Three years ago, Wilmer Flores was crying because he thought he was traded to the Brewers. Today, he brought tears to Milwaukee’s eyes.
A two out, two strike homer to left center was enough for the Mets to beat the Brewers 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth inning to take the series and raise their record to 12-2.
And with ominous clouds looming overhead, the Mets also beat the rain.
“That’s what we were saying in the dugout, ‘Win it here and we get to get warm,’” said manager Mickey Callaway.
More importantly, for those scoreboard watchers out there, the Nationals lost their game in the ninth to the Colorado Rockies, putting them six games back, as they come into two tomorrow for a three-game series.
And even though it’s just the middle of April, it’s an important series, because the Mets have a chance to bury Washington before the IRS can open your tax returns. Even though, there’s plenty of time to make up the ground, there just seems like something special is going in with this club.
Today Callaway decided to rest three of his regulars. No Jay Bruce. No Adrian Gonzalez. No Asdrubal Cabrera. And it was their replacements, which made a difference. Brandon Nimmo was a double away from the cycle.
“(Nimmo’s) unique,” Callaway said. “He has such a simple swing, he can be in a good spot at all times.”
But Flores was the ultimate hero on this day, where Noah Syndergaard was in premium form and struck out 11, including a stretch of eight in a row.
That’s what happens with winning teams. Everyone contributes. Unlike the Mets lineups of the past few seasons, which were top heavy on the home run, this uses its entire lineup. And those who aren’t hitting, are making the most of their hits, like Yoenis Cespedes, who has 12 RBI to go with his .190 average.
The Mets did their job with the Brewers, a good team, which could compete for a Wild Card spot. Now, we have to see if the Amazin’s can drop the hammer on Washington. Last weekend was a statement that this club is for real and get ready for a race. This next three games could dictate if there is a race this season or does Washington compete with Milwaukee for a Wild Card slot.
It starts at the top, where everything Callaway touched has turned out so well, he may be asked to give the nightly lottery numbers during his pre-game press conference. His counterpart in Washington, Dave Martinez, hasn’t been so fortunate and some glaring mistakes cost his club a few games.
We all know the Mets can’t keep up this pace. The best team in baseball loses around 60 games, but wins now, count as much as those in September. The club can ride the hot start throughout the summer, as Washington and the rest of the division gets desperate to play catchup.
More importantly, winning these next three games also helps the Mets if the injury bug does return. The catching disaster aside, the Mets have been very fortunate in that department, but injuries will happen. A nice cushion in the standings will ease the blow when they happen.
As does wins like today. Last night, the Mets would have lost that game no matter what happened. Their bats didn’t show up, but a game like today was there for either side to take.
The Mets grabbed it. The Brewers didn’t. It’s been the story for this club all year. We shall see if they can continue it against Washington this coming week.