Mets
Brewers
6 - 5 Final/10
  for this game

Chavez, bullpen lift Mets past Brewers

Sep 3, 2008 - 5:20 AM By JR Radcliffe PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- The New York Mets bullpen was supposed to be the weak link that kept the team from returning to the playoffs. Ten scoreless innings later and two victories against the red-hot Milwaukee Brewers on hostile ground, that particular case is losing steam.

Endy Chavez delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, and the Mets posted a second straight victory over the Brewers with a 6-5 win Tuesday.

Mets relievers threw seven clean innings to overcome a rocky start from Jonathon Niese in his Major League debut, and New York (78-61) maintained a two-game lead over Philadelphia in the National League East.

Daniel Murphy opened the 10th with a clean single against Milwaukee closer Salomon Torres (6-3), who was entering his second inning of work. Jose Reyes laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached safely when catcher Jason Kendall's errant throw bounced off Rickie Weeks' glove as it collided with the runner.

Murphy took third on the play and scored on Chavez's fly ball to right. That made a winner of Joe Smith (3-3), who needed just one pitch to retire the final out of the ninth. Luis Ayala overcame a pair of baserunners to lock down his fifth save.

"When you have a number of pitchers like we have -- and we have put most of them in stressful situations -- we're not afraid now to call on them in those times," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "If you keep it short, keep them having success, then the next time they go out, they'll have confidence in themselves."

Nelson Figueroa allowed two inherited runners to score in a rugged fourth inning, during which Niese coughed up a four-run lead. But the former Brewers righthander finished with two frames of scoreless baseball, a feat duplicated by Brian Stokes later in the contest. Duaner Sanchez and Pedro Feliciano also contributed to the standout showing.

"I'm just feeding off the other guys," Stokes said. "The objective is to go out there and be aggressive, no matter who's in the box. It keeps our confidence rolling."

The Mets put themselves in position for a road sweep on Wednesday. The Brewers (80-58) lost a game off their Wild Card lead, now at 4 1/2 games, and they remained 4 1/2 back of the Chicago Cubs in the Central.

Niese's Major League debut started as a worst case scenario, then evolved into a far more desirable version of the big league dream. By the time he left, it was closer to where he started.

Niese allowed five earned runs in three innings, including a leadoff homer to Weeks, and each of the first five batters Niese faced in the fourth inning reached via base hit, including a two-run double by opposing starter Manny Parra.

Niese was subsequently lifted with a line that read five runs on seven hits in three innings, with four walks and two strikeouts.

"It's the first one," said Manuel, who declined to commit a second start for Niese in the near future. "You almost kind of have to throw that one out for him. You've got to kind of give him the benefit of the doubt. Obviously, it was a tremendous experience for him. I think the fact that we ended up winning the game is the most important thing. If it went the other way, having the lead we had ... I think it would have had an adverse effect."

Parra did not fare much better, allowing five runs -- four earned - on six hits in five innings, but he did finish 2-for-2 at the plate with a pair of doubles.

"I was either falling behind or catching too much plate," the second-year lefthander Parra said. "Five innings is just not going to cut it. It's just not. Especially after the bullpen had to eat up so many innings yesterday."

Brewers relievers were called upon in emergency Friday when Ben Sheets left with groin tightness after five innings. Milwaukee ultimately blew the lead in the eighth, but the Brewers relievers fared well Tuesday before the defensive miscue loomed large in the extra inning.

New York, meanwhile, made the defensive plays. Following the two-run drive by Parra in the four-run fourth, JJ Hardy drove in another run with a single, but he was thrown out at the plate on Corey Hart's blooper by Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran. Weeks scored ahead of Hardy on the play to tie the score at 5-5.

"I saw Rickie and I don't know who else was back there, but they were both yelling at me to get down," said Hardy of the play, on which catcher Robinson Cancel blocked the plate. "I took a bad turn around third. I tried to reach in there with my hand, but I think he blocked it pretty good."

It was one of two outfield assists on the day. Chavez gunned down Weeks trying to stretch a single in the eighth.

