Gut Reaction: Brewers 11 Mets 9 (5/14/17)

Gary Cohen said it best: “Just a horrifying loss for the New York Mets.”

If Terry Collins were ever tempted to resign, today would be the day to do it. On a day when Michael Conforto came within a single of hitting for the cycle, on a day when a Mets starter — Jacob deGrom — finally peeked into the seventh inning, Collins could only watch helplessly as the Mets blew a 7-1 lead, surrendering 10 runs in the Brewers’ last three offensive innings. A six run lead became a four run lead, widened back to a five run lead, shrunk to a two run lead, grew back to a three run lead, and ended in a two run deficit. This bullpen is approaching 2008 levels of futility.

This tangled, complicated game looked as if it were going to go much differently. The Mets started off fast. Conforto, batting in the third sport for the first time since last June, launched a solo homer in the top of the first. deGrom gave it right back in the bottom half, though, on an Eric Thames single, a double by Hernan Perez and a groundout by Travis Shaw. deGrom settled in nicely after that, retiring his next seven hitters in a row before allowing a harmless single to Shaw in the fourth. By that time, the Mets had built that 7-1 lead. In the top of the fourth, a leadoff walk to Conforto and a long Neil Walker double set them up with second-and-third with nobody out. Lucas Duda hit a soft liner to second and Curtis Granderson struck out, but red hot Rene Rivera hit a roller up the middle for a clutch base hit and the two runners scored. In the top of the fifth, deGrom reached on an error by Thames at first base, and Jose Reyes and T.J. Rivera both singled to load the bases. Conforto then hit a booming double to left, knocking in two. Walker pulled a double down the right field line and Conforto scored. That’s where most of the good news ended.

In the bottom of the sixth, Milwaukee catcher Manny Pina — more about him later — hit one out double and crossed to third on a grounder by relief pitcher Jhan Marinez. That didn’t really matter, though, because Keon Broxton launched a deGrom slider into the left field stands and the lead was cut to 7-3. The Mets got one of those runs back in the top of the seventh, when Conforto hit an opposite field triple and scored on a base hit by Walker. deGrom came out for the bottom half and gave up a base hit to Domingo Santana. That was enough for Collins, deGrom having thrown 107 pitches. Jerry Blevins came on to face Jonathan Villar and served up a two run homer on his fifth pitch. After he walked Thames, Blevins was replaced by Fernando Salas. Salas walked Perez and gave up an RBI double to Jesus Aguilar. Salas gutted out the rest of the inning, getting Pina on a come-backer and striking out pinch-hitter Jett Bandy and Broxton. Are you following? Mets 8, Brewers 6 as we went to the top of the eighth. Juan Lagares led off with single and after hard lineouts by Wilmer Flores — in the game on a double swith when Salas came in — and Reyes, T.J. Rivera launched a triple into the right field corner and the Mets had some breathing room, leading 9-6. Conforto popped up in his attempt at an RBI single and his cycle to end the inning. That’s where all the good news ended.

Salas came out for the bottom of the eighth and walked Orlando Arcia to lead off. After getting Santana on a fly to center and surrendering a single to Villar, he was removed by Collins in favor of Josh Edgin to face the left-handed power hitter Thames. After getting behind on the count 3-1, Edgin barely clipped Thames on his elbow pad — I didn’t see that it hit him at all, but it was obvious to the ump, to Cohen and to Keith Hernandez — and the Brewers had the bases loaded. That was it for Edgin, as Addison Reed came in to get a five-out save. Presumably.

Reed gave up a single to Perez, making the score 9-8. He got a super-clutch strikeout on Aguilar. On 3-2 to Pina, he hung a slider and Pina hit it way up into the center field stands. The Mets went down without a murmur in the ninth. So in one fell swoop, the bullpen wasted a terrific offensive performance and a rare quality appearance from a starting pitcher.

The Mets now head for Arizona, where Zack Wheeler will face Zack Grienke tomorrow night. It will be a miracle if they come out alive.

