MILWAUKEE — The baseball disappeared into the upper deck, leaving the crowd at Miller Park stunned. On the mound, Mets righty Logan Verrett could only look away.
Wily Peralta had never homered in a big-league game. But the Brewers right hander completed his slow trot around the bases Saturday, then raised his forearm. He waited for teammate Martin Maldonado to complete the celebration like a couple of old Bash Brothers.
The Mets didn’t need a day like this, not from starting pitcher Verrett, not with a bullpen so taxed that starter Jacob deGrom was informed that he might appear in relief. But in a 7-4 loss to the Brewers, Verrett lasted only four innings, the consequence of leaving too many pitches over the plate.
“I probably got a little bit ahead of myself thinking all right, I’ve got to get us deep into the ballgame,” Verrett said.
The Brewers homered five times. Two came off the bat of Ryan Braun, who hadn’t homered since May 26. Chris Carter and Scooter Gennett added solo blasts and Peralta delivered a two-run shot.
Verrett allowed three of the homers, including one to his counterpart, which he called “a no-doubter.”
“Whenever I fell behind a little bit, if you go back and look at the video of all three of those home runs, they’re right down the middle,” said Verrett, whose ERA as a starter jumped to 5.79. “It’s hard for them not to barrel it up.”
A Brewers pitcher hadn’t homered in three years before Peralta deposited Verrett’s 89-mph fastball well over the right-centerfield fence. Peralta was a lifetime .078 hitter entering play. But according to Statcast, his blast traveled 429 feet.
The homer came after a less egregious but damaging crime: a two-out walk to backup catcher Maldonado, who lugged a .108 average into the game.
Mets manager Terry Collins essentially began the game down three bullpen arms. Verrett was starting. Closer Jeurys Familia has carried a heavy recent workload. Righty Jim Henderson has a fingernail issue that makes it difficult to grip a baseball.
Verrett’s afternoon lasted only 87 pitches. “He’s too much of a strike-thrower to throw that many pitches,” Collins said.
Not that the Mets’ loss could be pinned entirely on Verrett. Peralta entered the game with a 6.79 ERA — the worst by nearly half a run of 104 qualified big-league pitchers. But the Mets failed to make good on chances to inflict damage.
Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the second that gave the Mets a 2-0 lead.
Curtis Granderson also went deep, part of a big day in which he fell a double short of the cycle. But the homers couldn’t mask all the Mets’ shortcomings.
Granderson singled to lead off the game, then stole second, only to get stranded. In the third, Granderson missed a homer by an inch, settling for a leadoff triple. But he didn’t advance, the rally dying when Neil Walker hit into a double play.
An inning later, Walker left the game with lower-back soreness. “It’s frustrating because you’re trying to help the team win, trying to help the team in any way,” said Walker, who will not play in Sunday’s series finale.
Perhaps the only silver lining was that the Mets needed only two more pitchers after Verrett’s departure. For now, they should be able to get by without making a roster move.
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