"I saw him heading toward second base and I said, 'OK, I've got to throw him out,' and I did," Chavez said. "It's been tough because I have to work harder (with reduced playing time) every day to do a lot of extra hitting. I try to be focused on the time. I know I'm not playing much, but I need to play like I'm playing all the time."

The Mets bullpen, after three near-perfect innings Monday, held it together beautifully.

Niese's second Major League pitch went over the left field wall, courtesy of Weeks, who finished with a career-best-tying four hits. The young lefty proceeded to walk the next two men he saw, but strikeouts against Hart and Mike Cameron prevented a big opening inning.

"That's the part of the game where thoughts were running through my head," Niese said. "I just took a deep breath and went back on the mound. It's every kid's dream to play in the big leagues. I'm just thankful I get the opportunity to play and got this one out of the way."

The Mets immediately responded by giving Niese two runs in the second.

Fernando Tatis belted an opposite-field RBI double, and Damion Easley registered a run-scoring groundout. Beltran then added a three-run homer in the third, giving the Mets a 5-1 lead.

"It was a split on 3-2 that didn't do anything," Parra said. "It was a pretty bad pitch."








  • NL
    FINAL 10
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    NY METS 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0
    MILWAUKEE 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    NY METS 1 6 7 0
    MILWAUKEE 0 5 12 2 (FINAL 10)

    BATTERIES: NYM

    Sep 2 11:28 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ENDY CHAVEZ SCORED DAN MURPHY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J REYES ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 6
    MILWAUKEE 5 TOP, 10TH
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: D WRIGHT (.292, 1-FOR-4)

    Mets 6, Brewers 5  Top 10, 0 OutsSep 2 11:09 PM
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    Mets 5, Brewers 5  Top 10, 0 OutsSep 2 11:04 PM
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    Mets 5, Brewers 5  Top 9, 0 OutsSep 2 10:46 PM
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    Mets 5, Brewers 5  Bot 7, 0 OutsSep 2 10:24 PM
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    Mets 5, Brewers 5  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 2 9:56 PM
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    Mets 5, Brewers 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsSep 2 9:38 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY COREY HART SCORED RICKIE WEEKS.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C HART ON FIRST, P FIELDER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 5
    MILWAUKEE 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: M CAMERON (.257, 0-FOR-2)

    Mets 5, Brewers 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 2 9:28 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY J.J. HARDY SCORED MANNY PARRA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J HARDY ON FIRST, R WEEKS ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 5
    MILWAUKEE 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: R BRAUN (.305, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Mets 5, Brewers 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 2 9:19 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MANNY PARRA SCORED BILL HALL AND JASON KENDALL.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M PARRA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 5
    MILWAUKEE 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: R WEEKS (.227, 1-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Mets 5, Brewers 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsSep 2 9:16 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS BELTRAN (22) TO LEFT WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF MANNY PARRA SCORED NICK EVANS AND DAVID WRIGHT.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 5, MILWAUKEE 1
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: C DELGADO (.261, 1-FOR-1)

    Mets 5, Brewers 1  Top 3, 0 OutsSep 2 8:54 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY DAMION EASLEY SCORED CARLOS DELGADO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F TATIS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2
    MILWAUKEE 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: R CANCEL (.200, 1 HR, 4 RBI)

    Mets 2, Brewers 1  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 2 8:33 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FERNANDO TATIS SCORED CARLOS BELTRAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, F TATIS ON SECOND, C DELGADO ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 1
    MILWAUKEE 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: D EASLEY (.269, 6 HR, 39 RBI)

    Mets 1, Brewers 1  Top 2, 0 OutsSep 2 8:31 PM


  • NL
    AT MILWAUKEE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RICKIE WEEKS (12) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 1ST OFF JONATHON NIESE.
    CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 0, MILWAUKEE 1
    DUE UP FOR MILWAUKEE: J HARDY (.289, 20 HR, 64 RBI)

    Mets 0, Brewers 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsSep 2 8:14 PM
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