Game Seventy-Two Recap: Brewers 3, Mets 2

TOP PLAY (WPA):  Adam Lind doubled on a ground ball down the left-field line, scoring Carlos Gomez from first base after the ball caromed off the side wall and between Michael Cuddyer’s legs (+.231 WPA).

With just one out in the seventh inning and Gomez on first base, the Mets opted to bring in lefty Sean Gilmartin to face Adam Lind. On paper, that’s a quality matchup for the Mets. Although Gilmartin had not been utterly dominant against lefties in 2015, allowing them to hit .244/.311/.415 coming into the game on Tuesday, he likely remained a superior option to Hansel Robles due to the platoon advantage. Lind owns a career .593 OPS against southpaws, compared to an .859 OPS against righties. And despite the change being the “correct” tactical move, the Brewers’ first baseman effectively drove in the go-ahead run with an opposite-field double.

If one looks more closely at Lind’s head during his swing, though, it becomes clear that Lind got rather lucky. The former third-round draft pick by the Blue Jays pulled off the baseball — his head and body spinning out in front of the pitch, trying to drive it to center field. Kudos to Lind for keeping the bat in the hitting zone long enough to still make contact, as that ultimately allowed him to rifle one down the left-field line. Not a bad mishit whatsoever.

[NOTE: Video of the play can be found here. For some reason, doesn’t have this play as embeddable.]

BOTTOM PLAY (WPA):  Jean Segura skied a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Gerardo Parra and tying the game at two-apiece. Center fielder Juan Lagares threw out Hernan Perez at third base. Double play (-.115 WPA).

It’s not often that a scoring play by the winning squad represented the “worst” play, or the play that least added to that team’s win probability. Given the fact that the meat of the Brewers’ order was due up and the bases were loaded with nobody out, though, unnecessarily generating two outs on the play proved backbreaking at the time.

Testing Juan Lagares’s arm isn’t intelligent. He made a name for himself early in his career by throwing out 15 runners from the outfield in his rookie season. Since that point, opposing teams have taken note and stopped running on him. It’s much like Yadier Molina in that sense — his raw caught-stealing numbers have dropped, only because teams have learned to stop testing his arm. With Lucroy and Braun due up in a tie ballgame, Perez foolishly ran (or was foolishly sent by Ed Sedar) and paid the price. The threat deflated and starter Jon Niese suddenly had room to wiggle out of the inning without surrendering the lead.


Lind’s double to score Gomez in the seventh innings obviously turned the tide of the game, but I thought the key moment was Francisco Rodriguez’s strikeout to begin the ninth inning. With a one-run lead, it was imperative that K-Rod begin the inning without any hiccups, especially because he needed to avoid messing with the top of the order. The Brewers’ closer struck out Wilmer Flores looking on four pitches, all of them 90-91 mph fastballs.

I also chose this at-bat as the key moment in the game because K-Rod got three called strikes almost without throwing a pitch in the strike zone, according to Brooks Baseball.

Depending on your point of view, that’s either questionable umpiring, quality framing, or some combination of the two. I get annoyed by constant griping about umps, so I prefer to focus on Lucroy’s ability to frame all three of those pitches and “to steal” a trio of strikes to get the ninth inning kicked off in a positive manner.


Since allowing five earned runs over five innings to the Dodgers on May 7, Mike Fiers has compiled a 3.75 ERA with only one start in which he’s allowed more than three earned runs. He’s striking out 8.40 batters per nine innings over that stretch and has largely been keeping the team in ballgames, which is precisely what one desires of a back-end starter. Unfortunately for the Brewers, though, Fiers has arguably been the best starter on the team and is acting as the de facto ace, if you’ll pardon the use of the term.


Jimmy Nelson and the Brewers take on Bartolo Colon and the Mets in Game 2 of the three-game series. The Brew Crew saw Colon last month, and they mashed against him. The right-hander surrendered six runs and seven hits over five innings of work. The highlight of the night was a moonshot into Citi Field’s upper deck in left field from Ryan Braun.

Realistically, if the Brewers want to take this series from the Mets, they’ll have to win on Wednesday evening. That’s because Jake deGrom is slated to start on Thursday, and he’s been ridiculous as of late. The right-hander has a 1.87 ERA since the beginning of May and has 70 strikeouts in just 62.2 innings in that time frame. That includes a one-run outing against the Brewers. Many sabermetricians suggest that momentum doesn’t really exist in sports, but there’s no denying that deGrom has re-discovered his form after a pair of poor starts at the end of April. He’s once again pitching like a Cy Young contender. Needless to say, banking on a victory with deGrom on the bump isn’t wise. The Brewers must take advantage of a struggling Bartolo Colon, who has a 6.50 ERA over his last eight starts.

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1 comment on “Game Seventy-Two Recap: Brewers 3, Mets 2”


JP – Love the new site. I think in this case it was poor umpiring. The zone was very wide all night. Will Smith used that to his advantage in the 8th.

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