Flushing, NY—The Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 victory over the Mets completed a three game sweep over the Mets at Citi Field. The two clubs are presently heading in very different directions. The Brewers are in first place in the N.L. Central Division after winning 22 of the last 25 games. The Mets have dropped nine of the last eleven contests and are only three games in front of the last place Florida Marlins in the N.L. East.
The weekend games provided very happy birthdays for Brewers manager Ron Roenicke (Friday) and Milwaukee’s ace pinch hitter, Craig Counsell (Sunday). Roenicke is enjoying a successful rookie season as manager of the Brewers. Counsell, as a pinch hiller, led off the ninth with a single to right. The plate appearance as a pinch hitter and the base hit raised his career team marks to 161 and 40 respectively. Counsell, 41, is the sixth oldest player currently active in MLB.
The two starters, R.A. Dickey and Yovani Gallardo statistically threw almost identical games. Each pitched seven innings, gave up two runs, both earned, and surrendered six hits. Gallardo walked one, intentionally and fanned six. Dickey did not walk a batter and struck out three. Neither hurler figured in the decision.
The first run of the contest was scored on a two-out home run hit by Casey McGehee in the fourth. The second run for the Brewers were scored by the superstar combo of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. One day earlier, both homered in the 11-9 Brewers comeback victory, the 33rd game in which each blasted a four bagger. On Sunday, Braun led off the sixth with a single, stole second and scored on a single to center by Fielder.
The Mets tied the score in the seventh. David Wright singled to lead-off. The next batter, Lucas Duda drove in two as he homered to right on the first pitch. The Mets did not score again as former Mets closer Frankie Rodriguez in the eighth and former Yankee LaTroy Hawkins In the ninth retired all the batters they faced.
The four Mets relievers, Manny Acosta, Tim Byrdak, Jason Isringhausen and Pedro Beato surrendered four runs and five hits in two innings. After the contest, Mets manager Terry Collins expressed his regret over removing Dickey from the game, “R. A. Pitched a great game. I have to take this one [blame]. I should have stayed with R.A.”
Ryan Braun did the greatest damage to the Mets. He hit safely three times, stole two bases, his 25th and 26th, score two runs and drove in a third. Collins said, “You have to give Braun credit.”
Collins spoke of his team’s recent failings, “When Jose and Murph went down, we had to pick ourselves up and we just have not done that. We haven’t played well enough to win. We have to get them [players] to believe in themselves again.”
Fielder explained to reporters his team’s confidence and success, “I think we finally got that feeling [that we can find a way to win] on the road. I never saw that [22 of 25 wins] since Little League.”
The difference between the two teams may have been best expressed by Frankie Rodriguez, who has played for both in 2011. When Queens reporter Lloyd Carroll said to Rodriguez, “I’ll bet you’re just glad to be over here [Brewers] than over there [Mets], K-Rod emphatically replied, “Hell Yeah!”