MILWAUKEE -- It's true. There were raindrops felt last night inside Miller Park, much to the surprise of some irate fans. But no, the freakish event was not the result of Prince Fielder punching holes in the dome's retractable roof.
As if they needed a refresher course, the Mets learned Fielder is a dangerous man, and the second of his two homers negated their late five-run rally and tied the score in the eighth inning. That set up Nyjer Morgan's walk-off double in the ninth off Dale Thayer as the Mets stumbled to the Brewers, 7-6.
In the ninth, Craig Counsell singled with one out and stole second when Rickie Weeks stuck out. Morgan then followed with a line drive just inside the rightfield line and was mobbed by his teammates after reaching second base.
"Right now, there's an empty feeling," Terry Collins said, "because we thought we had that one pretty much wrapped up."
After the Mets batted around for five runs in the eighth inning, the Brewers tied the score at 6 with four of their own in the bottom half. Ryan Braun's two-run double chased Pedro Beato, but calling on Jason Isringhausen to face Fielder didn't work out either. Collins wanted to stay away from Izzy to give him a breather, but got backed into a corner when Beato failed.
After two curveballs got the count to 1-and-1, Isringhausen left a sinker up, and Fielder smacked an opposite-field shot into the Brewers' bullpen in leftfield for his third homer in two games.
"I made a mistake," Isringhausen said. "I had first base open. I shouldn't have given him anything to hit there and that got a lot of the plate. That's what he's doing right now. He's hitting mistakes and hitting them out of the ballpark. It's all on me. That's all there is to it."
As Isringhausen mentioned, the Mets could have just walked Fielder, but Collins didn't want to go that route.
"In this ballpark, it's tough," Collins said. "With the guys they have coming up behind him, to bring the winning run to the plate, that was part of the thought process, for sure."
In the eighth, the Mets fought back from a 2-1 deficit to take a 6-2 lead with a furious rally that began -- how else? -- with Jose Reyes' second hit of the game, a leadoff single, followed by a stolen base. Carlos Beltran's double drove in Reyes for the tying run, and after Angel Pagan's RBI single, Ronny Paulino delivered a long three-run homer that reached the base of Bernie Brewer's slide high above the leftfield wall. Unfortunately, Milwaukee still had six outs left.
"You can't sleep on those guys," Reyes said. "You can't get too comfortable."
Mike Pelfrey made a regrettable mistake in the fourth inning to Fielder, who showed why it's a bad idea to tee up a 92-mph fastball to certain hitters, regardless of the count. After Braun's one-out single, Pelfrey fell behind 3-and-0 to Fielder, and he unloaded on the pitch like he knew what was coming.
"I knew he was going to swing," Pelfrey said. "I thought if I put it in a good spot I could get an out from it. But I didn't put it in a good spot and he crushed it. It's frustrating because it was one pitch. It's unfortunate."
Just like that, Pelfrey's 1-0 lead evaporated, and based on his experience this season, he probably figured that was it. Entering the game, the Mets had scored only 24 runs with Pelfrey on the mound, a total that tied him for the sixth-worst run support in the majors of any pitcher with at least 12 starts.
"What we end up doing sometimes is pitching ourselves into trouble," Collins said. "We haven't had very good success when we've walked people. It's come back to bite us. So I know Pelf is saying, 'Hey, I'm going to go after this guy, make him swing the bat,' and he did."