Johnny Hellweg had beaned Mets All-Star David Wright, hit another batter and walked four in the first four innings. Still, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke thought taking him out before the fifth inning was an unusual move.
"I’m looking up at the board and he’s got two hits given up and one run, and I’m taking him out after the fourth inning," Roenicke said. "That’s just weird."
Roenicke found much of the Brewers’ 4-2 victory over the New York Mets on Thursday night to be odd, but he’ll take the win in a lost season.
"It was an interesting evening," Roenicke added. "It seemed like we weren’t exactly on but we still did OK."
Wright too was fine, after being hit in the helmet by a changeup from Hellweg.
The All-Star third baseman went down on hands and knees for several moments before a Mets trainer rushed out to check on him. He then walked off without assistance, flipping his batting helmet in one hand.
"I feel pretty good. I passed all the concussion tests," Wright said. "I went through that protocol. It seems like it’s good. … I got to a knee and just wanted to collect my thoughts and make sure I was all right before I got up."
Hellweg, the PCL pitcher of the year for Triple-A Nashville, where he was 12-5 with a 3.15 ERA, said he was shaken by the two-out pitch, and it showed. He hit Lucas Duda in the back of the leg with the next pitch and then walked Mike Baxter on four pitches to load the bases.
"That’s the last guy on the team I want to hit," Hellweg said of Wright. "I feel awful that he had to come out of the game."
After loading the bases, Matt den Dekker struck out for the Mets, who entered with a home record worse than all in the National League except the Cubs (31-50).
Coming off a road trip in which they won five of six, the Mets were 0 for 14 with runners in scoring position in dropping to 32-46 at Citi Field.
Hellweg wanted to stay in with a 4-1 lead but knew he had little argument.
"I didn’t really show him I deserved to go out there," Hellweg said of Roenicke.
Alfredo Figaro (3-3) took over and he balked a runner to second when he dropped the ball to the mound while bringing his arm back during his delivery. He pitched two innings for the win.
Dillon Gee (12-11) has been one of the Mets’ most consistent pitchers since May 30. He entered with a 2.57 ERA in 21 starts since then and, except for an unfortunate third inning, he shut down the short-handed Brewers for six innings.
Milwaukee was playing without Carlos Gomez, who was serving a one-game suspension for inciting a benches-clearing fracas against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night. Gomez admired his first-inning homer too long and shouted at Braves starter Paul Maholm as he rounded the bases. Irate catcher Brian McCann blocked Gomez’s approach to home plate and players rushed out of their dugouts. In the fray, Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez aggravated a knee injury and was also out Thursday.
And Jean Segura missed his eighth straight game because of a strained right hamstring. He entered leading the NL with 44 steals but Mets outfielder Eric Young Jr. tied him by swiping two bases.
Young scored on Daniel Murphy’s groundout in the third.
"It’s going to be fun," Young said of challenging Segura for the title. "Regardless of the results, it’s been fun the whole way, this whole season."
Jim Henderson gave up a homer, affirmed by video review, to pinch-hitter Josh Satin before striking out three for his 27th save.
"Henderson was a little bit off today," Roenicke said.
The Brewers scored four times in the second in front of a sparse crowd that barely made any noise except for the startled "oohs" when Wright was hit.
Gee walked Khris Davis to start the inning. Caleb Gindl singled to left-center and, after an out, Juan Francisco drove in a run with a slow-rolling grounder up the middle. Jeff Bianchi added another RBI with a soft blooper to left. Scooter Gennett capped the inning with a two-run single.
Lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth, Gee gave up four runs and seven hits. He walked two in finishing the season at 199 innings, an encouraging sign after missing much of last season following surgery to remove a blood clot from an artery in his pitching shoulder.
NOTES: Mets minor league OF Cesar Puello’s 50-game suspension that was a result of MLB’s investigation into Biogenesis, the Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs, has been completed. He was reinstated from the restricted list and placed on the roster of Double-A Binghamton. Puello was suspended under the major league guidelines because he is on New York’s 40-man roster. … Brewers OF Norichika Aoki started in center field for first time this season.