Mets Game 10: Win Over the Brewers

Gary Sheffield hits his 500th career HR (photo from

Gary Sheffield hits his 500th career HR (photo from

Final score: Mets 5, Brewers 4

Again, the Mets got out to a 3-0 lead.

Again, the Mets offense was barely visible in the middle innings, especially with runners in scoring position.

But today, the outcome was different, thanks to newcomer Gary Sheffield. Sheffield’s 500th career home run tied the game at 4-4 tie in 7th inning.’s Brendan Prunty has a fact-packed paragraph that sums up the home run nicely:

He is the first player in major league history to have his 500th home run be his first home run with a new team. Plus, in a strange twist, Sheffield’s 500th came against the very team that he hit his first for — the Brewers. His first home run came against the Seattle Mariners Mark Langston on Sept. 9, 1988.

Tonight’s game was downright scary. I don’t have the numbers on the Mets’ performance with runners on base, but it was horrible. Jerry Manuel continues to outmanage himself and the Mets continue to look listless. I can’t find many positives except for the fact that the Mets were able to push across the winning run against future Hall of Famer Seth McClung on a Luis Castillo infield single.

But hey, it’s only April, right?

Abbreviated game notes:

  • When the Mets opened the bottom of the 1st with three consecutive hits, WFAN’s Wayne Hagin was quick to mention that Jerry Manuel oversaw a special team BP session today, complete with words of encouragement and special tips to get the team’s bats going. The BP talking point wasn’t mentioned after that, as the Mets offense was virtually invisible until Sheffield pinch hit in the seventh. Beware of announcers getting notes from the PR department…
  • Danny Murphy can’t bunt to save his life, but at least he continues to fail in the most hilarious ways imaginable
  • If Jerry Manuel wanted to advance Reyes, why not let a pitcher hit for Murphy and then put Tatis in LF?
  • Livan Hernandez has nothing but brains and craftiness – kind of like Pedro over the last few seasons, but with more stamina. That just might be enough for him to win 12 games this season. Either way, his starts are already more fun to watch than anyone, except for Santana.
  • Carlos Beltran hit with the bases loaded twice. Result: Strike out and pop up to shortstop
  • David Wright made a great defensive play on a Bill Hall ground ball in the second inning. Looking back, that play may have made the difference in the game
  • The Mets used JJ Putz instead of Francisco Rodriguez in the top of the ninth, despite being tied at home. Not sure what that was all about, especially since K-Rod was warming up during the 8th inning.
  • If I’m not mistaken, Jerry Manuel managed to use his entire bench during a 9-inning game
  • The Mets are back to .500 (5-5)

UPDATE: The Mets left 13 runners on base, but they did go 3 for 10 with runners in scoring position. For a full boxscore, visit

Thanks to wohjr in the comments section for pointing out that Sheffield’s HR tied the game at 4-4. The original post has been corrected.

John Fitzgerald is an independent film/TV producer. In 2007, he followed former Mets 2B Wally Backman and his minor league team for the TV show, "Playing for Peanuts." Click here for DVD ordering information NOTE: $5 from each sale goes to maintenance costs of
  1. Steve April 17, 2009 at 10:09 pm
    I’m starting to be pretty impressed with Castillo…he just looks like a different player this year. Even his at bats when he was in the 1 for 10 to start the year looked much netter than last season. I still worry about those knees, but at least he doesn’t look like a black hole anymore. I just hope Castro plays very well during the next 2 weeks.
  2. John Fitzgerald April 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm
    I’d have to agree with you, Steve. So far, Castillo looks more aggressive. I’m not sure he can ever be the player he once was, but the Mets could definitely use a .280 hitter with 20+ SB in the #8 hole of the lineup.

    I think Castro has the talent to win the everyday job or at least earn himself a strict platoon. I hope so – he’s fun to watch at the plate. Kind of a poor man’s Manny Ramirez.

  3. wohjr April 17, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    This post is wrong– Sheff’s homer tied it at four, it didn’t put the Mets in the lead

  4. John Fitzgerald April 17, 2009 at 11:53 pm
    Geez, sorry about that.

    Thanks for pointing that out.

  5. Thai April 18, 2009 at 5:46 am
    I believe he used Putz over K-rod in case it went into extra innings.
  6. isuzudude April 18, 2009 at 9:34 am
    Yeah, this game was probably more exciting than it needed to be, as the offense continues to strand RISP and leave the bases loaded, but this is something I guess we’re just going to have to live with and win in spite of. At least I’d rather be on the side of putting runners on base and failing to score them than not putting any runners on base at all.

    It’s a rarity, but I actually have two subtle compliments for Jerry after yesterday’s game. 1: With the game tied at 4 in the top of the 8th, I was fully expecting to see Putz on the mound to preserve the tie, but instead Jerry turns to Parnell, who rewards the manager with a flawless frame of work. That is some kind of confidence booster right there, and a good sign that Jerry might have faith in more than 2 guys late in ballgames to keep the score right where it is. I think Parnell has also sealed his fate and won’t be getting demoted to make room for the unnamed spot starter (Figueroa) on Sunday. Adios, Jeremy Reed? 2: When Castro led off the bottom of the 8th with a single, it was academic he should be pinch-run for, and the two most fleet-of-foot bench players the Mets have are Cora and Reed. Ideally, Castillo would bunt the pinch-runner over, giving the pinch-hitter for the pitcher and Jose Reyes a crack each at driving the runner in. And with RHP Coffey on the mound, again it was either Cora or Reed, the remaining lefties on the bench, getting the pinch hitting chance. Jerry chose Cora to pinch run and Reed to pinch hit, which I thought was the right move as I trust Reed much more with the stick than Cora. However, the inning did not play out to plan, as Castillo’s sac bunt turned into a force out on a brilliant play by Billy Hall, and Reed struck out after that, but I still think Jerry pushed the right buttons in that spot.

    Congrats to Shef for his 500th homer. Nice to see the rest of the team congratulate “the newguy” with hugs and high-fives on the field. Also, glad that Castillo got the game-winner. He deserves a fair second chance this season after his hard work during the winter, and hopefully won’t have the fans turn on him if/when he eventually has an 0-for day at the plate.

    By the way, for those of you who thought the Marlins overdid their celebration when they collected a walk-off win against the Mets in Florida, I hope you paid attention to the on-field melee that took place after Castillo’s game-winner last night. If we’re allowed to do it, so should everyone else. Deal with it.

    John: Jerry did not burn thru his entire bench last night, as Tatis once again failed to enter the game. But I guess I can excuse you overlooking Tatis’ presence, as it seems like Jerry is guilty of the same thing. Is there any other explanation as to why Tatis has only three atbats on the season?

  7. Steve April 18, 2009 at 11:47 am
    I really think it’s gonna be O’Day, not reed on sunday. To me he seems like the odd man out anyway, espescially once redding is ready to go. Jerry doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of faith in the kid, and I really don’t mind seeing him depart. I really don’t see he and Stokes being around long term. I don’t think that’s the worst decision either…I’d be much happier seeing figgy trotting into the game than O’Day. I think it will be interesting to see the batting order today with sheff in left as well.
  8. isuzudude April 19, 2009 at 8:20 am
    Good call, Steve. You were right.