Game 108: Win Over Brewers

Reef Flip Flops

Mets 12 Brewers 4

This game recap is brought to you by Reef, makers of the cool-looking leather flip-flops with the bottle opener built into the sole (really, it does have a bottle-opener!).

I know, I know … looking at the final score, it doesn’t look like much flip-flopping occurred. But if you check the linescore, you’ll see it was a fairly interesting game until the seventh inning. Mets go up by two, Brewers tie it with two. Mets score a run, Brewers score a run. Etcetera, etcetera …

As always, the Mets scored first, in the initial inning. David Wright got a two-out rally going by hustling a single into a double, and was doubled in by Carlos Delgado. Moises Alou followed with a single to drive in Delgado and give the Mets a quick 2-0 lead.

However, the Brewers charged back with two of their own in the bottom of the second, thanks to a rash of hits by Johnny Estrada, Tony Graffanino, Chris Capuano, and Corey Hart.

The score remained tied until the fifth, when David Wright blasted a solo homer. I think it’s time for Keith Hernandez to stop saying “I’m just waiting for David to bust out”. In the bottom of the fifth, however, Corey Hart (sans sunglasses) answered with a solo shot of his own, tying up the game again.

In the top of the sixth, the Mets took over the lead once again, when Alou doubled and Damion Easley followed with an inside-the-park homerun. It looked as though the Brewers might respond in the bottom of the frame, as they loaded the bases with two out for the red-hit Hart, but Jorge Sosa induced him to popup to Delgado in foul territory.

The Mets began to mount a rally opening the seventh, as Wright singled, Delgado was hit by a pitch, and Easley singled to load the bases with one out. Ramon Castro whiffed for the second out, but Lastings Milledge worked a 3-1 count before bouncing a ball past the glove of J.J. Hardy, driving in two. Jorge Sosa then hit for himself and extended the lead to 8-3 by blasting a ground-rule double to left-center.

Just for good measure, the Mets scored another four runs in the ninth, via a two-RBI ground-rule double by Marlon Anderson and a two-run homer off the bat of Jose Reyes.

Notes

Brian Lawrence made his debut as a Met, and though was not overpowering, he got enough outs to keep the team in the game. He took advantage of the aggressive Brewer hitters, who appeared to be salivating and trying to pull everything he threw into the leftfield seats. In five innings of work, he allowed 8 hits, no walks, and 3 runs, striking out 3. I’m not sure why Willie Randolph removed him from the game after five, but I’ll guess it had to do with his throwing 90 pitches (?). Also not sure why Willie entrusted the two-run lead to Scott Schoeneweis, but I suppose he was “playing a hunch”. Luckily he removed “The Show” before too much damage was inflicted, and Sosa put out the fire.

Those who remember back to 2005, when Aaron Heilman was pitching out of the bullpen “temporarily”, can see what’s going on with Jorge Sosa. Sosa pitched out of another jam in the sixth, en route to stellar two and one-third inning outing. In my opinion, middle relief is ideal for Sosa, unless he ever comes up with a legit third pitch.

Lastings Milledge continues to have a problem with Moises Alou on fly balls hit into the left-center gap. Milledge’s speed and aggressiveness carries him into Alou’s limited domain, and the unwritten law is that the centerfield takes whatever he can handle. Alou, however, either doesn’t hear Milledge, doesn’t understand him, or is pushing his veteran ego around by ignoring him. If it happens a few times a year, no biggie, but this type of incident has occurred multiple times, sometimes more than once in a game, since LM has started playing center. Alou may think he’s in the right, but if he doesn’t start yielding to the hard-charging Stings, he’s going to find himself on an all-too-familiar list — the disabled one.

Easley and Milledge both went 3-for-5 at the plate, and Wright had a 4-for-5 day, raising his average to .304.


Next Game

The Mets travel to Chicago for three games with the Cubs, beginning with another afternoon start. Orlando Hernandez duels against Carlos Zambrano at 2:20 PM.

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. sincekindergarten August 3, 2007 at 9:57 am
    Any idea on what the “discussion” between Ned Yost and Johnny Estrada was about?
  2. Walnutz15 August 3, 2007 at 10:04 am
    “There was some frustration expressed on a number of different sides about our style of play and about the way we’ve been playing lately,” Yost said, sidestepping a direct answer to what happened in the dugout with Estrada. “We handled it and took care of it like good teams do.”

    Estrada was even less forthcoming, telling reporters to “(buzz) off” and later issuing a no-comment statement through the Brewers’ public relations department as reporters huddled near his locker.

  3. joe August 3, 2007 at 10:16 am
    Not sure … according to my blogging friend David Hannes of the Brewers Bar:

    “A Madison radio station had a guy claiming he was at the game and that Yost was upset with Estrada’s pitch calling…I had heard that Yost and Maddux called the pitches, so I am taking him with a grain of salt. Yost was a catcher, so he probably thinks he knows more about pitch calling than Estrada…maybe he does. Estrada is not talking, unlike last year, so who knows…reminds me of ‘The Bronx is Burning….'”

    So, who knows. Maybe Yost was sending in pitch calls and Estrada was ignoring him. This could be a turning point for Milwaukee, and Yost’s tenure there. Either Yost takes control of the team, or loses it — sort of like Blue Jays manager John Gibbons last year.

  4. Walnutz15 August 3, 2007 at 10:20 am
    From the sounds of it, it’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that Yost’s players are losing faith in him — and that the Brew Crew is starting to crumble a bit after their very strong start to 2007.

    Typically, they haven’t been a strong 2nd half team in that NL Central — and now with the Cubbies breathing down their necks, it seems like they’re primed to drop off.

    At first, Suppan, Capuano, and Claudio Vargas all looked like world-beaters early on.

    My question always was, could they sustain it?

    I had thought they were fully capable of doing so, especially in that up-for-grabs N.L. Central — and that if they ever got any significant contribution from Ben Sheets, they figure to be a pretty good force within the division well into the Dog Days of Summer.

    The Brew Crew had some injuries to significant position players last year (missing Weeks, J.J. Hardy, Sheets, Koskie, et al.) — so you can see why they’d caught some people by surprise in 2007.

    Personally, I love watching Prince Fielder play. At 23, I just hope that he takes care of himself – so he’s able to have a long, productive career.

    This team does have some serious talent, and it’s really good to see a “smaller market” squad show the rest of the league that it can be done — but I’m really wondering about them down the stretch.

  5. joe August 3, 2007 at 12:04 pm
    More info from David at Brewers Bar, re: “the incident”:

    “Milwaukee’s paper reported that it was Yost called out a player after a muff (probably J.J. Hardy, possibly Carlos Villanueva), and that it was
    Graffanino and Estrada that defended the player…Yost pretty much
    apologized, praised his players for sticking up for each other, etc….
    Almost like he knew what would happen when he said it…guess he’s got to try something.”