The Mets headed to Milwaukee with the chance to clinch a postseason berth with just one win against the Brewers. Max Scherzer was making his first start off the injured list and was looking to not just clinch the postseason berth but to secure his 200th career win. But the Mets would have to face the reigning Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes to do it, who while not performing to his 2021 highs, was still performing at an elite level.
In the first, the Mets didn’t put up much of a fight, going down in order against Burnes. But luckily, Scherzer was also able to absolutely smother the Brewers offense. The Brewers went down in order, with two strikeouts to boot.
In the second, the Mets were just as helpless as they were in the first, with the middle of the lineup going down in order. Scherzer kept rolling along in the bottom of the inning, setting down the Brewers in order again and adding yet another strikeout to his ledger.
In the third, the Mets finally struck against Burnes, with Eduardo Escobar recording a one-out single. But he was quickly erased when Tomás Nido grounded into a double play. In the bottom of the inning Scherzer kept his pace, getting three outs in order with another strikeout.
In the fourth, the Mets finally struck. Francisco Lindor hit a one-out single into left field, and was moved to third by a Jeff McNeil dribbler through the hole. Then Pete Alonso absolutely demolished a home run into the left field stands, putting the Mets up three while the Brewers had yet to even record a hit. And in the bottom of the inning the Brewers were still unable to do anything against Scherzer, going down in order yet again with two more strikeouts.
In the fifth, the Mets weren’t able to score any more runs, going down in order on three straight groundouts. In the bottom of the inning, Scherzer recorded another perfect inning, with two more strikeouts.
Brandon Nimmo led off the sixth with a well-struck triple, putting a runner in scoring position with no outs. Lindor then followed it up with a triple of his own, driving in Nimmo, putting the Mets up by four runs, and leaving a runner in scoring position with still no outs. After two outs by McNeil and Alonso, Daniel Vogelbach hit a double to drive in Lindor to tack on another run. A Mark Canha walk drove Burnes from the game, and Jake Cousins came in and stopped the bleeding for the Brewers. In the bottom of the inning, Scherzer kept the perfect game going, and got his ninth strikeout of the evening.
Escobar led off the seventh with a double, and Nimmo drew a one out walk, putting two runners on with just one out. But the Mets were unable to capitalize, stranding both runners.
In the bottom of the inning, Tylor Megill came out of the bullpen for his first appearance after being activated off the injured list earlier in the day. The first thing Megill did was give up a double to Christian Yelich, ending the perfect game bid after six innings. He struck out Willy Adames, but then gave up a two-run home run to Rowdy Tellez, slimming the lead to three runs. Megill got out of the inning without causing anymore damage.
The Brewers brought in Justin Topa for the top of the eighth. Alonso led off the inning with a walk. After two outs in succession, and a stolen base by Alonso putting him in scoring position, Tyler Naquin hit a single up the middle and Alonso scored, with Naquin making it to second on an error by Topa. After an intentional walk to Escobar, Nido hit a single to drive in Naquin, putting the Mets up by five once more. Nimmo grounded out to end the inning, with the Mets just needing to get six outs. Seth Lugo came in for the Mets in the bottom of the eighth, and other than a leadoff Andrew McCutchen single, Lugo was effective, sending the next three batters down in order.
Peter Strzelecki came in for the Brewers in the ninth, and other than a one-out Jeff McNeil walk, the Mets went down quietly against Strzelecki. In the bottom of the ninth, Adam Ottavino came out of the bullpen to seal the deal for the Mets. He gave up a leadoff double to Yelich, but then he locked it down to get the Mets across the finish line for the win.
The Mets win locked them in for a postseason berth for the first time since 2016, as well as Max Scherzer’s 200th career win. While there’s still a ways to go to see if the Mets can clinch the division and the bye, it’s a win to even just make it to the playoffs, something they haven’t done in 6 years. And for the next two games against Milwaukee, the Mets are facing two of their lesser pitchers, which will hopefully lead to a few more wins to keep pace ahead of the Braves.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Max Scherzer, +28.0% WPA
Big Mets loser: Tomás Nido, -5.0% WPA
Mets pitchers: +26.9% WPA
Mets hitters: +23.1% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso’s three-run home run in the fourth, +22.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Tomás Nido grounding into a double play in the third, -5.7% WPA