Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Mets 8, Giants 7 (10)
By Adam Rubin
WHAT IT MEANS: Scott Hairston may remain a Met beyond the 4 p.m. ET trade deadline. That’s undoubtedly fine with his teammates.
Hairston tied the score with a two-run homer in the eighth against Sergio Romo. Then, a half-inning after the Mets blew a two-run lead in the ninth, Hairston went deep again. His tiebreaking solo homer against Santiago Casilla in what became a two-run 10th lifted the Mets to an 8-7 win against the Giants on Monday night at AT&T Park.
It was Hairston’s sixth career two-homer game, and his second as a Met. He also homered twice last July 31 in a 3-2 loss at Washington.
A day after Terry Collins suggested teams in playoff contention undoubtedly ought to covet Hairston and Justin Turner, it was precisely that duo who rallied the Mets.
After Hairston’s two-run homer against Romo evened the score at 4, the lightly used Turner followed with his first hit in 11 days -- a pinch-hit RBI double -- as the Mets scored four runs in the eighth to take a 6-4 lead.
The Mets ultimately won for only the third time in 45 games when trailing after seven innings.
HELP WANTED: Won’t you save them Frank Francisco?
Asked to protect a two-run lead after a late rally by his teammates, Bobby Parnell again failed to close the door in the ninth.
Parnell surrendered a run and was pulled by Collins with the tying run at third base. Rookie Josh Edgin then entered the high-pressure situation with one out and coaxed Nate Schierholtz into a grounder to first.
However, Ike Davis couldn’t handle it and the tying run scored. (It was very generously ruled a double, although Davis appeared poised to field it, freeze the runner at third and get an out at first.)
Edgin escaped a loss. Ultimately confronted with the bases loaded, two outs and a full count, he got a called third strike on Marco Scutaro on a backdoor cutter to force extra innings.
It officially was the first blown save of Edgin’s career, although that’s not exactly fair. It actually was a testament to the manager's faith in Edgin that the rookie remained in for the duration of the ninth, since Manny Acosta had warmed in the bullpen.
Acosta did protect a two-run lead in the 10th, despite issuing two walks and surrendering a run. He notched his ninth career major league save and first since last Sept. 24, with the Mets against the Phillies. Edgin notched his first major league win.
Francisco, by the way, is due to pitch for Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday and Wednesday before the Mets consider activating him from the DL.
E-4: Filling in for Daniel Murphy at second base, Ronny Cedeņo delivered a two-run double in the fourth inning that staked the Mets to a 2-1 lead. Two innings later, however, Cedeņo muffed a would-be inning-ending double-play grounder, allowing the tiebreaking run to score.
Ryan Theriot followed with a seeing-eye RBI single that chased Jeremy Hefner as the Giants took a 4-2 lead in the sixth.
There’s little doubt Hefner will continue in the rotation until Johan Santana returns from the disabled list. Had Cedeņo successfully initiated the double play, rather than muffing Aubrey Huff’s grounder and having to settle for only the out at second, Hefner would have completed the sixth inning with the score tied at 2.
The worst part: Huff injured himself and had to deliberately limp up the first-base line on his grounder to Cedeņo, so any sort of clean play would have resulted in a double play. Matt Cain had to pinch-run for Huff.
OUCH: Andres Torres appeared to jam his right hand/wrist falling to the ground after getting tangled with Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner on an infield single in the fifth inning, during a bang-bang play at first base. Trainer Ray Ramirez visited Torres, and the ex-Giant remained in the game at that point. He departed later amid the defensive maneuverings, so it was unclear if the injury was an issue.
Angel Pagan, for whom Torres was traded, also departed midgame without immediate explanation.
BAY WATCH: Jason Bay snapped an 0-for-23 drought with a two-out single off the right-field wall in the sixth. Bay ended his hitless streak one shy of matching his career high, produced last season with the Mets.
WELCOME BACK: Mike Baxter singled against Casilla as a pinch hitter in the 10th, in his first major league at-bat since separating his right shoulder on the June 1 catch that preserved Santana’s no-hit bid.
NOT AGAIN: The same umpiring crew that gave the Mets fits in Atlanta again had Collins on the field disputing a call.
In the fourth, David Wright singled. Hairston then sent a grounder to third base. Theriot, covering second, dropped Scutaro’s throw, but ump Dale Scott ruled he held the ball long enough and lost the ball on the transfer -- a debatable call.
That’s the inning Cedeņo followed with the two-run double, so arguably it could have been a bigger inning.
It was Scott who gave Jordany Valdespin credit for a catch in left field, which was then overruled by his crewmates, during a game at Turner Field that opened the second half. A day later in Atlanta, Dan Warthen erupted at plate umpire C.B. Bucknor over the strike zone afforded Santana. Bucknor again was behind the plate Monday night.
WHAT’S NEXT: Matt Harvey, coming off a major league debut in Phoenix in which he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings, opposes Tim Lincecum (4-11, 5.88 ERA) Tuesday at 10:15 p.m. ET.