s choice, putting a man on first with two outs. Gsellman then walked Aguilar on a borderline ball four, and was pulled from the game. Jerry Blevins followed, and he could not retire the batter he was brought in to face, left handed Travis Shaw. Shaw singled, scoring Yellich, and moving Aguilar to second.
Paul Sewald then came into the game and promptly gave up back to back doubles to Santana and Jonathan Villar, putting the Brewers up 8-6.
The Mets got a little hope in the ninth, when pinch hitter Devin Mesoraco hit a towering home run to straight away center to lead off the inning off of closer Corey Knebel. But pinch hitter Brandon Nimmo didn’t reach base, and despite Amed Rosario drawing a walk, he was stranded by both Cabrera and Conforto striking out.
This loss was frustrating for a plethora of reasons. It wasted a decent start from Wheeler, a resurgent offensive performance from Bruce (celebrating his tenth anniversary of his MLB debut), a walk and stolen base from Rosario, and a generally good performance from the oft-struggling offense.
While there are a number of players due back soon, it is getting late in the season for the Mets to still not have their stuff together. The 11-1 start seems like a thousand years ago.
Tomorrow, the Mets head to Atlanta for a double header against the Braves. Jacob deGrom will start the first game for the Mets, opposing Max Fried in the day game. Brandon McCarthy will start the nightcap for the Braves, with the Mets yet to name a starter.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: None
Big losers: Paul Sewald -48.4% WPA, Jerry Blevins -13.7% WPA,
Teh aw3s0mest play: Asdrubal Cabrera’s seventh inning home run, +13.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Domingo Santana’s seventh inning double, -41.8% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -63.9% WPA +
Total batter WPA: +13.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Jonathan Villar