MILWAUKEE – Fourteen last strikes from Milwaukee’s 4-3 walk-off win in 10 innings over the New York Mets on Friday night at Miller Park.
1. It wasn’t pretty at the end, but the win counts the same for the Milwaukee Brewers.
2. Third baseman Travis Shaw drew a walk-off walk in the tenth inning to give the Brewers (32-20) a 4-3 win over the Mets (25-22). Shaw finished the day with three runs batted in, as he blasted a 398-foot home run in the second inning and an RBI-single in the third as well as a double to lead off the ninth. It’s easy to point at him as a big reason as to why the Brewers improved upon their National League leading record.
3. Shaw now has a team-high 13 home runs on the season and has quietly been the most consistent member of Milwaukee’s lineup. In Shaw’s last 16 games he’s batting .305 (18-for-59), has 18 runs batted in and seven home runs. While he wasn’t acquired with the fanfare of Lorenzo Cain or Christian Yelich and doesn’t have the history with the Brewers that Ryan Braun has, he’s been the best offensively this year for the team.
4. “He’s just a presence, a left-handed presence for us in the middle of our lineup that’s in there every day and does a heck of a job,” manager Craig Counsell said of Shaw. “There’s nights that he’s obliviously providing power like he did tonight to get us off to the lead and then in the end he draws a walk to win it.”
5. Obviously, walk-off walks are a bit of an oddity in the game of baseball. It may have been even more odd that the Brewers were only in that situation because of a blown lead by closer Corey Knebel.
6. Knebel entered in the ninth inning with Milwaukee holding a 3-2 lead to start the frame. He recorded two quick outs before walking the next two batters to bring Mets third baseman Jose Bautista to the plate.
7. Bautista, who was just signed by the Mets earlier this week, singled to through the left side of the infield scoring Michael Conforto from second base and tying the game at three. Knebel then issued another walk to Luis Guillorme to load the bases before Counsell opted to pull Knebel in favor of Jeremy Jeffries.
8. Jeffries promptly got shortstop Amed Rosario to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning and bring the Brewers to bat.
9. “[Jeffress] did a nice job, we played some good defense for him in the tenth,” Counsell said after the game. “Domingo [Santana]’s throw was absolutely beautiful, he made a couple nice plays tonight. But JJ did the job again.”
10. It’s always surprising to see the Brewers blow a lead late in a game. Knebel has been limited in action this season due to a hamstring injury that had him on the disabled list for several weeks, but everyone else has been fantastic.
11. Nights like this one are going to happen. No team is perfect, and there will probably be a game similar to this one at some point in the season that the Brewers aren’t fortunate enough to come away with. It happens, and it shouldn’t overshadow just how great this group of relievers has been for the Brewers this season.
12. Junior Guerra obviously doesn’t get credit for the win in this game due to the bullpen’s miscue late, but he was fantastic. The only damage he allowed were a pair of home runs, one to Rosario and one to Conforto.
13. Guerra pitched six innings allowing a pair of runs on five hits while striking out three. He doesn’t have over-powering stuff, but he’s now got a sub-3 ERA (2.98) and has been exactly what Milwaukee has needed from that spot in the rotation.
14. The Brewers and Mets will play the third game of this four-game set on Saturday afternoon at Miller Park. Chase Anderson (4-3, 3.86 ERA) will get the start for the Brewers, while lefty Jason Vargas (1-3, 9.87) is on the hill for the Mets.