Mets Snatch Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Nyjer Morgan said he felt absolutely no pressure when hitting with two outs in the ninth inning.
That’s because he believed it was the eighth.
Morgan was still laughing in the clubhouse after his game-winning double and Prince Fielder was all smiles, too, after hitting two homers in the Milwaukee Brewers’ 7-6 come-from-behind victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.
“Seriously, I honestly thought Prince put us up and I thought it was the bottom of the eighth,” Morgan said. “I guess it worked out, and a good thing for us.”
Morgan’s reaction on the field seemed to confirm he had no idea what happened. Milwaukee trailed 6-2 before scoring four times in the eighth, capped by Fielder’s second two-run blast.
Craig Counsell singled with one out in the ninth off Dale Thayer (0-1) and stole second when Rickie Weeks struck out.
Morgan then hit a ball down the right-field line to end it, but rounded first before starting to look back. He reached second for a double and was mobbed by Fielder.
Both of them were chuckling at the highlights on the clubhouse TVs.
“When he looked back, that’s why he got so excited, on top of already being excited,” said Fielder, who has six homers in the last six games. “It was like double the excitement because he was going to call a timeout at second.”
Ronny Paulino hit a three-run homer for the Mets as part of a five-run eighth that made it 6-2, but New York’s bullpen couldn’t hold it.
John Axford (2-1) pitched the ninth for the win.
Milwaukee has the best home mark in the majors at 22-8 and haven’t lost consecutive games at home all season. The Mets saw their three-game winning streak snapped after winning the opener in this series on Tuesday night.
Milwaukee’s bullpen had a 1.88 ERA over its previous 72 innings before Kameron Loe’s disaster in the eighth with the Brewers ahead 2-1. Jose Reyes singled and stole second and Justin Turner walked before New York snapped an 0-for-7 streak with runners in scoring position when Carlos Beltran doubled down the right-field line to tie it.
Angel Pagan followed with an RBI single to give New York a 3-2 lead and a bigger celebration followed when Paulino hit his first homer in a Mets uniform three batters later.
Reyes bounced through the dugout, giving Paulino a two-fisted bump along the way, but the good feelings wouldn’t last.
“It’s nothing new,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Right now, there’s an empty feeling because we thought we had that one pretty much wrapped up.”
Fielder and the rest of the Brewers felt it was close to over, too, but Milwaukee answered right back against the Mets’ bullpen, which came in as one of the worst in the National League with a 4.29 ERA.
“That eighth inning was tough,” Fielder said. “But we’ve been playing hard all year, even when we’re down. We knew if we went out there and at least tried to, not necessarily come back, but just try to do our job and have good at-bats and just do something.”
Ryan Braun hit a two-run double off Pedro Beato to cut it to 6-4 after Counsell walked and Morgan singled. Fielder added an opposite-field blast off Jason Isringhausen that tied it at 6-all.
“We talk about the good teams and how this has to happen through the season,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “The more times you do it, the more confidence you have that you’re going to do it. And then it becomes a thing where it’s no big deal to be down two, three, four runs. Then it becomes a great team.”
Fielder passed Gorman Thomas for third on Milwaukee’s all-time home run list with 209.
“I made a mistake,” Isringhausen said. “I knew I had first base open, and as hot as he’s been, I shouldn’t give him anything to hit right there.”
Reyes has been New York’s biggest spark recently. He extended his hitting streak to 12 with a double to lead off the game. Reyes also reached in the third on a walk before doing the most damage in the eighth, when he singled to extend his majors-best mark of 30 multihit games that set the stage for the rally the bullpen couldn’t protect.
New York scored first when Brewers starter Randy Wolf was called for a balk in the fourth, but Braun singled in the bottom of the inning and Fielder laced a shot off Mets starter Mike Pelfrey to put Milwaukee up 2-1.
It would be all the offense for either side until the wild eighth.
“It’s fun,” Fielder said. “Not good on your heart, but it’s fun.”
NOTES: It was Fielder’s 21st multihomer game of his career. … Next up for Fielder on the franchise home run list is Geoff Jenkins, who has 212. … Brewers 3B Casey McGehee snapped a streak of 27 hitless at-bats with a single in the seventh.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)