Saturday, July 9, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Giants 2
By Adam Rubin
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: Scott Hairston’s tiebreaking pinch-hit homer in the ninth off Giants closer Brian Wilson spurred the Mets to a 5-2 victory over the NL West-leading Giants. It was the second pinch-hit homer of the season for Hairston and fifth of his career. (The other pinch-hit long ball as a Met was not quite as dramatic -- in the ninth inning off Daniel McCutchen at Pittsburgh on June 12 for the sixth run in a 7-0 win.)
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Hairston has as many go-ahead homers in the ninth inning or later since 2007 as Albert Pujols (six).
Carlos Beltran added an RBI single off Jeremy Affeldt on a run also charged to Wilson.
The Mets returned to a season-high three games over .500 and improved to 4-1 on this West Coast trip.
DEEP THOUGHTS: Angel Pagan produced his third homer of the season, a deep two-run shot to right-center in the fifth off Ryan Vogelsong, to stake the Mets to a 2-1 lead. Nate Schierholtz answered an inning later with a deeper blast. Schierholtz launched an offering from R.A. Dickey beyond the stands and into McCovey Cove. It was the second “Splash Landing” by a Giant this season and 57th all time. Pablo Sandoval also performed the aquatic feat this season, on July 4 off San Diego’s Ernesto Frieri.
San Francisco had manufactured the game’s opening run. Sandoval opened the bottom of the fourth with a double, which Jason Bay appeared to have difficulty reading as he retreated toward the left-field wall. Sandoval scored after a groundout and sacrifice fly.
MATTER OF TIME: Nick Evans snapped an 0-for-23 rut at the major league level dating to last September with an RBI single in the ninth inning off Ramon Ramirez that gave the Mets a three-run cushion.
MOMENTS PASSED: Josh Thole had two passed balls catching Dickey, giving the young catcher a major league-high 12 this season. Thole, who has been losing playing time to Ronny Paulino, also grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in a scoreless game in the fourth inning.
Also on the fielding shortcoming ledger: Daniel Murphy committed an error at third base for the second straight day. This time, Murphy threw the ball off line after fielding Aaron Rowand’s grounde. First baseman Lucas Duda hesitated reaching into the runner to try to make a catch and prevent Murphy’s error.
Murphy, the cleanup hitter, earlier had sacrifice bunted Beltran to third base after the No. 3 hitter Beltran had led off the inning with a double. Beltran ultimately was stranded on Thole’s double-play ball.
K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez notched his 23rd save and 34th game finished. He is on pace for 62 games finished. That’s seven more than the threshold for his contract to kick in at $17.5 million for 2012.
WHAT’S NEXT: Left-hander Chris Capuano (8-7, 4.19 ERA) opposes Tim Lincecum (6-7, 3.14) on Saturday at 9:05 p.m. ET.