Rapid Reaction: Mets 12, Brewers 5
July, 5, 2013
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
MILWAUKEE -- It was ugggggly, but at least the Mets won.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis reached base six times and produced a career-high five RBIs, Zack Wheeler completed five innings for his second major league win and Ike Davis had three hits, a walk and two RBIs in his return from exile as the Mets beat the NL Central-doormat Milwaukee Brewers 12-5 Friday night at Miller Park.
Six unearned runs were scored between the teams. And Milwaukee’s three errors only began to tell the story.
The Brewers’ unsightly missteps included:
• Starter Johnny Hellweg walking Nieuwenhuis to force in a run.
• A high throw by shortstop Jean Segura to first base while trying to complete a double play later in the first inning, which allowed Juan Lagares to safely reach and a run to score.
• Norichika Aoki getting thrown out at the plate on an ill-fated double-steal attempt.
• Third baseman Aramis Ramirez’s error in the fourth on John Buck’s two-out grounder allowing the Mets’ seventh run to score.
• Carlos Gomez, after producing an RBI double in the seventh that pulled Milwaukee within 8-4, getting thrown out attempting to make it a triple.
On the positive side, Gomez did reach over the wall to rob pinch hitter Marlon Byrd of a would-be homer.
Welcome back: Davis’ rejiggered stance turned out to be more hype than radical adjustment, but the first baseman did go 3-for-5 with a walk, two RBIs and strikeout in his first major league game since June 9.
Davis walked on four pitches in the first inning, then contributed a fluky RBI single an inning later that staked the Mets to a 3-2 lead. He sent a soft, two-out tapper to shortstop with the bases loaded for a run-scoring infield single.
He had a hard-hit single to right field in the fourth before striking out looking in the sixth. After an intentional walk to David Wright in the seventh, Davis lined out to right field. He had an RBI single in the ninth.
Growing pains: Wheeler labored, but managed to complete five innings to earn his second major league victory.
Wheeler (2-1) surrendered a pair of runs in the first, although those ended up unearned because of second baseman Daniel Murphy’s fielding error. Wheeler also surrendered a mammoth solo homer to Juan Francisco in the fourth.
But Wheeler escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth to preserve a 7-3 lead and complete his outing. Wheeler retired Jonathan Lucroy on a shallow fly ball to center that prevented a tag up, then struck out Francisco looking.
Wheeler’s line: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. He threw 98 pitches (56 strikes).
Career fare: Nieuwenhuis (4-for-4, two walks) became the first Met to reach base six times in a nine-inning game without an error contributing since Mike Piazza on May 27, 2000.
He staked the Mets to a 1-0 lead in the first when Hellweg walked him with the bases loaded. An inning later, the Mets grabbed a 5-2 lead on Nieuwenhuis’ two-run single through the right side of the infield. Nieuwenhuis also had an RBI single in the fourth. He added an RBI triple in the ninth.
What’s next: Ex-Brewer Shaun Marcum, who dealt with tingling in the fingers on his pitching hand during his last start, faces his former employer Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET. Marcum (1-9, 5.03 ERA) opposes right-hander Yovani Gallardo (6-8, 4.78).