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Brewers go deep 3 times, fall short in opener

Missed opportunities, mistakes prove too costly
April 13, 2018

NEW YORK -- Facing the hottest team in baseball, the Brewers arrived at Citi Field on Friday hoping to hide some of their early-season warts. Instead, they exposed all of them in a 6-5 loss to the Mets.Zach Davies topped 100 pitches and surrendered Todd Frazier's first two homers as

NEW YORK -- Facing the hottest team in baseball, the Brewers arrived at Citi Field on Friday hoping to hide some of their early-season warts. Instead, they exposed all of them in a 6-5 loss to the Mets.
Zach Davies topped 100 pitches and surrendered Todd Frazier's first two homers as a Met without getting through the fifth inning of another short night for a Brewers starting pitcher. First baseman Jesus Aguilar committed Milwaukee's Major League-leading 17th error. Amid a three-run Mets rally in the fifth, Lorenzo Cain and Domingo Santana made dangerous contact in right-center field after a failure to communicate, potentially adding to the Brewers' injury-bitten outfield.
Along the way, Hernan Perez and Ryan Braun hit two-run home runs and Travis Shaw added a solo shot, but the big inning remained elusive. Amid everything else, the offense was at the front of manager Craig Counsell's mind on Friday afternoon, when he said, "The issue right now for me is we're not scoring enough runs."
The Brewers started the day 11th of 15 National League teams in runs scored.

Friday was better, Counsell said.
"I thought it was a good night swinging the bats. For the first time in a while we were pretty consistent," he said. "We had some guys hit some balls hard. [Aguilar] had a nice night, it was nice to see Brauny with an opposite-field homer. I thought there were some positive signs tonight with the offense."
Not enough positive things to preserve the Brewers' perfect record in one-run games. They were 5-0 to start the season, tied with the Red Sox for the best such mark in baseball, before falling Friday.
Two late chances to manufacture runs loomed large. In the seventh with the Brewers down, 6-4, Cain hit a two-out single and decided to try for third on Santana's base hit to left field. Yoenis Cespedes threw Cain out, ending the inning with Braun on deck.

An inning later, after Shaw's home run made it a one-run game, the Brewers put the tying and go-ahead runners on base with two outs. Jett Bandy bounced out to reliever Robert Gsellman.
Bandy's out was merely a missed opportunity. Cain's was a mistake.
"That was my fault. I thought I could make it," Cain said. "I read it pretty good and thought I could get there, but I should have held at second, especially with Brauny coming up."

"That was a huge play," Callaway said. "That was probably the game-changing play. The way [Cespedes] 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."
And why not? The Mets are 11-1, riding a nine-game winning streak.
The Brewers are 7-7, and fortunate that their record is not worse, Braun said at the conclusion of the last homestand.
"We're a few plays away," Cain said. "If we can just eliminate the mistakes, like myself with the baserunning, we can definitely get there. Tough loss tonight. One-run losses are always tough."
Cain, Santana collide: The Brewers, playing without Christian Yelich (right oblique) and having just welcomed Cain back to the lineup after two games off to rest a minor left quad injury, endured a scare when Cain and Santana converged on Adrian Gonzalez's sacrifice fly and made contact as Santana made the catch. Santana's right quad made contact with Cain's already-sore quad. Both outfielders remained in the game, but Santana was moving particularly slowly in the clubhouse after the game.

"It's so loud out there, we were trying to use hand signals to help each other out," said Cain, who walked twice and stole a base in addition to his single, but admitted he was playing at less than 100 percent from the start. "I think we put our hands up at the same time."
Cain believed he would play Saturday. Santana was not sure.
"To be honest, I don't know until I'll wake up," he said. "Hopefully, I'll be in there [Saturday]. It was loud and I didn't hear him, he didn't hear me. Thank God we didn't get injured."
Frazier goes deep: Frazier's homer struck the facing of the Mets' apple basket in straightaway center field leading off the second inning, but his homer leading off the fourth was more painful for Davies and the Brewers. It came right after Perez hit his second home run in as many games, a two-run shot off Mets starter Steven Matz for a 2-2 tie. The Brewers didn't have a hit before Aguilar doubled and Perez homered in consecutive two-out at-bats in that inning.
"I felt like I did a decent job of limiting the damage early, but two mistakes to Frazier cost me," said Davies, who fell to 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA after allowing five earned runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. "And having to battle in each at-bat, really, and go deep into each at-bat. Those kind of games, you're trying to get some early contact and work as far as you can into the game, and it just didn't happen tonight."

"Once everything clicks on both sides of the ball, I think it can be a fun team and a very tough [team] to play against. … It just takes one moment to click, and then it's all a different story from there." -- Davies
After catching each of Brewers Opening Day starter Chase Anderson's first three outings, Manny Pina will have to test his sore calf in pregame running drills before the team makes a decision about his status for Saturday's 6:10 p.m. CT game against the Mets. Anderson will be bidding for his third quality start against Matt Harvey.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.