Mets capitalize on Brewers’ blunders in comeback win to take series
The invaluable Next Man Up might be the Mets’ best player. His additions are always appreciated, if not especially wanted. Buck Showalter’s crew is tired of losing contributors who prompt his entrance.
The Mets lost Tylor Megill for a second time this season but refused to lose a game, rallying from a three-run hole by riding strong defense, excellent bullpen work and just enough hitting to steal a game and a series from the Brewers, 5-4, on Thursday night at Citi Field in front of 25,002.
The Mets (42-23) moved 4 ¹/₂ games up on the idle Braves, who apparently only don’t win on days they don’t play.
They needed to be the better defensive team, and they were. The game was saved technically by Edwin Diaz, but in reality by rookie Nick Plummer, Pete Alonso and Tomas Nido. Not the defensive trio you would expect.
In the ninth, with the Mets up one and Hunter Renfroe on first, Milwaukee’s Tyrone Taylor hit a one-out double over first base. Plummer sprinted in for the softly hit ball that was in foul territory.
“I knew regardless when I picked it up,” Plummer said, “try to get it in quick and stop them.”
He threw to first, and Alonso caught it and spun.
“Plum gave me a nice one-hop so I can throw it to Nido,” said Alonso, who threw a strike.
Nido got Renfroe around the head just before the Brewers outfielder’s hand touched home.
“We got lucky there,” Diaz said.
But they had not escaped yet, with a runner on second and Christian Yelich at the plate.
Showalter went to the mound to talk with Diaz.
“I knew it right away,” Diaz said. “We said like two words. He said, ‘Do you want to walk [him]?’ I said, ‘No.’ ”
Diaz struck Yelich out on three sliders.
A half-inning earlier, the Brewers assisted the Mets’ comeback efforts with a sloppy eighth. Having not received many breaks recently, the Mets were glad to accept one.
In a 4-4 game, Luis Guillorme hit a slow chopper to first baseman Rowdy Telez, who attempted to get lead-runner J.D. Davis out at second. Telez’s throw went into center field to put runners on the corners. Starling Marte pinch ran for Davis, and with one out, Plummer grounded to first on a possible double-play ball, but the Brewers, with their infield in, were slow covering second and only got one out as Marte scored the go-ahead run.
With the top-of-the-ninth drama, Diaz recorded his 13th save in what became a strong day for the bullpen, helping the Mets take their 15th series this season. They have lost three and tied two.
Megill left during the fourth inning with right shoulder discomfort, the Mets announced, after appearing to wince and calling for a trainer after a pitch. The righty will undergo imaging Friday.
After a short talk on the mound, Megill was lifted and walked off with the trainer in what was just his second start back from the injured list. Biceps tendinitis had sidelined Megill for a month.
Delivering insights on all things Amazin’s
Sign up for Inside the Mets by Mike Puma, exclusively on Sports+
The Mets already were playing shorthanded, with Marte out of the starting lineup after the right fielder was drilled in the forearm Wednesday. They did not play Eduardo Escobar because of a “non-workplace event,” Showalter said.
Whenever a Mets player has gone down, someone else has stepped up. With Megill down, the bullpen stepped up — although not right away.
Chasen Shreve relieved Megill with one out and the bases loaded, and promptly unloaded them. Two singles sandwiched by a fielder’s choice turned a tie game into a 4-1 Brewers lead.
Shreve bounced back and threw a scoreless fifth, and Seth Lugo and Drew Smith were excellent behind him. In all, Mets relievers threw 5 ²/₃ scoreless innings.
“It was an excellent team win tonight,” Alonso said. “This is really exciting.”
Down 4-1 after the problematic fourth, the Mets’ offense got them back into the game. They scratched one across in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single from Nido, though Guillorme was gunned out trying to go first to third. An inning later, Plummer worked a walk ahead of Mark Canha, who drilled his fifth homer of the season to knot the game at 4 and set up the late-inning heroics.