Saturday, April 21, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Giants 4
By Matt Ehalt
Buster Posey's error with two outs in the ninth allowed Scott Hairston to score and the Mets beat the Giants in a walk-off, 5-4. The Mets, who blew a 4-1 lead in the ninth, snapped their three-game losing streak and improved to 8-6.
THE WINNING INNING: Lucas Duda singled and Ruben Tejada walked. Justin Turner hit what appeared to be a double-play ball but normal first baseman Aubrey Huff, playing second, didn't cover and Turner beat out the throw to first, loading the bases. Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a chopper to first and the Giants got the out at home, but Posey threw wide going for the out at first and Tejada scored as the ball went into the outfield.
HORRIFIC NINTH: The Mets were three outs away from ending this one in the top of the ninth but closer Frank Francisco struggled and Nieuwenhuis misplayed a ball in center field as the Giants tied the game.
Francisco surrendered two hits and a walk, pulling the Giants within 4-2, and was then removed from the game. It's the first time manager Terry Collins has pulled Francisco, who has struggled recently, in a save situation.
Tim Byrdak replaced Francisco with men on first and second and one out and struck out Hector Sanchez. Jon Rauch then came in and Brandon Belt hit a soft fly to center, but Nieuwenhuis appeared to overrun the ball and it fell in for a two-run double that tied the game.
PELF ON TRACK: Pelfrey has quietly put together a nice start to his season. While the Giants don't have a great lineup, he held them in check, not surrendering many hard-hit balls during the course of the game. His sinker had plenty of life to it and the bottom kept dropping out on hitters. He ran into trouble in the third, but the Giants only tallied one run that frame.
Pelfrey gave up just one run over eight innings, leaving with his team up three runs. He yielded six hits and struck out three, and is 0-0 with a 2.29 ERA spanning three starts.
TEJADA'S BIG DAY: Tejada drove in three runs as he nearly doubled his RBI total on the year. In the fifth, his fielder's choice scored a runner from third to tie the game at 1-1. In the seventh, with runners on second and third and one out, he hit a chopper down the third-base line that just got by a diving Pablo Sandoval to give the Mets a 3-1 lead. He walked in the ninth and finished 2-for-3.
BAD IN THE CLUTCH: The Mets struggled with runners in scoring position, hitting 2-for-12 on the day. The Mets had some other good chances during the course of the game to tack on some runs but did not do well in situational hitting. Ahead 4-1 in the eighth with two men and no outs, Ike Davis was picked off at first and David Wright was caught stealing.
DUDA PLAYS BIG ROLE: Duda is struggling at the plate but he scored two of the Mets' five runs. He tied the game after leading off the fifth with a walk, and his walk in the seventh helped get the inning rolling. The Mets were able to sacrifice bunt to put runners at second and third, setting the table for Tejada's big double. He led off the ninth with a single before being pulled, reaching base in three of his four at-bats.
IKE GETS A CHEAP ONE: Davis, with just seven hits in 50 at-bats entering the game, picked up an RBI single in the eighth on a slow grounder that pitcher Javier Lopez couldn't field with his hand and then rolled by shortstop Brandon Crawford. He then was picked off first base. He finished 1-for-4 on the day.
UP NEXT: Dillon Gee (1-1, 2.92 ERA) will oppose two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum (0-2, 10.54) in the third game of a four-game set at 1:10 p.m.