The stumble has turned into a slide.
With the general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins preaching to players to “calm down” and “take a deep breath” in the face of the team’s first four-game losing streak, the Mets responded with one of their worst showings of the season.
The message from Alderson and Collins was because three of those four losses were by a single run to a solid Cubs team. But on Friday night the Mets got shellacked 7-0 by the Milwaukee Brewers, who arrived at Citi Field with the worst record in baseball.
Pitching? Hitting? Defense? The Mets were bad on all fronts.
Bartolo Colon has been one of the great surprises for the resurgent Mets this season, winning six of his first seven starts. He was battered early and often as he went a season-low five innings and gave up a season-high six runs (five earned) and a season-high two home runs.
The Mets lineup didn’t have a hit until Wilmer Flores led off the fifth with a single to center, totaled just three hits on the night and was shut out for only the third time this season. Still an offensive drought persists: the Mets have scored three runs or less in 13 of their last 17 games. The club has averaged 2.4 runs in its last dozen games – including all three shutouts.
And the Mets continued to give opponents extra outs. The brewers broke the game open with a four-run third inning in which the Mets made two fielding blunders.
Milwaukee was already up 1-0 on back-to-back second-inning doubles by Adam Lind and Aramis Ramirez. Hector Gomez started the third inning by reaching base when shortstop Wilmer Flores threw wide of first base for an error, his ninth of the season. Carlos Gomez doubled him in and then scored the second run of the inning when Gerardo Parra doubled over the head of right fielder Curtis Granderson. Parra’s ball however was misplayed into a double; Granderson’s first step on the ball off the bat was toward the infield and he never was able to catch up to it.
Ryan Braun followed with the first of his two home runs, a two-run blast to left, making it 5-0 with none out in the inning. When Lind grounded out, the Citi Field crowd of 27,554 greeted the event with sarcastic applause.
Colon (6-2) would allow a solo home run in the fifth to Parra before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the frame with the Brewers up 6-0. Over his five innings he allowed seven hits and no walks and struck out two. He had completed six innings in all of his first seven starts, hadn’t given up more than four runs and hadn’t allowed more than one home run.
Kyle Lohse, who came in with a 7.03 ERA, had the Mets completely stymied for eight two-hit innings with eight strikeouts. Michael Blazek gave up the final Mets hit in the ninth as he completed the shutout.
Braun’s second home run, his ninth of the season, came off Carlos Torres in the eighth and made it 7-0.
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