Friday evening, the Mets and Milwaukee Brewers played game two of their weekend series at Miller Park. Looking to help his team bounce back from Thursday’s 9-1 defeat, Zack Wheeler climbed the hill for the visiting Mets, and was opposed by Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo.
The Mets wormed their way out of trouble in the 1st inning, but offensively, failed to plate a runner from third base in the 3rd inning. The game remained scoreless through five innings.
But it was Daniel Murphy who started a 9th inning rally with a lead-off double. He scored on David Wright‘s hit. Then Lucas Duda blasted the Mets ahead with a 2-run home run on the first pitch he saw off Francisco Rodriguez.
Jenrry Mejia closed out the bottom of the 9th with his 14th save of the season.
Mets Starting Lineup:
Starter Yovani Gallardo‘s first pitch of the game to lead-off batter Curtis Granderson was grounded to second baseman Rickie Weeks. Daniel Murphy then lined a 1-1 pitch to center for the game’s first hit. David Wright and Lucas Duda were retired.
Zack Wheeler‘s first pitch of the evening to lead-off batter and former Met Carlos Gomez was a fastball, swung through for strike one. Gomez grounded to Daniel Murphy, but with Lucas Duda out of position (after ranging too far), Murphy and Zack Wheeler did not convert the out at first. The play was scored a hit. Zack Wheeler‘s next pitch then struck number two batter Rickie Weeks. Number three batter Ryan Braun fanned swinging on a 97mph fastball. Clean-up hitter Aramis Ramirez bounced to short, but the Mets could not turn a double play. With runners on the corners, Kris Davis bounced into a force play at second base to end Milwaukee’s threat.
Gallardo retired the Mets in order in the 2nd inning. Zack Wheeler matched him in the bottom of the frame.
In the top of the 3rd, Yovani Gallardo struck out Ruben Tejada, Zack Wheeler and Curtis Granderson. In the bottom half of the inning Wheeler repaid Gallardo the favor, then induced Carlos Gomez to popup, and fanned Weeks to retire the side.
- Through 3 innings pitched, Wheeler threw 40 pitches, with 27 (67%) going for strikes. He routinely hit 96-97mph with his fastball. In fact, 30 of his first 40 pitches exceeded 90mph. He allowed one hit, walked none, and fanned 4 batters.
Leading off the top of the 4th, Daniel Murphy stroked his (and the team’s) second hit. David Wright followed with a base hit lined back through the box. Lucas Duda flied to shallow left for the first out. Travis d’Arnaud followed with a bouncer to third. The force was made at second, but d’Arnaud beat the play at first. With runners on the corners and two outs, Bobby Abreu struck out swinging on a breaking ball in the dirt.
- With 2-outs in the bottom of the 4th, Zack Wheeler hit his second batter – Kris Davis. Zack Wheeler was indeed consistently crowding the right-handed batters. He also fanned 2 more Brewers to make it 6 through 4 innings pitched.
The Mets went down in order in the top of the 5th.
With one out in the bottom of the 5th, Daniel Murphy booted a Martin Maldonado grounder for an error.
Yovani Gallardo capped off the top of the 6th inning by retiring his ninth Mets batter in a row.
Zack Wheeler issued his first walk of the game to Rickie Weeks leading off the bottom of the 6th. Ryan Braun then grounded to Daniel Murphy, but the ball went through his legs which allowed Weeks to advance to third. With runners on the corners and no outs, Aramis Ramirez bounced to Tejada at short. The force play on Braun was made at second, but Ramirez was safe at first on the rely. Weeks scored from third on the play. With two outs, Wheeler walked Lyle Overbay to put runners on the corners again, but then retired Jean Segura to end the frame.
- Through 6 full innings, Wheeler was up to 100 pitches for the game with 65 going for strikes. He walked his first 2 batters in the 6th, and fanned 8 batters. The Brewers first run was unearned. Wheeler nonetheless limited Milwaukee to just one hit.
In the top of the 7th, Yovani Gallardo retired the Mets in order again to make it 12 in a row.