15 comments for “Gut Reaction: Brewers 11 Mets 9 (5/14/17)

  1. TexasGusCC
    May 14, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Charlie, thank you for your thoroughness of today’s action. I thought yesterday was a game to analyze to see what’s wrong, but this obviously surpassed it.

    One can only wonder what is going through the players’ minds. The pitching meltdown is now complete, and it isn’t even May 15th! As for a trade, LOL!!, how many pitchers will we need and what happens in August when we need more? It’s still early, there are many injuries, Cespedes will be back soon, and they had just won three straight series. However, the accumulation of humiliating performances does not give the impression of a winning ball club, especially now that we are not playing the Giants, Braves, Phillies, and Marlins the blemishes will show themselves more often.

    On the plus side, our best starter Milone pitches Tuesday. Smart move Sandy šŸ˜‰

  2. Chris F
    May 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Ive been saying for weeks the main culprit of our woes is starting pitching; I maintain that still is true. Its easy to point fingers at the relievers, and sure, its not the best, but they are called to work at levels that are ridiculous. Day after day. Anyways, 6 innings and 4 runs aint much to brag about.

    oh well…

    • May 15, 2017 at 6:45 am

      If Blevins keeps the ball in the park, that counts as a “quality start” for deGrom. Just sayin’…

    • Jimmy P
      May 15, 2017 at 9:52 am

      Chris, I still believe that your original call was premature, since you were focused mostly on length and it was the organization’s design to spare the starting pitchers from excess work in March, April.

      By design, it was supposed to get better.

      It soooooo hasn’t.

      So, yes, Jake needed to give them more than 6 on a day he was given a huge lead.

      And, yes, you are right. Everything with this team has been predicated on dominant starting pitching. That has not happened.

      A team with a good, mediocre offense. Terrible defense. An okay pen lacking in depth. And a poor farm system. But the best starting pitching ever assembled on the face of the planet!

      Not happening.

      I’ve been most surprised and disappointed by Gsellman. I thought he’d good — perhaps very good — this season. Instead he’s been a rookie who should have been replaced three starts ago, except the farm system is in a shambles. Seven years of Sandy and there’s nobody in AAA who can throw a pitch. Or AA. No top-shelf arms.

      I’m not down on Harvey, who simply has a long way to go. I hoped for more, and was encouraged by his early starts, but reality has set in. Two major career-threatening surgeries. No small thing.

      Jake just doesn’t look right. It’s weird.

      Wheeler has been good. And yes, context is everything.

      Matz, Jesus.

      Sure, TC makes some maddening moves at times, managing like everybody else in 2017, too focused on matchups and whatnot, but he’s not an outlier in that regard. I don’t blame him.

      Still think there’s hope for the WC in today’s crazy MLB. Six great weeks gets it done. They need to get to .500 by the end of the month.

      • TJ Fan
        May 15, 2017 at 11:00 am

        What kind of Orwellian Newspeak is “good, mediocre” anyway?

        • Jimmy P
          May 15, 2017 at 1:27 pm

          “Orwellian Newspeak”?

          Wow, fancy.

          I meant that the offense was good.

          Mediocre.

          Nothing great.

          My point was that the team is built around great pitching and everything else is basically good to fair. The pitching was and remains key.

          As I said all along, SA pinned the hopes of the 2017 Mets on the 2016 roster.

      • Chris F
        May 15, 2017 at 11:17 am

        I have not lost track of the initial “ease them in” philosophy, which as an aside has had absolutely no results. I maintain now, as I did then, the indicator of IP was far less meaningful than actual pitches. Yes, they were throwing less innings by design, but the terrible control has been there from the start. As a result there has been little in the way of a soft start.

        Lets look at deGrom, for example. His first starts were 6, 6, 7 IP, between 95-100 pitches. His average IP for the season is 6 IP. He is now throwing 100-110 pitches but not lengthening his starts, and only modestly increasing total pitches. If what we were told was true, he would have increased his IP by now. But in fact, by IP you could not tell there was any plan whatsoever. If Jake was dealing, we would have seen 6 IP and say 75 pitches to begin. The fact is, the staff has been laboring since day one. No difference with Syndergaard.

