Essentially a dead team walking for the last couple of weeks, the offensively-challenged Mets took the field Saturday evening on the precipice of official playoff elimination and facing the potential National League Cy Young Award winner in Corbin Burnes on the hill for Milwaukee. And if you’ve been watching the Mets in the second half, everything went pretty much as you’d expect—with the painfully obvious being made official with the Phillies victory over the Pirates, and Burnes stifling the Mets offense as the team played its way to another desultory one run defeat.
While Burnes dominated early—retiring the first nine Mets in order—veteran Rich Hill gamely battled, getting a big double play in the first and wriggling out of a bases loaded and no outs situation in the second. The Brewers finally broke through against Hill in the bottom of the third, as with two on and two out, Eduardo Escobar delivered a two-run single for Milwaukee.
The Mets would finally break through in the fourth. Brandon Nimmo led off with a single, but in pressing to make something happen got caught stealing, potentially short-circuiting a bigger inning. After a Francisco Lindor strikeout, Michael Conforto slapped a double down the left field line, and came around to score on a Javier Baez RBI single.
The Mets mustered little offense thereafter. With two out, they got two men on in the top of fifth, starting with a gorgeous bunt single by Hill—with perhaps the last ever hit by a Mets pitcher(?)—but after Nimmo followed with another single, Burnes would again strike out Lindor, on his way to a dreaded Golden Sombrero.
The Mets bullpen—led by Aaron Loup dropping his ERA below 1.00—would keep the Mets in the game, but the offense would only manage a Nimmo single against Burnes and Brad Boxberger over sixth through eighth innings.
With two outs and none on in the ninth against Josh Hader, Jonathan Villar drew a walk, and the Mets sent up Jose Peraza to pinch hit for Jeff McNeil. As has already been apparent for weeks, the magic of the first half of the season—when Peraza handed Hader his only blown save of the year with an unlikely home run—has long since dissipated, and Hader struck Peraza out to end the game. The victory left the Brewers one win away clinching the National League Central Division title, and leaves the Mets officially playing out the string, at 73-81 needing to win out just to finish the season at .500.
-illar of the day
At this point one should probably get more credit for not appearing in a game than for appearing in a game, so by that logic, we will go with Kevin Pillar.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Brandon Nimmo, +6.3% WPA
Big Mets loser: Francisco Lindor, -18.8% WPA
Mets pitchers: 15.3%% WPA
Mets hitters: -63.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Javier Baez RBI single in the top of the fourth, +9.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Eduardo Escobar two-run single in the bottom of the third, -17.9% WPA