The Mets have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. The Brewers have had one of the best for the past month. The Amazins won for the fifth time in five games over the Brewers, as their bullpen was just a bit better than the Brewers.
Baseball has got to do replays better. There is absolutely no way that the review team in NY can say that Aaron Hill did not touch home plate in the third inning. But they did. There is no way that they could say that Kevin Plawecki did not block home plate, but they did. And they took a Brewers’ run off the scoreboard, also removing a runner at second with two down situation. It took eight total minutes to decide this.
Hill led off the inning with a walk. After Ramon Flores popped out in foul territory to third, Junior Guerra bunted Hill to second. Jonathon Villar sent a hot grounder up the middle off of pitcher Matt Harvey’s leg, and past shortstop Asdrubal Cabrerra onto the grass in very short left. Eddie Sedar sent Hill, who beat the one hop throw home. Hill was called safe, while Plawecki blocked home plate with his foot.
That’s when the New York offices took over.
The Brewers scored a run that was allowed to stand in the fifth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis tripled into the rightfield corner with one down. Hill worked his second walk of the game, and Flores brought home Nieuwenhuis with a sacrifice fly to left.
Yoanis Cespedes tied the game at one in the top of the sixth with a homer deep into left center off of Junior Guerra. Guerra had another good start, allowing the one run in 6.2 innings. Matt Harvey allowed the one run on two hits in six innings, fanning 8.
The bullpens pitched well, but both teams failed miserably in scoring situations the rest of the way. The Mets loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the ninth off of Jeremy Jeffress, but Plawicki popped one over the drawn-in infield that Scooter Gennett grabbed just onto the outfield grass; pinch-hitter Neil Walker struck out looking on a breaking ball, and Curtis Granderson bounced out to second.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Brewers got Keon Broxton to third with one out. (Broxton arrived at Miller Park in the sixth inning after being called up earlier in the day.) Chris Carter walked and stole second, but Nieuwenhuis struck out flailing at high fastballs for the second straight at bat with a runner at third. Hill bounced to second to end the inning.
In the bottom of the tenth, Flores walked and was sacrificed to second by Martin Maldanado. A slider from Jim Henderson bounced away from Plawicki and Flores took third. Matt Reynolds pushed his arm off the bag, the umpire called him out, and replay again thought that was a fine way to play baseball.
The Mets finally scored in the 11th, once again loading the bases with nobody out. Again, Plawicki popped out, this time in foul territory to Carter. Reynolds hit a liner to short that Villar dropped. The Brewers got the force at second, but Cabrerra scored the eventual winning run.
Jeurys Familia made short work of the Brewers in the bottom of the 11th, earning his major league leading 21st save.
The Brewers had some fine defensive plays, including an odd double play on a ground ball up the middle with Kelly Johnson on second and one down in the third. Villar caught the ball near second, tagged Johnson coming back to the bag, and went to first to get Matt Harvey and end the inning. In the top of the seventh, Nieuwenhuis robbed Johnson of a homerun with a leaping catch at the wall.
Another frustrating loss against the Mets for the Brewers. It was one of those games where every decision seemed to go against them, even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Craig Councell has more mental toughness than I do...I would have been run from this game two or three times, replay rules or no replay rules.
Game three of the series is tomorrow afternoon, and has Logan Verrett (3-3) going for the Mets (34-26) facing Wily Peralta (3-7) for the Brewers (28-33).