Milwaukee — Mets Manager Terry Collins appeared perfectly fine about two and a half hours before Sunday’s game at Miller Park. Speaking to reporters in his office, Collins reviewed the limited options off his bench: Second baseman Neil Walker (stiff back) and outfielder Michael Conforto (sore wrist) weren’t starting, and Collins hoped to give shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera his first complete day off this season.
“Managing in the minor leagues, you’re used to it because it happens all the time,” he said. “In ‘84 I had to activate myself to give us enough players to play. If you’ve done it as long as I’ve been doing it, it’s just part of the game.”
But less than an hour before first pitch, Collins, 67, felt ill and was taken to a nearby hospital for tests, the Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said. The bench coach Dick Scott, who last managed with Class A South Bend in 1997, took over for Collins. Ricco said Collins, the oldest manager in the majors, was “alert and fine” when they spoke before he left for the hospital.
“We’re just being cautious here,” Ricco said.
The game proved exceedingly messy, featuring five errors — three by the Mets — and several head-scratching plays as Milwaukee prevailed, 5-3. Losing the last two days to a club the Mets had beaten five consecutive times brought an unsatisfying end to a 5-5 trip.
Brewers starter Kyle Davies limited the Mets to one hit through six scoreless innings before departing with two on and none out in the seventh. Steven Matz of the Mets allowed five runs, four of them earned, on nine hits in six innings. The Mets trailed by 5-0 when Matz left, then chipped back with one run in the seventh and two in the eighth.
Ricco said the Mets’ trainer, Ray Ramirez, and a Brewers team doctor examined Collins in the Mets clubhouse. The Mets provided no further update during the game.
Neither club took batting practice on the field, and major league teams abandoned regular pregame infield practice years ago. Whether that contributed to the ragged early play — four errors, all on throws, in the first five innings, plus another questionable fielding play generously scored a hit — was up to the beholder.
That Brewers shortstop Jonathan Villar muffed a grounder by pinch-hitter Juan Lagares leading off the eighth, kicked the ball toward right field, yet still wasn’t charged with an error (Lagares received a double) perhaps says something about the accounting.
On a cool, sunny afternoon with the retractable roof open, the mistakes commenced almost immediately.
Milwaukee’s Aaron Hill bounced a throw in the first inning that first baseman Chris Carter couldn’t handle, helping the Mets load the bases, though they did not score. A Ryan Braun chopper in the first inning that glanced off third baseman Wilber Flores’s glove and dribbled into left was scored a double, though left fielder Alejandro De Aza picked up an error for throwing past second.
Matz’s wild throw on a Davies squeeze bunt allowed the last of three Milwaukee runs in the second inning to score. In the fifth, with Davies on first, Flores charged Villar’s bunt and threw it away, leading to two more runs.
After the Villar misplay in the eighth, Curtis Granderson, his bat coming alive the last few days, singled sharply to right to drive in Lagares. Then a long double by Yoenis Cespedes cut Milwaukee’s lead to two runs. With runners at the corners, left fielder Braun snagged a Flores line drive for the third out.
Cabrera could not get his full day off. He walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and remained in the game defensively.
A one-out infield single by Kevin Plawecki in the ninth brought up the pinch-hitter Conforto and Granderson as tying runs at the plate, but Brewers closer Jeremy Jeffress retired both.
Before he left, TERRY COLLINS said TRAVIS d’ARNAUD, on a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie, is about “seven or eight days away” from rejoining the Mets. D’Arnaud caught Saturday for the first time. “One of the things you would like to see when he’s been out as long as he is are back-to-back games,” Collins said. JOHN RICCO, the ranking Mets executive on the trip, concurred, adding the Mets might move him up to Class AA Binghamton or Class AAA Las Vegas later in the week. The Mets added a bullpen arm Sunday, calling up ERIK GOEDDEL and optioning LOGAN VERRETT, Saturday’s starter, to Las Vegas.
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a Mets outfielder. He is Yoenis Cespedes, not Cepedes.