Brewers 8, Mets 2

With apologies to the Joey Eischen family, the least successful mop up man in the National League is based in Flushing, NY. From Newsday’s Mark Herrmann.

Jorge Julio’s bad day began almost two weeks ago, when the Mets got off to such a scorching start. They built the best record in the major leagues, they raised expectations and they drew 55,831, the largest Saturday afternoon crowd in Mets history. Just his luck.

That meant there were many more people than usual to see his ongoing early-season struggles, many more voices to boo him. Everyone else on the Mets could write off the 8-2 loss to the Brewers as just one little bad day after a seven-game winning streak. As Cliff Floyd put it, “Every once in a while, you’re going to have a hiccup.”

But in Julio’s case, the fear is that it’s a migraine or a stomach ache that could last. On a sleepy, unremarkable day for the Mets, the reliever was the only one who stood out.

Turning a seemingly harmless situation (5-2 deficit in the eighth) into a nightmare, he allowed three runs, including a long two-run blast by Geoff Jenkins that hit halfway up on the scoreboard. Carlos Lee followed with a drive that Carlos Beltran caught against the centerfield fence.

He drew boos and inspired chants of “Bring Back Benson!” — a reminder that Julio was on the wrong end of an unpopular deal for starter Kris Benson, who is off to a good start for the Orioles.

The concern for Julio is that there could be more of these days. The 19.64 earned run average could grow higher and the catcalls could get louder.

“I don’t listen,” he said, composed and quiet in the clubhouse afterward. “I don’t know what happened on the mound. I don’t have good luck.”

Adds Jason at Faith & Fear In Flushing ;

Does Jorge Julio have options? I’m not ready to run him out of town on a rail or moan that I would have preferred more time in the lukewarm bath that was Kris Benson, not with what the radar gun shows on Julio’s fastball. But he’s obviously all kinds of messed up and he’s equally obviously a sensitive sort. The fans were booing him during Opening Day introductions (which was ridiculous, but too late for that) and Julio doesn’t look like the kind of player who can keep that from getting into his head and doing all sorts of damage.

Nationals 2, Marlins 1

Washington’s John Patterson collected his first win of 2006 and Chad Cordero his first save, but neither would’ve occured without some sparkling fielding late in the game courtesy of the much-maligned Alfonso Soriano and 2B Brendan Harris. The latter gunned down the Marlins’ Wes Helms who represented the tying run in the bottom of the 8th ; Soriano cleanly fielded Helms’ carom off the LF wall and fired a one-hop strike to Harris to prevent the Florida PH from stretching his single into a double. In the bottom of the 9th, Harris (above) made a fine, leaping catch on a Josh Willingham liner, stranding Mike Jacobs and Miguel Cabrerra.