The Brewers have to be the luckiest team in baseball right now. Their pitching finally fell apart on Saturday, but as it turns out, their record is no worse for it.
Randy Wolf allowed five runs, four of them during the seventh inning, which Wolf started by allowing three straight hits. Wolf exited after allowing two runs, with two runners still his responsibility. Takashi Saito, who has pitched well since coming off the DL in July, picked up where Wolf left off, walking the first batter to load the bases. Saito allowed both of Wolf’s runs to score and one of his own before finally ending the inning. What had been a 7-1 lead coming into the seventh became a 7-6 lead.
The Mets weren’t done, though. Former Met Francisco Rodriguez came out to work the eighth to plenty of boos from the New York crowd, and Rodriguez gave them something to cheer about. With two outs, Rodriguez walked Ruben Tejada, who scored on a Josh Thole double. With the score tied at 7-7, Rodriguez threw a fat changeup to Angel Pagan, who got ahold of it and ripped it into the second deck. All of a sudden the Brewers found themselves down 9-7.
With the Brewers having only one inning left to score, the Mets handed former Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen the ball in the ninth. What followed was an absolute nightmare for the Mets and their fans. Isringhausen missed with nearly every pitch to the first two batters, walking Jonathan Lucroy and Nyjer Morgan. Corey Hart singled to load the bases. Isringhausen walked in a run before being removed, but substitution Manny Acosta didn’t fare much better; Casey McGehee and Prince Fielder combined for 3 RBI on two singles to give the Brewers an 11-9 lead that would hold thanks to John Axford’s work in the bottom of the inning.
The Brewers are no strangers to these kind of late-inning heroics. In late and close games, the Brewers are hitting .265, good for fifth-best in the MLB. The team has 35 comeback wins and 7 walk-off wins. Fortunately, they haven’t often been on the wrong side of the score lately. But it’s encouraging to know that when they are, the team will play all nine. Down two runs going into the ninth yesterday, the players still looked confident. You just have to hope that their luck with these kind of things holds out the rest of the year.
Magic Number Watch: 28
Photo credit: Jeff Sainlar, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel