Wright pulled by Collins after Braun hit by pitch
NEW YORK—David Wright was ready to take one for the team. Terry Collins was not going to let that happen.
So the Mets manager pulled his star third baseman.
“In this game there are unwritten rules and one of the unwritten rules is you hit my guy, I’m hitting your guy. They’re not hitting my guy tonight,” Collins said following the Mets’ 8-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. “He said, ‘If somebody should be hit, I want it to be me.’ I said it’s not going to be you.”
Wright was set to lead off the bottom of the seventh. One problem: Reliever D.J. Carrasco had just hit NL MVP Ryan Braun a pitch after Rickie Weeks homered.
Carrasco was immediately ejected by plate umpire Gary Darling.
“I didn’t like it. I don’t understand it,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.
Collins knew what might happen next and he pinch hit for Wright. The star slugger had two of the Mets’ five hits off Zack Greinke (4-1), a double and a broken-bat single in the fourth inning—a shard of wood whirling past the pitcher.
Wright and Collins had a heated discussion in the dugout over whether he would bat. Wright didn’t intend to become so animated, where others could see.
“I probably should have picked a better spot for it, but in the heat of the moment I got my stuff on and Terry kind of got me at a moment where I was upset with the situation and got me at a moment that I was pretty hot,” Wright said. “It wasn’t directed at Terry at all.”
Braun, who had a pink welt on his left triceps, understood both sides of the argument.
“I respect the fact that he wanted to stay in the game,” Braun said. “I don’t fault them for making that decision at all.”
Greinke ran his scoreless streak to 15 innings and Travis Ishikawa homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs for Milwaukee.
Greinke pitched seven dominant innings. He worked eight innings in his start last Wednesday but Milwaukee’s bullpen was beaten by the Reds.
Tim Dillard pitched the eighth and John Axford gave up a hit in the ninth while finishing the six-hitter.
Ishikawa led off the fifth with his third homer of the year and connected for a three-run shot in the sixth, both drives coming on the first pitch of the at-bat against Dillon Gee (2-3). He also had a run-scoring groundout in the second inning as fog started rolling in, a misty haze that hung over the outfield for the remainder of the game.
“He’s been throwing a lot of strikes,” said Ishikawa, who has been platooning at first base since Mat Gamel tore a ligament in his right knee in early May. “I didn’t want to get deep into the count.”
The Mets had a chance to move six games over .500 for the first time since July 18, 2010, but managed little against Greinke.
The Mets did not make an out to the outfield against the right-hander. Only Wright and pinch-hitter Mike Baxter, who doubled to left in the sixth, reached second.
Greinke came in 30-46 away from home—he is 80-74 overall. His only poor start this season came at the Chicago Cubs, when he gave up eight runs.
“I’m just trying to keep the same mindset,” Greinke said about pitching on the road as compared to home. “I’m trying to make that better. You’re just a little more comfortable at home.”
The Brewers gave Greinke an early lead on Ishikawa’s groundout and Cesar Izturis’ RBI single. Ishikawa homered off the “Wise Snacks” sign above the New York bullpen in right-center on the first pitch of the fifth inning.
Braun and Aramis Ramirez singled off Gee to start the sixth. Jonathan Lucroy had a one-out RBI single before Ishikawa connected again for the first multihomer game of his career. Ishikawa added a third hit in the eighth, an infield single.
Weeks returned to the Brewers’ starting lineup after being limited to one pinch-hit at-bat in three games because of a bruised hand. He struck out twice and grounded to shortstop before getting his first hit since May 6.
Gee was very upset after giving up 10 hits and four runs in 5 2-3 innings in his previous start. this one was worse. He matched a season high by allowing seven runs and yielded eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. Gee has not won in three starts.
“Mistakes that he makes are in the middle of the plate,” Collins said.
NOTES: Brewers OF Carlos Gomez (strained left hamstring) is set to begin a rehab assignment with Class-A Wisconsin on Wednesday. Roenicke said he should be back Sunday. … Major League Baseball will officially name the Mets host of the 2013 All-Star game at Citi Field with a ceremony at City Hall on Wednesday morning. … Mets 2B Daniel Murphy singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games.
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