Villar gloved the liner, but he could not complete the catch as the ball popped away. He was able to recover and flip to second baseman Scooter Gennett for the force at second. Mets second baseman Kelly Johnson, who was out on the force, started running back toward first base, and Gennett chased after him.
"In my mind, yeah it was confusing," Gennett said after the game. "At first I was there if [Villar] were to catch it, then he dropped it and I was there for the force out. Then I just didn't know what was going on. At that time, I turned around and saw somebody between the bases and tried to get him out. It ended up being the runner that we already got out."
The Brewers ended up tagging Johnson at first base as Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera crossed the plate with the run to go ahead, 2-1.
Before Saturday's game between the two teams, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said that the Crew's best chance to get a double play -- and escape the jam still tied -- would have been to tag the runner going to third base, Wilmer Flores.
The play, however, was not that simple, according to Counsell.
"What was confusing to Scooter, I think, was because there were multiple runners at the base," he said. "There's an ideal thing to do, but [I] understand that this is a complicated play. This is a play where it's really easy to look back and say, 'This is what should have been done.'"
Mets manager Terry Collins was simply happy to be leaving the park on Friday night with a win that kept his team 2 1/2 games behind first-place Washington in the National League East.
"I've seen a lot of Major League Baseball games," Collins said. "That might be one of the wildest I've been involved in. You just take the win and go get ready for tomorrow. You don't try to analyze that one."
Replays of the play do not show it, but Cabrera said that he initially went back to the base thinking Villar would catch the ball, possibly leaving a chance for the out at home.
"As soon as he hit the ball, my first step was back to the base," Cabrera said. "I don't want to get doubled up in that situation. Once I saw he dropped it, I put my head down and ran hard."
Counsell did not think that Villar had a strong play at the plate after dropping the ball.
"I think you could dream of the perfect throw, but understand where Jonny's momentum was taking him," Counsell said. "He was running away from the plate. You're throwing from your heels from 150 feet. It would have been a miracle throw for me, so I don't think that was in play."