NEW YORK (AP) — Marco Estrada is getting used to the home runs. What had him shaking his head after this defeat was his pitch selection and the walks.
Estrada gave up a grand slam to Taylor Teagarden after walking the bases loaded and a two-run shot to Daniel Murphy in the Milwaukee Brewers’ 6-2 loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
“I don’t understand why I’m walking so many guys right now,” Estrada said. “I’ve got to figure this out now because it’s getting out of hand.”
Estrada (5-3) has given up a major league-worst 20 homers this season, and both long balls Tuesday followed walks.
Estrada walked David Wright and Curtis Granderson with one out in the sixth. After Chris Young struck out, Lucas Duda walked to load the bases. Estrada, whose go-to pitch is a changeup, threw Teagarden three straight fastballs after starting him off with a change. The right-hander had no rationale for that choice.
“Why did I just throw that many fastballs to him? We went over the scouting report. I knew what I had to do and I didn’t do it,” he said. “I think if I throw a good changeup there he might roll over or swing and miss. I don’t know. Like I said, I’ve got to stick with my guns. I’ve got to stick with my best pitch there … and I didn’t do it.”
Called up from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday to replace demoted catcher Travis d’Arnaud, Teagarden hit a drive hit off the top of the wall down the right field line. The ball ricocheted into the seats for his first slam since 2008 with Texas.
Murphy connected after Ruben Tejada walked with two outs in the third, the ball just clearing the right field wall for a 2-0 lead. Murphy, who spent his off day Monday participating in a White House summit on working families, has five homers.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke wasn’t sure how much longer he’s going to be able to run Estrada out there if he doesn’t improve.
“We’ll have to talk about it, but it is concerning because I know when this guy’s right he’s aggressive,” he said. “I know what he can do. He’s a really good major league pitcher and he’s not pitching like that.”
Outhit 6-5, the Mets scored their most runs in 16 home games since a 7-6 loss in 10 innings to Miami on April 26.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0) pitched six effective innings for the win. Matsuzaka was hit high on the outside of his right thing, near his hamstring, by a line drive in the sixth. Making his third start of the year, the right-hander recovered to throw out Carlos Gomez and finished the inning.
Mets manager Terry Collins was planning on sending Matsuzaka out to start the seventh because he had only thrown 100 pitches.
“Pitch-count wise I think I would’ve been able to go into the next inning fine,” Matsuzaka said through a translator. “Right now it’s not too bad, but it should start swelling I think by tomorrow, so we’ll see what happens.”
Before the game, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Collins’ job is secure after the team returned from a 4-7 road trip a season-worst seven games under .500.
Playing in front of a season-low Citi Field crowd of 20,206 that booed Ryan Braun in each of his four plate appearances, the offensively challenged Mets improved to 11 for 64 (.172) with the bases loaded.
“He didn’t know you weren’t supposed to get a hit,” Collins said of Teagarden.
The Brewers pulled to 2-1 in the fourth after Khris Davis was hit by a pitch from Matsuzaka. Running on a full-count pitch to Lyle Overbay, Davis scored from first when Overbay hit a sharp grounder inside first base for a run-scoring double.
Matsuzaka, however, kept the NL Central leaders in check. He allowed three hits and three walks, striking out five.
Gomez, traded by the Mets to Minnesota as part of the deal that brought Johan Santana to New York in February 2008, had an RBI double in the eighth.
NOTES: Brewers RHP Tyler Thornburg (elbow soreness) had an MRI. Roenicke said the team is waiting for a radiologist to examine the results before revealing anything. He did say it’s not an injury that would require Tommy John surgery. … Mets RHP Matt Harvey (Tommy John surgery) was scheduled to throw off a slope but that was pushed back. Alderson said Harvey is doing well. The schedule was changed because the team’s doctors didn’t want Harvey pitching too soon. … The Brewers fell to 28-4 when they outhit their opponent.