Mets Bullpen Had One More Escape Act

As Lou Brown said, “Ok, we won a game yesterday. If we win today, it’s called ‘two in a row.’  And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called ‘a winning streak’ . . . .  It has happened before!”  That’s where Matt Harvey . He’s on a streak of good starts. 

On May 30th, he pitched seven innings allowing two hits, no runs, and one walk with six strikeouts. On June 5th, he pitched seven innings allowing four hits, one earned, and no walks with three strikeouts. Tonight, he pitched six innings allowing two hits, one earned, and two walks with eight strikeouts. That’s three straight starts allowing one run or less. That’s vintage Harvey. 

Harvey did get some help in the third when replay overturned a run:

Initially, the umpires ruled Aaron Hill got in under Kevin Plawecki‘s tag. Upon replay, it was ruled Hill was out, and the run was taken off the board. The Brewers would have to wait until the fifth to score. 

Ex-Met Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a one out triple to right, and he would score on Ramon Flores‘ sacrifice fly to left field. It was going to take a good throw to get Kirk out, but Alejandro De Aza was not up to the task. First, it got caught in his glove. Next, he double clutched. Finally, the throw was up the first base line. It was just one part of a bad game for De Aza. 

In the first, he erased a Curtis Granderson leadoff walk by hitting into a double play. In the fifth Brewers starter, Junior Guerrera, intentionally walked Granderson to load the bases with two outs to face De Aza. De Aza grounded out meekly to second. Overall, he was 0-5. 

Overall, the Mets batters weren’t hitting well. Even when Kelly Johnson hit a double in first at bat back with the Mets, he followed it up with a TOOBLAN.  With no force play, he was slow (somewhat frozen) on a ball hit to the shortstop. He was tagged out, and Harvey was nailed at first ending the inning. 

FINALLY, in the sixth the Mets gave Harvey some run support after not giving him any run support in 15 innings. Yoenis Cespedes did this:

He hit a laser to right center tying the game at 1-1. Unfortunately, that was all the run support Harvey would get as Nieuwenhuis did this to Johnson:

Harvey had a great start and a no decision.  It would become a battle of the bullpens. It was a battle of escape acts. 

Hansel Robles entered the game in the seventh, and it appeared like his struggles were going to continue. It was first and second with no outs with the newly minted Mets killer Nieuwenhuis at the plate. Robles struck him out, and then he got the next two batters to fly out to get out of the jam. Antonio Bastardo followed up with a 1-2-3 eighth. 

Jeremy Jeffres did his Robles’ impersonation in the ninth by getting out of a bases loaded no out jam. First, Plawecki popped up to second. Neil Walker pinch hit for Bastardo and struck out looking. Granderson then meekly grounded out to second. 
It was then Jim Henderson‘s turn for the Houdini act. He issued a one out walk to Jonathan Lucroy, who was pinch run for by Keon Broxton. Broxton would easily steal second, and he would go to third on a comedy of errors. Plawecki would bounce the ball 10 feet short of second, and the ball would go through Johnson’s legs allowing Broxton to go to third. After a walk to Chris Carter, he struck out Nieuwenhuis on three straight pitches, and he got Hill to ground out to end the inning. 

Henderson was then pressed for a second inning out of the pen despite his injury history. The reason was unavailable after pitching three innings in today days, and Logan Verrett will start tomorrow due to the doubleheader. After walking the leadoff hitter Flores, Henderson had to leave the game with what appeared to be a blister. That made it Jerry Blevins turn to get out of the jam. 

After a sac bunt, Blevins had a runner on second with one out, and he threw a pitch in the dirt. Flores took off for third, and he made it safely for a split second. Matt Reynolds, who was double switched into the game when Blevins entered the game, kept the tag on Flores, so when Flores oversold third, he was out. Rally over. 

Wilmer Flores then cleared the Flores’ good surname in the 11th. He ripped a one out double pushing Asdrubal Cabrera to third. After Johnson was intentionally walked, the Mets found themselves in the same situation as they did in the ninth – bases loaded and no outs. Plawecki fouled out, and then all hell broke loose. 

Reynolds hit a sharp liner at Jonathan Villar, who dropped it. He flipped the ball to Scooter Gennett, who stepped on second while Flores was standing there. By Gennett stepping on the bag, Johnson was out, but the Brewers didn’t know it.  They didn’t know it because the second base umpire somehow called him safe. They got Johnson, who was already out, in a rundown. While this was happening Cabrera scored making it 2-1. Keith Hernandez put it best when he said everybody had to do back to school. 

Jeurys Familia then came in and recorded his 21st save in his 21st chance to end all of this tomfoolery. 
Game Notes: Harvey is the all-time leader for winless starts in which he’s allowed one run or less through a pitchers first 78 starts. It gets better: