Mets Game 138: Win Over Brewers

Mets 4 Brewers 2

It looked like it was going to be a quick, long day for the Mets.

Quick, because Milwaukee starter Ben Sheets was dispatching with Mets hitters as quickly as they could get their feet settled in the batter’s box. Sheets shut out the Mets through the first five frames, allowing only two hits and a walk and expending only 58 minutes and 54 pitches in the process. Meantime, Mets ace Johan Santana wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t great, either, allowing a baserunner in each of the six innings he hurled. He left the game with a 2-0 deficit.

However, the Mets caught a break: Sheets was forced to leave the game with a groin injury, leaving his slight advantage in the hands of the beleaguered Brewer bullpen. You think the Mets have relief problems? One afternoon of watching the malcontents in the Milwaukee ‘pen is enough to make you feel fortunate to have the likes of Aaron Heilman, Duaner Sanchez, et al, on your side.

The Mets immediately attacked reliever Carlos Villanueva, but came up short in their sixth inning rally. It was a warmup for the seventh, when Carlos Beltran started things off with a double against reliever Brian Shouse and moved to third on a groundout by Damion Easley. Reliever David Riske then came in to walk Marlon Anderson and Fernando Tatis to load the bases. Mitch Stetter was then summoned and he retired Jose Reyes to end the inning, but not before uncorking a wild pitch to plate Beltran.

With the score 2-1, Eric Gagne came in to “set up” the eighth. What he did set up, in fact, was another Mets rally as Daniel Murphy led off with a double. Gagne got two strikes on Carlos Delgado, but Delgado then ripped a high fastball into the right field seats to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Gagne remained in the game and let up a single to Beltran and a double to Ryan Church to close out the scoring.

In contrast, the Mets bullpen was spectacular. Nelson Figueroa spun a scoreless seventh to earn the win, and specialists Pedro Feliciano and Joe Smith handled the eighth, setting up the save for Luis Ayala, who pitched a perfect ninth.


Two-for-four days were had by Jose Reyes, Dan Murphy, and the two Carloses. David Wright looked wrong, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts and stranding four runners.

Next Game

Rookie Jonathan Niese makes his Major League debut on Tuesday night, starting against Manny Parra. Game time is 8:05 pm EST.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. murph September 1, 2008 at 5:56 pm
    To parallel my comment after Saturday’s game…

    I think I speak for many fans when I say to the Mets bullpen:
    Thank you!

  2. joe September 1, 2008 at 9:36 pm
    Hey you give them enough chances eventually they have to succeed …. odds eventually are in their favor.
  3. sincekindergarten September 2, 2008 at 4:05 am
    Yeah, the “Blind Squirrel” theory.

    Great win against a team that they badly needed to beat, at least in the first game. I’m thinking that Sandy Koufax has been brought in to talk to Mr. Niese, much like he was before each of Niese’s three ST starts. I’d also hazard a guess and say that Sandy will be available for Niese and Dan Warthen to talk to during the game. Niese just may shock a lot of people, and demonstrate why Fred Wilpon sung his praises repeatedly in ST. 7 IP, 2 R, 2 BB, 8 K. Gets the W.

  4. isuzudude September 2, 2008 at 6:03 am
    When was the last time the NL MVP had an average under .260? I don’t mean to be jumping to conlcusions or anything, but Delgado added to his case with that blast yesterday.
  5. Micalpalyn September 2, 2008 at 10:30 am
    isuzu: Isnt Andruw jones the answer to that trivia question?

    2. Dont take this wrong isuzu, but the Mets just beat the Brewers.
    I was furious when the Brews and Cubs demolished the Mets earlier in the season. And the blog was hardly stiired up. Yesterday dramatized why i thought there was reason to be mad earlier. virtually the same team was on the field yesterday and not only were they NOT overmatched but winners. As a team i think that the Mets can and will be a force the rest of the way and hopefully through the post season.

    3. On ESPN radio last week…BEFORe the Phils series, the pre-series build up of course talked about the match ups and i think it was bob nightengale offering his expert advice, but he mentioned if the Mets win the division Jerry manuel must be considered for manager of the yr.

  6. isuzudude September 2, 2008 at 1:27 pm
    Mic –

    1. Andruw Jones never won an MVP, although he did have a 50 HR season. After a bit of research, I actually noticed that only 1 NL MVP winner from the past 20 years had an average under .300, and that was last year when Rollins hit .296. So, even though Delgado has clearly put this team on his shoulders for the past 3 months and has had big hit after big hit, I doubt a .250-.260 batting average will impress the “experts” who do the actual voting. My guess is Albert Pujols wins the award yet again, despite his Cardinals being 6.5 out of the wildcard standings and the emergence of Ryan Ludwick, who arguably is having just as good a season as Pujols. By the way, there has never been an NL MVP winner with an average under .260. Marty Marion of the 1944 Cardinals won the award with an average of .267, and that’s the lowest. The odds are seriously stacked against Delgado, unless he boosts his average another 20+ points over the final month of the season.

    2. Why would I take the Mets beating the Brewers wrong?

    3. Good call on Jerry being a solid manager of the year candidate. And even Jerry hasn’t been perfect. The favorite’s gotta be Pineilla, though. If he loses out to anybody there will be riots in Chicago.

  7. joe September 2, 2008 at 1:59 pm
    Los might get that average up to .270 by the end of the year, which could be enough. Kirk Gibson won an MVP with a .290 average and shockingly low offensive numbers back in ’88, so it’s not impossible. Methinks, though, that it will be tough for Carlos to overcome Ryan Braun and Chase Utley. It’s going to be a tight MVP race no matter which way you slice it, as each contender seems to have at least two candidates — who may take votes away from each other. The player with the biggest September could garner the most votes.

    Agreed on Piniella. Disagree on Manuel, if only because whoever is the Mets’ manager is “supposed to win with their talent”. Remember Willie didn’t come close in ’06 because the Mets had “the best team on paper”. After finishing within a game of first last year, and adding Johan to essentially the same team, weren’t the Mets “expected” to win?

  8. Micalpalyn September 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm
    Wright, reyes, del and CB are all players in major stat categories. CB will vy for the MVP asbut i doubt will ever win. wright and Reyes are GG candidates, hit over .300, wright has the rbis, HRs and reyes the runs ans SB. but they split the votes.

    Pinella vs manuel. this will be interesting. The brews, cubs and Mets (possibly Phils) are similar on paper. The santana logic died when the cubs added haren and the brews added sabathia. I doubt the salaries are that exaggerated and the Cubs added that Fukudome guy too. Yes i agree on Pinella but ONLY because of what he did LAST yr in taking the cubs into the playoffs , doing his best Pinella impression in turning the yr around….kinda like what happened THIS yr with manuel. …..who is now … like 17 games over .500 (47-30?).