The Mets hit the field on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon, looking to salvage a game from a listless series against the Milwaukee Brewers and to avoid falling below .500 for the first time this season. Steven Matz was entrusted with that task and he was more than up to it and deserved a better fate than he received, but all was made well in the end.

He was opposed by the epitome of a Mets’ missed opportunity, Gio Gonzalez, the pitcher with the most Citi Field wins by an opponent. He had a most eventful first inning, surrendering a bizarre triple to Pete Alonso with one out — a long fly that missed going out of the park by about a foot, on which left fielder Ryan Braun ended up wearing a fan’s beer. It was the first triple of Alonso’s MLB career. Then Robinson Cano was hit in the hand, same as he was in St. Louis last week, but was again denied first base because the umpire deemed it a swinging strike. Cano had to leave the game and Juan Lagares inherited an 0-1 count as a pinch hitter. He would work out a walk. That brought up Todd Frazier who worked a nine-pitch at bat before singling in the Mets’ first run. Wilson Ramos hit into a double play to get Milwaukee out of it, Gonzalez having thrown 25 pitches.

The newly hot Brandon Nimmo led off the second with a scratch hit up the middle. Amed Rosario whacked a hanging curve off the right centerfield wall for double, scoring Nimmo. That was it for the second, Rosario left on third. For his part, Matz only allowed a couple of infield hits through three innings — helped out in the third by a sparkling double play turned by Jeff McNeil, now at second base, owing to Cano’s early exit. He got his first safety of the year leading off the fifth, but was erased when McNeil was robbed of a hit by right fielder Ben Gamel, who had just entered the game when the formidable Christian Yelich had to leave with what’s being called lower back discomfort. The corpulent Matt Albers relieved Gonzalez in the bottom of the sixth and cruised through the Mets’ order.

Matz made one mistake when he came back out for the seventh and he paid dearly for it. He surrendered a hit to Gamel leading off, but the powerful Braun followed by popping one up to Keon Broxton in right. Jesus Aguilar struck out as Gamel stole second, the first Brewer of the day to make it that far. That brought up Mike Moustakas who deposited a flat slider on a 2-1 pitch over the centerfield fence to tie the game and take the starch out of what had been an enthusiastic crowd. Jacob Barnes came in for the Brewers to shut down the Mets’ offense and came pretty close to doing just that. He struck out Nimmo to lead it off, but Rosario hit a long fly that Gamel manhandled for a two-base error. Michael Conforto got an intentional pass pinch hitting for Broxton. Dominic Smith was announced as the pinch hitter for Matz; the Brewers countered by bringing in a lefty, Alex Claudio. J.D. Davis, in turn, pinch hit for Smith and delivered a clutch base hit to give the lead back to New York. McNeil drew a conventional walk to bring up Alonso with the bases loaded. That would be all for Mr. Claudio. Rookie Aaron Wilkerson relieved him and struck out Alonso and got Lagares on a bad-luck comebacker.

Seth Lugo came in to protect the regained lead in the eighth and struck out the side. Wilkerson stayed in for Milwaukee and was treated rather rudely by the hosts. Frazier’s bid for an insurance homer was pulled down a few yards short, but Ramos singled and Nimmo drew a walk. Rosario flew out. Conforto, in his first real at bat, drew a standard walk. Newly arrived Tomas Nido hit for Lugo and poked a two-run double to the opposite field to give the Mets some much needed breathing space. Edwin Diaz got Lorenzo Cain on a grounder, struck out Gamel and had Braun line out to McNeil for his eighth straight save.

The Cincinnati Reds arrive at Citi Field tomorrow, Tanner Roarke taking on Zack Wheeler in the opener of a three game set.

6 comments on “Gut Reaction: Mets 5, Brewers 2 (4/28/19)

  • MattyMets

    Hope Wheeler can keep it going tomorrow. Need to take advantage of this home stand.

  • Brian Joura

    You called him corpulent — In my best Nelson Muntz voice, Ha-Ha!

    TDA got ridiculed for his defensive work but we’re giving a free pass to Wilson Ramos when he’s been every bit as bad and likely worse. On Gamel’s SB in the 7th inning, if Ramos hadn’t bounced the throw he would have been out by a healthy margin. Should have been a strike ’em out, throw ’em out DP to end the inning. But the bad throw kept the inning alive and the next batter homered.

    Ramos was billed as a guy who would help control the running game but base stealers have been successful on 16 of 18 attempts against him so far. If TDA’s 21.5 CS% was unacceptable – what does that make Ramos’ 11.1% rate? And throwing is the strength of his defensive work.

    If we get “good Matz” five out of every six starts, I’ll be very happy.

    • Charlie Hangley

      We put up with Ramos because he hits. TDA was a triple threat: couldn’t catch, couldn’t throw, couldn’t hit. I can say I was at his last game as a Met.

      • Brian Joura

        I’m not advocating for the return of TDA.

        I just want us to fairly weigh the pros and cons of each player. I was 100% in favor of signing Ramos because I thought he would hit and I thought he would throw out runners. But he’s clearly not helping to shut down the running game and currently has a .259/.330/.309 line. That’s a .639 OPS when the average NL catcher sports a .738 OPS.

        Last year Mets catchers had a .652 OPS and we thought that was horrible.

        Yeah, it’s early and two weeks from now we could easily be singing a different tune. But his first 91 PA have been a disappointment.

  • steevy

    Grandal has thrown out 33%

  • Metsense

    Gut Reaction: I’m glad Matz got the victory because he pitched a good game.
    Lugo had a very good inning in relief and Diaz mios, thank God we got Edwin.
    So Callaway starts Broxton over Lagares even though Lagares owns Gio. Go figure!
    TDA should not have been offered arbitration last December. The whole backup catcher situation has been mismanaged by the front door office. But today Nido makes them look good. Go figure!
    This victory was important because psychologically you never want to be under 500. So far the Mets are under achieving . Duh, everyone knows that Metsense.

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