This was a night where pitching dominated the game; it makes sense when you find out that Yovani Gallardo was on the hill for the Brewers, but it sounds like an oxymoron when you hear that Miguel Batista out-pitched one of Milwaukee’s young pitching stars. However, that’s exactly what happened; Batista danced in and out of jams for seven scoreless innings, and Daniel Murphy recorded two of the three Met hits in their 3-1 victory at Citi Field.
The Brewers did have some chances to score against Batista, but he was able work out out of each jam he put himself in. Through his seven innings of work, he gave up four hits, walked one, and struck out five hitters. Gallardo was equally as impressive, but he wasn’t
able to stop the Mets from scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda both walked, and Ron Roenicke shifted his defense enough for Daniel Murphy to utilize the hole between shortstop and third base to drive in the first run of the game with a single.
After that, the Mets didn’t get a hit again until the sixth inning. It was again by Murphy, and it was a double to left center field to lead off the inning. The most important part of the inning was Ike Davis‘ fly out to Nyger Morgan because it was just deep enough to allow Murphy to tag up and head to third base with only one out. That brought up Ronny Cedeno, who executed a suicide squeeze to perfection, extending the New York lead to 2-0.
Once Batista made his exit, Terry Collins turned to Tim Byrdak and Bobby Parnell to build the bridge to the ninth, and they did exactly that with a hitless eighth inning. Before the game, Collins stated his confidence in Frank Francisco as the team’s closer, so it was Francisco in the bullpen warming up for the save opportunity. Thankfully, New York got some insurance in the eighth inning; the NL’s leading hitter, David Wright, extended his hitting streak to 10 games with an opposite field double, then advanced to third on a Duda ground out. That brought up Daniel Murphy, who grounded into a fielder’s choice. Wright broke for home prompting a throw from second baseman Brooks Conrad; that started a rundown that Wright was able to wiggle out of when Aramis Ramirez dropped the ball while chasing after him.
In came Francisco, who promptly gave up a single to Ryan Braun to start off the inning, then he eventually came around to score on a Corey Hart base hit, cutting the lead to 3-1. Taylor Green then walked, but that was all Francisco would allow, as he followed that with a strikeout of Conrad and induced a fly out from George Kottaras to seal the win for New York, moving them to 20-15 on the season, and now only 2 games out of first place, behind the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.
The pitching was superb last night, highlighted by Miguel Batista‘s seven shutout innings to earn his first victory of the season. He finally was able to show the coaching staff and fans that he can still be effective on the mound for the team, and for one night, Mike Pelfrey‘s name didn’t come up. The bullpen backed him up nicely, and it was a big confidence booster for Francisco to not only get the plug from his manager, but then to go out and get his ninth save of the season.
Offensively, New York was very quiet, except for Daniel Murphy, who recorded two more hits, one RBI, and one run scored to help beat Milwaukee. Murphy just continues to hit, and is now hitting a robust .333 on the season. Wright’s eighth inning double kept his hitting streak alive and his season average at .398, still tops in the National League. Going into the series, I was wondering why the Brewers weren’t playing very well, and the performance of Nyjer Morgan seems to be the main reason. He’s hitting .202 on the season with no RBI and only nine runs scored; you couple that with Rickie Weeks on the interstate, and the top of the lineup simply isn’t producing enough for the team to be successful.
Probable Pitchers tonight:
The Mets are going for the two-game sweep in this short series against Milwaukee and they send Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.78) to the mound in front of the home crowd against Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.35), who has been one of the few bright spots for the Brewers’ pitching staff. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.