NEW YORK -- The Milwaukee Brewers are one game away from completing one of the most bizarre seasons in franchise history. So why should they play out the string in a normal and predictable fashion?
Carlos Gomez's fourth hit, an RBI single in the 10th inning, snapped a tie Saturday night and lifted the Brewers to a 4-2 win over the New York Mets in front of 29,326 at Citi Field.
"Long game, but finally we got the 'W,'" Gomez said.
Gomez delivered the go-ahead hit just moments after he could have been the goat in the bottom of the ninth, when Donovan Hand was trying to notch his first big league save by pitching a second inning because set-up men Rob Wooten and Brandon Kintzler and closer Jim Henderson were unavailable.
But four straight Mets reached base with one out against Hand, who blew the save when Eric Young singled down the third base line to score Matt den Dekker.
With the bases loaded, Gomez was supposed to be the Brewers' fifth infielder, but he trotted back to center field as Hand prepared to face David Wright. Manager Ron Roenicke, who had already used up his allotted trip to the mound, decided not to try to get Gomez's attention.
"I'm talking, I look up and there goes 'Gomey' back out to center," Roenicke said.
With a laugh, he added, "I don't know what happened there. I don't know."
It worked out for Gomez, Roenicke and the Brewers when Wright hit a grounder behind second base, right where Gomez likely would have been. Shortstop Jeff Bianchi, who entered in a double switch in the eighth, fielded the ball, stepped on second and fired to first to beat Wright.
The Brewers wasted little time regaining the lead in the 10th, when the first three batters reached against Scott Atchison. Gomez's single brought home Caleb Gindl, who had drawn a four-pitch leadoff walk. One out later, Yuniesky Betancourt singled home Jonathan Lucroy, who had singled.
"Because all that kinda weird stuff that I'm not used to doing -- it's great to win, but it's like it's not run the way you usually do when (you win)," Roenicke said. "Sometimes you're surprised when you come out winning like that."
Such chaos has been the norm this year for the Brewers. The loss of franchise cornerstone Ryan Braun, who was suspended for the final 65 games due to his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, was just one of the innumerable body blows absorbed by Milwaukee.
Projected first baseman Corey Hart missed the season due to right knee surgery while starters Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Richie Weeks all endured extended stints on the disabled list. Overall, the 16 Brewers who have gone on the disabled list have missed a total of 978 games.
"Kind of been a chaotic year," Hand said.
The Brewers are ending it in winning fashion, though, thanks to players such as Hand who may not have gotten an opportunity had the season not spiraled out of control. Hand got his first big league win in relief of rookie Jimmy Nelson, who made his first career start. Alfredo Figaro notched his first career save with a perfect 10th inning.
"Beginning of the year I never would have dreamed I'd be in this situation," said Hand, who had the lineup card on his chair. "Maybe Jimmy Nelson hadn't, either. So a lot of guys (have been) put in a lot of different roles. I look at it as a positive."
The win was the fourth in a row for the Brewers (74-87) and the sixth in their last seven games. They are 15-11 this month, their first winning month since April.
"Two games left, we're 10 games, 15 games under .500, we still found a way to come back in the 10th when we really just could gave up," Hand said. "So I think that's awesome."
Gomez, who homered in the fourth for the Brewers' first run, finished 4-for-5 with two steals. Betancourt was 2-for-4 with two RBI while Scooter Gennett had a pair of singles.
Nelson had an impressive first big league start for the Brewers. He allowed the one run on just one hit and three walks -- all in the fourth inning -- while striking out four over five innings.
Daniel Murphy was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, a stolen base and a walk for the Mets, who had the bases loaded with none out in the seventh but failed to push across the go-ahead run in a 1-1 game.
"We had the bases loaded and no outs with nothing across," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Those are the things that have haunted us for the last six months."
Mets starter Aaron Harang allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out seven.
The Mets' Young and the Brewers' Jean Segura entered the day tied for the NL lead in stolen bases with 44, but the two combined to go 1-for-9 with no steal attempts. Segura, who missed the previous nine games with a strained right hamstring, left in a double switch in the eighth inning.
NOTES: ESPNNewYork.com reported Saturday afternoon that the Mets and Collins are nearing an agreement on a two-year deal with an option for 2016. Collins is unsigned beyond Sunday. ... The Brewers, meanwhile, announced before the game that Roenicke's entire coaching staff will return next season. ... Wright returned after missing Friday's game with a sore right thumb, which he suffered while falling after he was hit in the head by a pitch Thursday night. ... Brewers LF Khris Davis won't play the rest of the series after suffering a left hamstring strain trying to beat out an infield hit on Friday night.
- Sports & Recreation
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Carlos Gomez
- New York Mets
- Ron Roenicke