Looking to avoid losing their third consecutive series, the Mets took on the Brewers at Citi Field on Thursday night in the final game of a three-game set. Jon Niese took the ball for New York and Kyle Lohse opposed him. In another lineup variation, Terry Collins rolled out Daniel Murphy in the top spot in the order, the seventh different man to do that this year.
A pitcher’s duel throughout, the Brewers finally got the best of the Mets bullpen to come away with a 5-1 win. The Mets again failed multiple times with runners in scoring position.
Both Niese and Lohse rolled through the first inning unscathed, but it did not take much longer for the Brew Crew to grab the edge.
In the top of the second, Aramis Ramirez stepped up and hit a high fly ball to left-center field that made it into the Party City Deck for a home run. Niese worked around the homer and retired the Brewers without further damage.
Lohse got the first nine Met hitters out that faced him, and with relative ease. He was on pace for 87 pitches after the first three frames. But finally in the fourth, New York was not only able to get a hit, but a run as well.
Murphy got things going with a line drive to center, which was misplayed into a two-base error by former Met Carlos Gomez. Bobby Abreu followed with a fly ball to left, a deep enough out to bring home Murphy for the Mets’ first run of the game.
Following the sacrifice fly, David Wright nearly had himself a home run, hitting one off the left field wall. He attempted to go to second, but Gomez fired a perfect throw to second to gun him down. The inning came to an end with a Lucas Duda ground out, so just the one run came across.
Both pitchers settled in and the offenses had trouble getting anything going. The Mets got a runner on in the sixth when Abreu flared a single to center, but nothing came of it.
In the next half, Niese came out and continued to roll as he got the first to hitters out with ease. Lohse, however, hit a deep single to right-center field. Niese then fell behind Rickie Weeks 3-0, and looked to be headed for a jam with Ryan Braun looming on deck. But the lefty worked out of the situation with a punchout, his eighth of the night, making it a season-high for Niese.
Though he would have been hit for if his spot came up in the bottom of the seventh, Niese came back out in the eighth with just 87 pitches. He retired the first two hitters, one of them being Ryan Braun, but he allowed a two-out hit to Gomez. Sitting at just 97 pitches, Collins made the switch to Jeurys Familia when Ramirez came up to bat. The move was a double switch, with Matt den Dekker coming in for Andrew Brown. The move did pay off with Familia inducing a ground out from Ramirez to end the frame.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets got a rally started. Duda walked and Young hit a grounder to the left side, which normally would have been an out, but the shift the Brewers applied allowed Young to reach with an infield hit. Ruben Tejada came up as a pinch hitter for Familia, but could not come through, sending the game to extras. Prior to this game, the Mets were 5-5 in extra-inning affairs.
The Mets had a chance with runners at first and second in their half with Eric Campbell up, but he bounced out to third.
Mejia came back out for inning number 11, but he was taken out during his warmups due to an apparent injury. The Mets soon after reported he encountered back stiffness. He was replaced by Gonzalez Germen who had just come back from the Disabled List.
After a scoreless inning for Germen, the Mets threatened in their half. Wright started the inning off with a walk and stole second during Duda’s at-bat. Duda eventually grounded out to first, but it moved Wright to third. Runners were put at the corners when Young walked with one out. Curtis Granderson, who was out of the lineup, came up as a pinch hitter and was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Wilmer Flores bounced into a fielder’s choice where Wright was gunned down at the plate for the second out. Anthony Recker then came up and struck out on a low pitch. He was not happy with Angel Hernandez’s call, and was promptly tossed from the game.
The Brewers in the 12th had a chance of their own, but failed to come through with runners at the corners with Carlos Torres weaving out of the jam.
But in the top of the 13th, Torres couldn’t avoid the damage. Jonathon Lucroy belted a two-run homer to give Milwaukee a 3-1 lead. Torres somehow was allowed to stay in and would allow another run while not recording an out. Dana Eveland came on in relief to retire two batters in a row, before plunking Weeks to make it 5-1, which is how things ended, as the Mets went down without a whimper.
The Padres come into Flushing for a weekend series with the Mets. Friday night’s starters will be Bartolo Colon for the Mets and Andrew Cashner for the Friars. Colon has been more consistent of late, and has also been very effective at Citi Field this season. In 27 innings, the right hander has a .230 ERA and a .236 batting average against.