During the preseason, when opposing pitchers cringed in their beds at night at the thought of facing a potent Mets lineup this year, names like Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Paul Lo Duca and David Wright were the ones haunting their dreams. But last night, it was two replacement players—backup catcher Ramon Castro (pictured) and backup utility player Marlon Anderson—who carried Willie Randolph’s squad to victory. Anderson and Castro each belted three-run home runs and Anderson collected four RBIs to propel the Mets to an 8-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The New York bullpen—just one day after blowing Tom Glavine’s chance at his 300th win—relieved starter Oliver Perez and pitched three shutout innings to clinch the victory. Perez got off to a shaky start, allowing five runs in the first two innings, but settled down to strike out 11 Brewers in six innings of work and collect his 10th win of the season.
With the triumph, the Mets extended their NL East lead to 3.5 games. Meanwhile, Milwaukee has now lost four out of five games and dropped into a tie with the Chicago Cubs for first place in the NL Central. Since July 1, Milwaukee has gone a putrid 11-17 in an emphatic fall from comfortably atop the division, continuing a Brewer tradition of teasing their fans before ultimately falling flat on their face. It’s no wonder they need so much alcohol in that city.