The New York Mets battled back to overcome a six run deficit and eventually took a 9-7 lead heading into the ninth against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday afternoon, but could not seal the deal as Jason Isrighausen was charged with four runs in the frame leading to an 11-9 defeat; the clubs second in a row. Although Mets manager Terry Collins was disappointed with the games outcome, he was pleased with his teams fight:
We lost the game, but in my estimation it didn’t go to waste. This team fought back from seven runs down to a team that’s outstanding, it’s got a great bullpen. I’m real proud of the fact that they came back in that game, made it a game. I’m disappointed in the way it ended, no question about it, but they played nine innings that’s what I ask of them every day to play nine. Go out there and play 27 outs as hard as you can and see what happens.”
Chris Capuano started the game for NY allowing seven runs, five of which were earned, on five hits and three walks marking the sixth time in his last seven starts in which he allowed four or more runs. Capuano saw his era rise to 4.71 while falling to 9-11 on the season:
It didn’t take long for the Brew Crew to get on the board as Ryan Braun followed a six pitch walk to Jerry Hairston Jr. with a two run first inning home run into the center field seats. The Brewers extended their lead, 5-1 with a three run third, highlighted by a Prince Fielder bomb that found a home in the Pepsi Porch.
After Milwaukee had taken a 7-1 lead on an Yuniesky Betancourt two run home run in the sixth, the Mets, as they have done so many times before, fought back scoring five runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth.
Ronnie Paulino and Nick Evans delivered back-to-back singles to start the seventh and Ruben Tejada followed with an RBI double, before a sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Willie Harris cut the Mets deficit to four runs, 7-3. After an Angel Pagan single laoded the bases, the Mets plated their third run of the inning on a David Wright fielders choice grounder to short. The Big Ox, Lucas Duda kept the inning moving with a long two run double just passed the outstretched glove of Jerry Hairston Jr to pull NY to within one run, 7-6.
More impressive, or should I say more gratifying, than the five run barrage in the seventh was the three runs scored in the eighth as all three were charged to former Mets closer, Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod entered the game to a mixed ovation, mostly boo’s, and after retiring the first two batters he faced he quickly jumped ahead 0-2 to Ruben Tejada. As we have seen so many times before, Rodriguez nibbled the around the plate eventually walking the number 8 hitter setting the stage for a most dramatic comeback. The former NY closer followed the walk by surrendering a game tying double to Josh Thole and with two strikes on Angel Pagan K-Rod could not put the center fielder away as Pagan fouled off two straight pitches before blasting a hanging cure into the right field seats to give the Mets a 9-7 lead. I think Andy McCullough of the Star Ledger said it best:
Following the game, Rodriguez spoke with reporters and stated the following:
I didn’t execute with Tejada. I had him 0-2 and walked him. Pretty much I put myself in that situation right after that walk with two outs. …[The pitch to Angel Pagan] was right down the middle. Actually, the ball didn’t do anything. It just flattened out — right down the middle. … Twice before that pitch the ball dove, so that means I finished it. And that one I didn’t finish. That’s why it stood up right down the middle.”
What ensued in the following inning turned an uplifting would-be victory into a brutal loss. Jason Isrinhausen walked the first two batters he faced before a Corey Hart single loaded the bases. Izzy never recorded an out as he followed the Hart single his third walk of the frame to force in a run before being lifted by Collins in favor of Manny Acosta. “No excuse,” Isringhausen told ESPN New York. “I warmed up in the bullpen fine. I got out there and I just lost it. I couldn’t find the strike zone.” Prince Fielder greeted Acosta with an RBI single and Casey McGehee followed with a two run single of his own to give Milwaukee an 11-9 lead they would not relinquish.
The Mets are back at it tomorrow afternoon as they try and salvage the series against Milwaukee, sending R.A. Dickey to the mound to face Yovanni Gallardo.
Jason Bay ended an 0-20 skid with an RBI single in the first. He finished the game 1-for-5.
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