It was a matter of pride.
After being shellacked in his previous outing and feeling “beyond embarrassment” for leaving the bullpen weak, Chris Bassit steered the Brewers through eight shutout innings in a 4-0 Mets win at Citi Field on Tuesday night Gave.
Bassett, an All-Star last season with the A, pitched only five batsmen from the minimum, collecting seven strikes and allowing three hits. He was assisted by Brandon Nimmo’s strong defensive plays in center field – including a horizontal dive on a liner to thwart a double – and was in trouble only once, when the Brewers had one in the sixth inning. There were runners on the corners with.
Bassett then inspired his third double game of the night – a career high – and set the Brewers down in the seventh and eighth innings for their best performance of the season. He dismissed his last batsman Jess Peterson on a standing ovation on a total of 109 pitches. Bassett’s ERA fell from 4.35 to 3.89, six days later when he conceded seven runs in three-and-a-half innings after losing to the Padres.
Drew Smith got the shutout with a fine ninth inning.
Offensively, the Mets (41-22) opened with first-innings RBIs from Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and Eduardo Escobar. McNeil’s double luck was required, bouncing off pitcher Adam Houser’s outstretched glove and rolling slowly into the outfield.
Hauser was pulled in the fifth inning after Alonso’s singles score Starling Marte. This gave Alonso his league-leading 59th RBI of the season.
The Brewers (34-29) are struggling for the 11th time in their last 13 matches and have lost.
The Mets have been exceptional this season, especially given the absence of Jacob deGrom and Max Schaezer, but their division lead was shrinking as well.
Why? The Braves entered Tuesday with a 12-game winning streak, while the Phillies, apparently boosted by firing Joe Girardi, held 10 for 11.
Buck Showalter said he expects such a resurgence from those division rivals and rarely looks at the standings.
“I know you can roll your eyes. Since we left (for a 10-game road trip on June 3), I haven’t seen the standings, except for the plane coming back,” Showalter said “Maybe it’s on purpose. But things like this, whether Brave or Phillips or whoever, it’s given to me and us. I mean, you’ll be looking for your level all baseball season. Everyone knew they were great to be there, and our curiosity would be satisfied and it would be over and your strengths would show up and your weaknesses would be visible and you are hoping that too many injuries to it one way or the other. “