Mets Game 35: Win Over Brewers
Mets 2 Brewers 1
There’s no way the Mets can lose this series. And we can thank a man with the power of voodoo. Who do? Miguel do.
Mets Game Notes
Yes, voodoo. I can find no other explanation for Miguel Batista‘s ability to pitch seven shutout innings. I realize he only allowed five baserunners but it felt like twice as many; I’m not sure why. He’s like a poor-man’s Livan Hernandez, except Livan used to put guys on base on purpose. I get that the 2012 Brewers bear no resemblance whatsoever to the hard-hitting 2011 version (or the 1982 Harvey’s Wallbangers version, for that matter), but wow, if they can’t hit Miguel Batista, who are they gonna hit? If I’m the Brewers hitting coach, I might start looking into some undetectable performance-enhancing … oh, never mind …
For me this was a really weird game to watch in terms of paying attention to the pitchers. Because on the one hand, Batista seemed to be getting into more trouble than he really was. Similarly, Yovani Gallardo — to me — was pitching horribly, yet somehow skated through six innings and allowed only two runs. I guess six walks can do that. Gallardo managed only 12 strikes in his first 26 pitches of the ballgame, and somehow finished with 61 strikes among his 109-pitch total.
Due to the refusal of both pitchers to throw strikes, this game was a snoozefest for the first few innings. Then it was just plain old boring. But Frank Francisco made sure we woke up by making it interesting in the ninth. His outings make me long for the days of Braden Looper. You know what, Braden? I take back all those awful things I thought (and screamed at the TV) when you were closing. You weren’t so bad after all.
The Mets had only three hits all night, and the other two were courtesy of Hit Man Dan Murphy, who drove in one of the Mets’ runs and scored the other.
Speaking of Murphy’s score, it came on a perfectly executed squeeze. The Brewers demonstrated an imperfectly executed squeeze earlier in the game that resulted in an out. It’s not every day you see one squeeze, much less two in the same ballgame. Nice to see, but awful to see them fail, because the only way they fail is by terrible execution. Even if you execute poorly, you should still score a run because it’s a play that’s nearly impossible to defend against. In the Brewers’ case, both the runner on the third and the batter messed up royally — Taylor Green didn’t run hard from third as the pitch was delivered, and Cesar Izturis deadened the bunt right in front of home plate, which is the last thing you want to do. The squeeze play is the one situation where the hitter wants to bunt the ball HARD and force anyone other than the catcher to field it — the idea being that a runner will be able to cross home plate in the time it takes to pick up the ball, transfer it to the throwing hand, throw to the catcher, and the catcher make the tag. But since Green was tip-toeing down the line instead of breaking hard (as if it were a straight steal), he was a dead duck.
Not too much else to report on this game. The pitching from both sides was less than inspirational, and yet the hitting was similarly ineffective. This is what games after travel days look like in post-PEDs MLB. Now we understand why there are so many Mondays off.