NEW YORK -- Throughout the Mets' winning streak, now nine games and counting, Todd Frazier had served as a spokesman and rallyer, a clubhouse mayor of sorts. Frazier had contributed his share of go-ahead RBIs and diving defensive stops, but until Friday, he was at least as well-known for popularizing
NEW YORK -- Throughout the Mets' winning streak, now nine games and counting, Todd Frazier had served as a spokesman and rallyer, a clubhouse mayor of sorts. Frazier had contributed his share of go-ahead RBIs and diving defensive stops, but until Friday, he was at least as well-known for popularizing the Mets' salt and pepper celebration and ordering T-shirts to commemorate it. On the field, Frazier did not have a signature moment to call his own.
That changed when Frazier bashed his first two home runs in the Mets' 6-5 win over the Brewers at Citi Field, running their winning streak to nine and their Major League-best record to 11-1. They are the first New York City team to open a season 11-1 or better since the 1955 Dodgers, the sixth local team to achieve that feat, and the 22nd Major League team to do it since 1903.
"We expect to win," Frazier said. "That's a good feeling. Once you expect to win and you truly believe it, there's no going wrong."
Clanging his first home run off the facing of the apple basket in straightaway center, Frazier doubled what was a 1-0 advantage. Two innings later, after the Brewers tied things on a Hernan Perez two-run homer, Frazier gave the Mets the lead for good with a solo shot to left.
Even after the Mets opened up a four-run lead in the fifth inning, however, Milwaukee did not go quietly. The Brewers drew back within two on Ryan Braun's two-run homer in the sixth inning, then within one on Travis Shaw's solo shot in the eighth. But Robert Gsellman guided the Mets out of an ensuing rally, and Jeurys Familia locked down the ninth for his seventh save in the Mets' first 12 games.
"I realize that we've got a really good baseball team, and it's translating out there," Matz said. "We're getting results. I think everybody expects that of us and this group. So we're really excited about what we're doing, and we're going to keep it going."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Mets used five different pitchers in a five-batter span with the game on the line in the eighth and ninth innings. After Jesus Aguilar singled off Seth Lugo to put the potential tying run on base with one out, AJ Ramos entered and retired the only batter he faced. When the Brewers turned to pinch-hitter Eric Sogard, the Mets countered with lefty specialist Jerry Blevins, who allowed a hit before giving way to Gsellman.
Gsellman induced a ground ball to wriggle out of that jam, then Familia opened the ninth inning on the mound.
Familia became one of five pitchers in modern big league history to earn seven saves in his team's first 12 games. The others were Lee Smith in 1994, Rod Beck in 1997, Mike MacDougal in 2003 and Heath Bell in 2009.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Even considering his RBI single off Brewers starter Zach Davies, Yoenis Cespedes' biggest impact came in left field. In the second inning, he made a leaping grab of Aguilar's fly ball, keeping the leadoff man off base. A more critical contribution came in the seventh, when Lorenzo Cain and Domingo Santana singled in succession with two outs. Cain attempted to go first-to-third on Santana's single, but Cespedes threw 127 feet on the fly to nail Cain at third.
"That was probably the game-changing play," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "The way he made that play, catching it, throwing all in one motion before his right foot hit the ground was unbelievable. It fired us up in the dugout. It was a huge play. It got the fans going. The fans were going nuts."
"That was my fault," Cain said. "I thought I could make it."
By the eighth inning, Cespedes had earned a reputation. With one out, Aguilar singled and made a wide turn at first. But he stopped in his tracks as Cespedes unleashed another strong throw, scowling toward the infield as Aguilar retreated back to first base with a look of surprise on his face.
HE SAID IT
"They help you. Our fans help us win. In big situations … the fans are our 10th man. And they were electric tonight." -- Callaway, on the 34,921 at Citi Field
Matt Harvey has had one good start and one "not very good" one, in his words, going five innings and taking a no-decision each time. He'll seek more length and consistency when he starts opposite Brewers ace Chase Anderson in a 7:10 p.m. ET game Saturday at Citi Field.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.