With one out in the 7th, Zack Wheeler struck out Yovani Gallardo with a 95mph fastball, but then surrendered a home run to Carlos Gomez just over the right/center field wall to make it a 2-0 Brewers lead. Rickie Weeks promptly followed with a double to center, and so ended Zack Wheeler’s evening. With 2 outs, reliever Vic Black entered the game to face Ryan Braun, and induced a fly to right.
- Zack Wheeler’s final line: 6.2 innings, 3 hits, 2 runs/one earned, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts. He threw 108 pitches with 72 (66%) going for strikes. For the second straight game, he walked off to a no-decision. He entered the game with a 3.78 ERA, and lowered it to a 3.64 mark.
- With 92 pitches thrown, Gallardo climbed the hill again for the top of the 8th inning. He notched his 8th strikeout, and retired his 14th straight batter before being removed from the game. He allowed the Mets 3 hits, no runs, and issued no walks.
Reliever Carlos Torres entered the game in the bottom of the 8th.
The Mets faced old friend Francisco Rodriguez in the top of the 9th inning. Daniel Murphy led-off by greeting him with a double to left field. David Wright then singled to left on a 2-2 pitch. Murphy scored from second. Lucas Duda then stepped in and connected on his 17th home run of the season to give the Mets a dramatic, comeback 3-2 lead. Travis d’Arnaud continued the hit parade against K-Rod with another single. Bobby Abreu then struck out for the 4th time. Juan Lagares bounced into a fielder’s choice to erase d’Arnaud. Ruben Tejada looked at strike three to end the Mets at-bat.
Jenrry Mejia entered the game to pitch the bottom of the 9th. In his 37th appearance of the season, he walked the lead-off batter Jonathan Lucroy. Pinch hitter Logan Schafer struck out on a failed bunt attempt. Carlos Gomez fanned swinging for the second out. Mejia then struck out Rickie Weeks to end the game.
For Mejia, this was his 14th save. Carlos Torres earned the win (5-4) in relief. But it was Lucas Duda who saved the day.
- Bottom 6th inning – Rickie Weeks drew a lead-off walk. Daniel Murphy’s error on Ryan Braun‘s grounder put runners on the corners with no outs. Aramis Ramirez bounced into a fielder’s choice to short. Weeks scored from third on the play.
- Bottom 7th inning – Carlos Gomez hit a one out home run off Zack Wheeler to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.
- Top 9th inning – Daniel Murphy hit a lead-off double off Francisco Rodriguez. David Wright singled to score Murphy. Lucas Duda followed with a 2-run home run to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.
- Final Score – Mets 3; BREWERS 2
- Ruben Tejada returned to the lineup. He missed the last two games after taking a Taijuan Walker fastball to the helmet against Seattle on Wednesday. In Friday’s game he cleanly handled 4 chances in the first 2 innings of play. He then turned in another stellar play in the 4th. He fielded 7 chances for the game.
- Despite leaving Friday’s game on the losing side, Zack Wheeler continues to enjoy a stellar month of July. This was his 5th straight start of surrendering just a single earned run per game. In four July starts, Wheeler has 25.2 innings pitched, allowed 4 earned runs on 22 hits, walked 7 and fanned 26.
- The Daniel Murphy Syndrome – He committed a fielding error in the 5th, accompanied perhaps by an additional ill advised throw. He committed another fielding error in the 6th to set up runners on the corners with no outs in a scoreless game. The go-ahead run inevitably scored on a fielder’s choice. Murphy was 3 for 4 at the plate with a rally igniting double to lead-off the 9th.
- Bobby Abreu was awarded the golden sombrero – 4 strikeouts.
- Curtis Granderson – 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts in the lead-off slot.
- Lucas Duda’s 17th home run of the season continues to establish a career high. He now has 53 RBI. He has homered in back to back games as well. It was also the Mets 6,592 home run in their history. Thank the WOR-Radio guys for that one.
- The Mets drew no walks, and fanned 11 times. They had 8 hits, with 4 coming in the 9th.
7/26 Saturday, 7:10pm EST; Mets @ BREWERS
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