Christian Yelich had three hits and two RBIs, leading the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-2 win over the New York Mets on Wednesday night, hours after Mets owner Steve Cohen held a press conference in which he preached patience but said his struggling team is running out of time to get back into the playoff race.
The $355 million Mets are 36-44 and have lost 17 of 23. They were 8 1/2 games out of the last NL wild-card spot entering Wednesday. New York hasn’t won a series since sweeping Philadelphia from May 30 through June 1.
“All is not lost yet,” Cohen said. “But it’s getting late.”
A night after a 7-2 win that Cohen called “…a crisp game, probably one of the best games we’ve played all year,” the Mets went 0 for 11 with runners on base and stranded seven.
“We’ve had trouble putting all phases of the game together,” said manager Buck Showalter, whose job was deemed safe for the rest of the season by Cohen.
Showalter was ejected after Yelich’s two-run single with two outs in the eighth inning, which came after Joey Wiemer was awarded first base when he was hit on the hand while swinging at Adam Ottavino’s 0-1 pitch.
The ejection was the second in four days and the third of the season for Showalter, who said he was told during an argument with first base umpire Ron Kulpa that Wiemer didn’t swing.
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“Surprised two guys missed it,” Showalter said. “Usually things like that you can overcome, but that wasn’t the only thing. We could have done some things to overcome that.”
Jesse Winker had a two-run double in the first, and Blake Perkins delivered a go-ahead single in the sixth off Grant Hartwig (0-1).
Tommy Pham homered for the Mets and went 3 for 3 with a walk. Francisco Álvarez drew a walk with the bases loaded that tied it 2-all in the fourth, but then Brett Baty struck out and Mark Canha grounded sharply into an inning-ending double play.
“Good teams overcome stuff — we’re not overcoming stuff,” Ottavino said. “I had a chance to get Yelich out there, groundball finds the hole. Could have overcame it, didn’t overcome it.”
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Five relievers for the Brewers combined to blank the Mets over the final five innings. Bryse Wilson (3-0), the first pitcher out of the bullpen, allowed two hits over 1 2/3 innings. Devin Williams earned his 15th save by striking out two in a perfect ninth.
“Big hits and a great effort by the bullpen,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.
Brewers starter Wade Miley gave up two runs in four innings. Mets starter Kodai Senga allowed two runs and struck out eight in five innings.
Senga was charged with an unusual ball during a fifth-inning at-bat against Winker. Plate umpire Carlos Torres called time but got back into a crouch as Senga began his delivery. Winker ducked out of the batter’s box and took several steps towards the Mets’ dugout as Senga, ahead in the count 0-2, bounced a pitch that landed well short and wide of the plate. Winker worked the count to 3-2 before grounding out.
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Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez struck out in the seventh when he was assessed a pitch-clock violation with two strikes.
GAMES GAMES GAMES
The Mets added a table shuffleboard to their locker room this week. The team also has a ping pong table and a pool table.
Brewers: Wiemer finished the game in center field. X-rays afterward revealed no damage to his left hand. … LHP Justin Wilson (Tommy John surgery) gave up one run in one inning in his first rehab appearance Tuesday for the rookie-level Arizona Complex League Brewers. … RHP Brandon Woodruff (shoulder) threw 25 pitches Tuesday in a bullpen session — his second since he was injured April 7.
Mets: LHP José Quintana (rib surgery) is scheduled to start for Triple-A Syracuse on Friday. It will be the fourth rehab start for Quintana, on pace to join the Mets just before or just after the All-Star break.
The teams close out the four-game series Thursday night, when Mets RHP Max Scherzer (7-2, 3.95 ERA) opposes Adrian Houser (2-2, 4.02). Scherzer has allowed three runs over 14 innings in winning his last two starts. Houser will be making his first start since June 9.