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Milwaukee Brewers 9 New York Mets 7
Players of the Game:
Gabe Kapler: 3/4; HR, 2 2B, BB, 3 R, 3 RBIs
Brian Schneider: 3/5; 3 RBIs
The Brewers scored 7 unanswered after going down 6-2 in the fourth inning to cancel out Jeff Suppan's horrid start in a pretty impressive victory and a series win. Gabe Kapler continues to baffle fans, including myself going 3 for 4 with two doubles, a homerun, a walk and three RBIs, while Corey Hart followed suit going 4 for 5 with four singles a run and an RBI.
If anything it was a sign for Brewers fans that this young group is very resilient. Jeff Suppan was tossed around by David Wright and Carlos Delgado, giving up 9 hits and 6 earned runs over four very very long innings. They were almost painful to watch. But the Brewers scored four in the fourth to tie the game up and Prince Fielder snagged a line drive and turned it into a double play halting a two on nobody out go-ahead scoring opportunity for the Mets in the bottom half.
Two innings later Weeks hit his third homer of the season and Corey Hart capitalized on a Gabe Kapler walk and two wild pitches by Jorge Sosa to take an 8-6 lead. But in the end it was five double plays in five innings from the 4th to the 8th that made the difference. The biggest came in the eighth when Prince snagged a ground ball at first, tagged the base and fired home to catch former Brewer, Brady Clark at the plate. This saved former Met-reliever Guillermo Mota from a barrage of taunting from Mets fans and a lot of complaining from Brewers fans. Mota was pretty awful, throwing 27 pitches in the 8th, twelve of them for strikes. He gave up back to back singles to start the inning and walked two batters, but somehow came out unscathed.
Eric Gagne finished the series steal in the 9th by throwing another perfect inning and in back to back days for the first time season this season. Perhaps he showed fans he's learned to not be a power pitcher. If that's the case, NL Central beware. When the bullpen questions are answered and Gallardo comes back next Sunday, you're looking at a pretty good horse.
Game Changing Play:
Every single double play the Brewers turned from the 4th to the 8th could really be considered in all of these, but the game changing play came in the fourth inning. With one out and runners at the corners, Carlos Beltran pulled a missile line drive down the right field line on a 3-1 count. Prince Fielder reached out, snagged the ball and touched first base, preserving a 6-6 tie and preventing the Mets from developing momentum. Fielder's DP in the 8th could also get tossed in there, but that was just dumb baserunning by Brady Clark. I'm happy I don't have to watch him do that for the Brewers any more.
Predictions Good and Bad:
First with the good. I couldn't have been more right about Suppan getting slapped around by a powerful Mets squad, but it's not like the Mets had to try that hard. Soup's pitches were flat, moved very little and were no where near his spots. The result was a four inning outing, saved by a day off tomorrow. What I didn't expect was the Brewers to counter Oliver Perez so well. The lesson: Do not underestimate the Brewers against left-handed pitching, no matter how good that lefty may be.
After four straight brutal games starting at the beginning of the Reds series, the Brewers squeaked out a series win at Shea and start riding high again, as they start their 9-game road trip 2-1.
What's on tap?
Tomorrow is a day off for the Crew as they travel to St. Louis to take on the first place Cardinals. The Cardinals roster on paper is pretty awful, but LaRussa always gets his teams to play well. I guess it doesn't hurt they've only faced the Giants, Astros, Nationals, and struggling Rockies, while the Brewers have challenged the Reds, Giants, Cubs and Mets. We'll see what they're made of this weekend.
Series recap and series preview to come tonight and tomorrow. Go Crew!