The Mets started this series against the Brewers by getting blown out in two straight games. The best we can say about this game is that they were at least competitive, unlike the first two. And yet, it wasn’t enough to avoid an embarrassing sweep, as Garrett Mitchell hit a walk-off homer in the ninth to defeat the Amazins 7-6.
The Mets came into this game without having scored a single run in the entire series, and they faced a daunting task of ending that offensive futility against ace Corbin Burnes. However, they managed to quickly end the scoreless streak in the first inning, as Starling Marte got on-base on a hit-by-pitch and, following a stolen base, was driven in by a Francisco Lindor double to left field to finally get the Mets on the board and give them a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, David Peterson took the hill for the Mets this afternoon. In reviewing his 2022 season last year, I expressed a desire to, and I quote, “jam my eyes out with a rusty fork” whenever watching him pitch. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on one’s point of view, I did not have a rusty fork on-hand today, or else it would have been put to good use. After getting through the first inning with only one walk allowed (although he was assisted by a tremendous diving play at third by Luis Guillorme), things fell apart quickly in the second. Peterson issued his second walk of the game with one out in the frame, then allowed three straight hits: a double to Jesse Winker, a single to Owen Miller to tie the game, and then a three-run homer to Joey Wiemer (the first of his major league career) to give the Brewers a 4-1 lead. Peterson managed to get out of the inning without giving up any more—though not before issuing his third walk in his two innings of work. While he would avoid giving up more runs in the rest of his outing, he did allow two more walks and two more hits, and he was not able to record an out past the fourth inning. His final line—4 innings pitched, 5 hits, 5 walks, 5 strikeouts, and 5 runs—was ugly, and it could very easily have been even uglier. Still, with all the various injury and performance woes that have faced the Mets starting rotation in the early goings of the season, the Mets will likely continue to rely on Peterson for the foreseeable future. Everybody start compiling your rusty forks now.
The Mets offense fought back, however—despite the daunting task of facing a three-run deficit against a former Cy Young winner. With one out in the third inning, Marte hit a double to right field to get things started, and much like the first inning, Lindor drove him in—this time with a line drive single. On the very next pitch, Pete Alonso tied the game with a two-run homer to right-center field. This particular group of players was not done producing for the Mets, however—a few innings later, they did it again. While Marte was retired on a line drive to center on a diving catch by Wiemer, Lindor followed with his second double of the game, and Alonso quickly followed with yet another homer against Burnes to give the Mets a 6-4 lead.
The pitching—which, lest we forget, has somehow been about as bad as the offense had been in this series—could not hold the lead, however. After Peterson walked his ten millionth batter to lead off the fifth, Buck Showalter mercifully took him out and replaced him with Drew Smith. Unfortunately, Smith had his own struggles, after after recording one out, Luke Voit singled to put runners on first and third. Then, after Brian Anderson struck out for the second out, Voit—a 258-pound man who came into the game today having one stolen base to his name—swiped second base, and Winker then hit a double to drive in two runs and tie the game at six runs apiece.
Both teams were quiet for the next few innings. The best chance the Mets bats had was when Daniel Vogelbach walked with one out in the top of the eighth and pinch-runner Tim Locastro stole second to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. But the Mets failed to bring him home, and the offense as a whole was held completely hitless after Alonso’s second homer. Meanwhile, John Curtiss pitched two scoreless innings, and David Robertson tossed a scoreless eighth after that. Adam Ottavino came on for the ninth to try to build off their success and send the game extra innings, but... well, you presumably read the first paragraph, so you know that didn’t happen. Instead, Mitchell hit his second home run of the series to right field, and the sweep was completed.
The Mets now head to New York to hold their home opener tomorrow. The vibes won’t be quite as positive as one might hope they would be, given how bad this Milwaukee series went. One would just hope that things can only go up from here.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +32.7% WPA
Big Mets loser: Adam Ottavino, -36.5% WPA
Mets pitchers: -51.5% WPA
Mets hitters: 1.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth, +21.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Garrett Mitchell walk-off homer in the ninth, -36.5% WPA