        As a result, I think this team has been doomed with the starters from day 1. We have seen no evidence this is a “team of aces” at any level. They have certainly earned the title of worst staff in baseball. And the house of cards that fall from it is evident. Hugely overworked bullpen, managed by a guy that would not count pen management among his strengths. Even a considerable offense is not enough to stem the issues raised by the starting pitchers.

        Fire Warthen. The message is not meaningful anymore.
        Fire Collins. Ditto.

        • Name
          May 15, 2017 at 8:08 pm

          “No difference with Syndergaard.”

          I get your criticism of others, but not for Noah. He’s made 4 starts. He pitched 7 in 2 of them. The other 2 he went 6 and sub 90 pitches. I believe both of them he was taken out because of a blister issue, so he could have possibly went 7.

          6 innings and 75 pitches is totally unreasonable over the long haul. The best pitcher in baseball has been averaging 13.9 pitches per inning, which equates to 84 pitches over 6 innings. The two times Noah went 6 he was at 86 and 87.

      • Eraff
        May 15, 2017 at 11:18 am

        I don’t think that we can criticize Depth if we recognize Injuries… that’s an unfair and un-meetable expectation.

        The struggles of a 23 year old pitcher cutting his teeth are very normal…I anticipated them because he played in very heavy traffic last year.

        I began the year speculating about “Any Three Healthy Starting Pitchers” as a start and end Necessity…and I recognized that Harvey, deGrom, Wheeler had faced a Surgeon more recently than a Live Batter.

        The Organization may not be in Tatters, but the season is on the brink.

  3. Eraff
    May 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    A Horribly discouraging Loss… I don’t know what this team has to hold on to. With so many end of term Vets, they’re either going to find equilibrium or a very steep drop, with the Vets Bailing—the next 2 series may determine the season.

  4. Wilponzi
    May 14, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    Collins resign? I never really like him as a manager. But this collapse isn’t his fault. These players are not performing, its all on them. The injuries are not his fault. Who knew that Harvey and Gsellman would be this bad? They tried trading Bruce all winter and only got offers on the Grandyman. What a mistake in not getting rid of him. The crowded outfield and “youngs guns,” turned out to be a big joke.

    • May 15, 2017 at 6:39 am

      Not saying it’s his fault, but if he were at the point where he’s had enough & has to think of his own health, well…

  5. Wilponzi
    May 14, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    The only positives on this team are Conforto, Rivera (both of them) and not trading Bruce. Also, Wheeler has been a surprise.

  6. MattyMets
    May 14, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    Sweet fancy Moses, if I wasn’t a life long die hard this would be the point where I find a new team to root for.

    Let me just say that I’m incredibly thankful for the Mets360 community. On Facebook groups and radio shows it’s all about “get rid of his guy” and make this impossible trade.

    There is no one move this team can make. Injuries are not the fault of the GM or manager. Nor is the fact that Curtis Granderson is hitting .150 or that none of our starting pitchers can last 6 innings.

    The next step is for Terry Collins to make like the Bull Durham coach and throw all the bats into the showers. This team needs a wake up call. The season is getting away from them. It’s amazing that we’ve been scoring all these runs without Cespedes. Who ever would have thought pitching would be the problem. But truthfully, the rotation, the bullpen, the defense and the base running all leave something to be desired. And the offensive load has been carried by a small handful of players while the rest forgot how to hit. How are Grandy, Reyes and Lagares all hitting under .200?! Thankfully, Walker woke up.

  7. Metsense
    May 15, 2017 at 7:38 am

    Horrific is right!
    Their best pitcher on the mound, who gives you the team a much needed six innings, only to be sabotaged by a usually reliable relief corp. It is good the relievers had their off day (and Robles earlier in the weekend) together and hopefully got it out of their systems.The only reliever that is consistently pitching bad is Salas so he should used be used in low leverage spots until he rights himself.
    The offense is terrific, with five players (one injured) with an OPS of .855+ and Walker finally breaking through this weekend.
    The last two weeks positive work have been wiped away in Milwaukee. Drown our sorrows in a beer and move on. When the starting pitching comes around then they will be alright but let’s hope it won’t be too late.

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