The hottest team in baseball could look up at the scoreboard with two outs in the fifth inning Saturday night at Citi Field and see a “0” under the “hits” column.
Chase Anderson wasn’t throwing overpowering heat for the Brewers, but he was cooling off the Mets.
Amed Rosario broke up the no-hitter at that point with a single that was smothered behind second. But Anderson remained in control, playing a large role in the demise of The Streak.
After nine straight wins, the Mets lost, 5-1, and fell to 11-2.
They finished with a season-low three hits and equaled their season low for runs. They managed just the run and two hits off Anderson, who went 6 1⁄3 innings.
“He was executing pitches,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “When you’re talking about velo, it doesn’t matter as much if you’re locating, keeping guys off balance. He did a really good job of mixing his pitches . . . He did a great job, great outing by him.”
In their first 12 games, the Mets scored at least four runs nine times, including at least six runs on six occasions.
“I think that our lineup is great,” Jay Bruce said. “I think we have a deep, professional lineup that takes quality at-bats. There’s not really an easy out, I don’t think. I definitely think we’re going to continue to show that throughout the season.”
Anderson may not be a household name outside of Milwaukee, or maybe even inside of Milwaukee, but he has been pitching rather well since the second half of 2016.
The 30-year-old righthander arrived with a 17-6 record and a 2.74 ERA to show for his previous 40 starts dating to July 25, 2016. After Saturday night’s solid outing, his 2018 record rose to 1-1 and his ERA fell to 2.82 through four starts.
Todd Frazier worked out a two-out walk in the fifth before Rosario singled. So much for the no-hitter.
“I would say I thought about it, but it wasn’t like I was staring at the scoreboard,” Anderson said. “I knew I was on a roll, had a good rhythm.”
Anderson got Jose Lobaton swinging on a 92-mph fastball to get out of the inning.
“I really did think that once Rosie got that hit, we were going to be able to break through,” Adrian Gonzalez said. “But he kept the ball down, kept making pitches.”
Anderson did crack briefly in the sixth. With one out, he drilled Michael Conforto in the left forearm. Asdrubal Cabrera, who lost an 11-game hitting streak, moved Conforto up with a groundout and Yoenis Cespedes moved Conforto the rest of the way with a bloop single to right. But Anderson struck out Bruce.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell pulled Anderson after 87 pitches. He had walked two, hit one and fanned five.
There would be no comeback by the Mets on this night. Jeremy Jeffress and Josh Hader finished up.
“Until the last out’s made, we definitely don’t think we’re out of it,” Bruce said. “I think that’s the sign of a good team.”