|Scott Hairston had his second pinch hit-homer of the season and the fifth of his career. (NYTimes.com)|
Hairston hammered a pitch from Brian Wilson deep into the San Fransisco night, and Nick Evans' first hit and RBI of the year capped a 3-run 9th, giving the Mets a dramatic 5-2 series opening win over the Giants.
The Good Stuff:
- New York got the ball rolling in the 5th inning. Down 1-0, Angel Pagan came up with one down and a runner on second. With legendary announcers Al Michaels and Bob Costas in the booth, Pagan knocked a Ryan Vogelsong slider over the tall wall in right, giving the Amazin's the lead.
- San Fransisco tied the game in the 6th, and with the deadlock standing going into the 9th, the Giants went with their eccentric closer to try and hold the Met offense down. But Scott Hairston was coming up to the plate, and he had other plans.
- Before signing with New York in the off-season, Hairston had spent the better part of four seasons with the San Diego Padres. Playing in the NL West, he got to see Beardy McGee pitch more than a fair share of times. Hairston knew what he was doing up there.
- On a full count, Wilson delivered Hairston a slider, which Scotty proceeded to deliver to the fans in left field. The beard was broken, and the Mets had the lead.
- New York would add two more runs for insurance: Carlos Beltran singled in Angel Pagan, and three batters later, Nick Evans, who was 0-15 this year in various stints with the big ball club, made it the world's prettiest 1-16 with a single that scored Beltran, making it a 5-2 ballgame for Fransisco Rodriguez.
- K-Rod would not disappoint, retiring the final Giants 1-2-3 to end the contest and give the Mets a big win.
- R.A. Dickey got a no-decision but kept New York in the game throughout, surrendering just 2 runs on 7 hits over 7 innings, walking none and fanning 4. The win on this night will go to Pedro Beato, who tossed one pitch and got Aaron Rowland to ground into the 6-4-3 double play to end the 8th.
- Best offensive lines on the day:
- Angel Pagan (1-5, 2-run HR, 2 runs)
- Carlos Beltran (3-5, 2B, run, RBI)
- Daniel Murphy (3-4)
- Jason Bay struggled at the plate, going 0-3. Justin Turner didn't do any better with an 0-5 outing, including a botched bunt in the 9th trying to bunt Pagan over to third (he would later steal).
Yesterday New York couldn't get it going against their first All-Star test. Tonight, they did just enough to give themselves a chance against their second test, then got the best of a world-class bullpen to pick up a huge win. This was an incredibly satisfying victory.
The win also guarantees that the Mets will go into the All-Star Break with a winning ball club (46-43, 2 games left). Throw in everything that's happened up to this point (awful start, injuries, front-office turmoil), and this is an accomplishment worth recognizing. Obviously, there are teams doing better than us. But the New York Mets have to be one of the feel-good stories halfway through the 2011 season. They've certainly been fun to watch.
P.S. No one who joins the Mets doesn't suffer misfortune...this time it's new minority owner David Einhorn, who sold his recently-acquired Yahoo! stakes for a loss. Ouch.