Mike Piazza's bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th inning plated the winning run Tuesday, completing the Mets' 9-8 comeback win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Mets' longest game of the season – four hours and 28 minutes – contained 17 runs scored and 35 hits between the two teams, but also featured the club's first comeback from a four-run deficit this season.
They had to, after Victor Zambrano allowed six runs – including four home runs – and recorded only four outs, leaving a 6-2 deficit after an inherited runner scored under the watch of reliever Aaron Heilman.
But the Mets' bullpen did a solid job of cleaning up the mess, with Heilman tossing 2-2/3 scoreless innings and Juan Padilla firing a 1-2-3 fifth inning. That gave the Mets time to rally back and tie the game, which they did in a three-run seventh inning, highlighted by David Wright's 16th homer of the year and run-scoring hits by Ramon Castro and Marlon Anderson.
Geoff Jenkins and Mike Cameron traded solo home runs in the top and bottom halfs of the ninth inning, victimizing Roberto Hernandez and Derrick Turnbow, respectively, and it was on to extra frames.
In the 11th, Wright started the inning with a single off Julio Santana, and Cameron followed with a knuckling line drive hit at Brewers shortstop Bill Hall, who'd earlier robbed Cliff Floyd with a sliding catch in short centerfield.
Hall didn't get this one, as it tipped off his glove and trickled into the outfield – Cameron's fourth hit of the night – setting up runners at the corners with no outs.
Santana intentionally walked Doug Mientkiewicz and Castro flew out for the first out of the inning, but the pinch-hitter Piazza then watched four straight balls as an idle bystander, needing only to trot to first base to make the win official.
Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a 2-for-6 evening.
Trachs back: RHP Steve Trachsel was at Shea Stadium on Tuesday, preparing to throw a bullpen session this week in preparation for his start Saturday at Binghamton.
Trachsel has made good progress in his previous three rehab starts – two at St. Lucie (A) – and appears on track for a mid-August return to the 25-man roster. GM Omar Minaya said he envisions Trachsel re-joining the rotation around Aug. 16 or 17, but manager Willie Randolph said nothing has been decided yet as far as the starting five go.
When Trachsel finally does return to the staff, his recovery from March surgery to repair a disc in his lower back complete, it will be the first year Trachsel has made fewer than 28 starts as a Met since coming aboard in 2001.
"I wouldn’t say it’s a lost season," Trachsel said. "One good thing is that it’s the longest rest my shoulder's had in 15 years. Trying to find the positive in it, I should be in great shape."
Matsui plays: After being rained out over the weekend, 2B Kaz Matsui's recovery got back up to speed Tuesday with a 2-for-4 showing for the Gulf Coast (Rookie) Mets against the GCL Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.
Matsui is expected to re-join the Mets next week, but Randolph said his starting job has been lost in the shuffle.
Minor League Report
TRIPLE-A NORFOLK: Norfolk scored at least one run in each of the first five innings Tuesday, but it still wasn't enough as the Tides fell at Durham, 13-8. Mike DiFelice and Chase Lambin each homered for Norfolk, while Anderson Hernandez went 3-for-3 with a run scored and RBI in the losing effort. The loss went to Jason Scobie (13-5), who allowed 11 runs (seven earned) in 5-2/3 innings.
DOUBLE-A BINGHAMTON: Corey Ragsdale, Brett Harper and Mike Jacobs each homered as the Binghamton Mets rolled to a 10-2 win at Harrisburg Tuesday night. Yusmeiro Petit (6-3) was his usual solid self for the B-Mets, allowing two runs on five hits over eight innings, striking out seven and walking none. Harper had four hits in five trips, driving in four runs, and Aarom Baldiris added three hits, two runs scored and an RBI.
SINGLE-A ST. LUCIE: Grant Psomas' ninth-inning solo homer was the difference as St. Lucie edged Dunedin Tuesday, 4-3. Wilson Batista also homered and Jamar Hill had three hits for the Mets, who got 5-2/3 shutout innings from starter Gaby Hernandez.
SINGLE-A HAGERSTOWN: Lake County touched Rafael Cova for four runs in the seventh inning Tuesday as the Hagerstown Suns fell, 7-4. Ambiorix Concepcion went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the loss, while four other Suns players – Armand Gaerlan, Mike Carp, Ryan Coultas and Russ Triplett – had multi-hit games.
SINGLE-A BROOKLYN: Jeff Landing (2-5) once again failed to get sufficient run support, losing his fifth game for Brooklyn as Lowell edged the Cyclones, 2-1. Landing allowed two runs (none earned) and six hits over five innings, striking out four in the losing effort. The Cyclones scored in the seventh on Jonel Pacheco's RBI single.
GULF COAST LEAGUE: The GCL Mets split a pair of seven-inning doubleheaders with the GCL Marlins, losing 4-1 and winning 5-4. Kaz Matsui played in the second game, going 2-for-4 in a game started by Matt Durkin, who threw three shutout innings of two-hit ball, striking out four.