A debate can always be had whether or not Major League Baseball is a copycat league, but the New York Mets are taking that concept a little too seriously.
The National League East leaders blew an opportunity to expand their division lead to two games on Wednesday afternoon just hours after the second-place Atlanta Braves lost to the last-place Washington Nationals — falling 6-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field to keep their cushion atop the standings at just one game.
While the Braves had a five-game winning streak snap, the Mets’ six-game streak of their own came to an end.
Two big swings from the Brewers broke the game open in the latter third of the day when Mike Brosseau’s pinch-hit grand slam off Drew Smith in the seventh followed Willy Adames’ ice-breaker of a solo home run off Mets starter Taijuan Walker an inning earlier.
To add insult to injury, New York lost star center fielder Brandon Nimmo in the top of the first inning when he pulled up with left-quad tightness, according to the team, after breaking for a shallow fly ball hit by Christian Yelich.
His replacement, Mark Canha, was treated as rudely as possible upon his call into action as he was hit in each of his first two at-bats by Brewers starter Adrian Houser.
While it was the 23rd and 24th time that Canha was hit this season, it was the 105th time this season that a Mets batter was plunked, tying the major-league record set by the 2021 Cincinnati Reds. The league record was set with one out in the ninth inning when Luis Guillorme was plunked for No. 106 of the season.
More injury concerns cropped up in the third inning when Jeff McNeil took an awkward tumble in left field while avoiding Eduardo Escobar, who came out from third base to catch a shallow pop-up. McNeil looked as though he injured his hip, greatly impacting his mobility, but he stayed in the game after the loss of Nimmo.
Walker, who had allowed just three hits in the first five innings of the afternoon, was taken out by Adames for his 31st home run of the season — a solo shot to lead off the sixth to take a slim lead.
While he got out of the sixth, he wouldn’t be able to record an out in the seventh after a walk and two consecutive singles doubled Milwaukee’s lead and ran him from the game.
David Peterson got the first two outs — a sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third before an intentional walk to Adames — and was subsequently pulled when lefty Rowdy Tellez was pinch-hit for by the righty Brosseau. In came Smith, making his first appearance in two months after coming off the injured list, for the two-out bases-loaded jam.
It couldn’t have gone much worse. After getting ahead of Brosseau, Smith left a hanger that the Brewer slugged over the fence in left to break the game open.