Last night the Mets won a crazy game in which they fell behind the San Francisco Giants 4-2, came back to take a 6-4 lead in the eighth, blew that 6-4 lead in the ninth, and finally won 8-7 in the 10th inning.
Scott Hairston was instrumental in the victory. He was in the starting lineup because San Francisco’s starter was outstanding lefty Madison Bumgarner, but Hairston stayed in the game to hit two crucial home runs against right-handed relief pitchers.
In the top of the eighth, Hairston hit a two-run blast off of Sergio Romo to tie the game at 4-4. After Bobby Parnell and Josh Edgin allowed the Giants to tie the game in the ninth inning, Hairston struck again in the 10th with a lead-off homer off of Santiago Casilla.
It’s a good thing the Mets were able to score an eighth run on Rob Johnson’s safety squeeze, because Manny Acosta was very shaky in his half of the 10th. He allowed San Francisco to score on a Nate Schierholtz RBI single before getting Brandon Belt to fly out to deep center field for the third out.
Here’s the box from Monday night.
- Jeremy Hefner actually looked pretty good, but was hurt by a lot of soft contact getting through.
- The game probably would have been more relaxing if Jon Rauch had been allowed to stay on for the ninth after he got through the eighth with just seven pitches. Rauch is actually starting to grow on me because, despite his inability to miss many bats, he just doesn’t walk anybody at all.
- Bumgarner looked almost unhittable early on, but he strangely unraveled in the fourth inning when, with two outs, he walked Jason Bay on four pitches. He then fell behind Ronny Cedeno before surrendering the two-RBI double that gave the Mets a 2-1 lead.
- After Hairston tied the game in the eighth, Justin Turner hit a huge RBI double to give the Mets a 5-4 advantage. The newest Giant, Marco Scutaro, then misplayed Rob Johnson’s groundball to allow Turner to score from second.
Tonight, the Mets play the second of four against the Giants. Matt Harvey will be making his second big league start against the enigmatic Tim Lincecum. The Freak’s 5.88 ERA shows he is having an awful year, but he’s still striking out more than one batter per inning (K rate is actually better than last year). The problem has been an elevated walk rate and a steep increase in the amount of fly balls finding their way out of the yard. Lincecum is still a really good pitcher, so the Mets will probably need another solid outing from Harvey to triumph.
Tuesday #Mets lineup at SF: Valdespin-CF, Tejada-SS, Murphy-2B, Davis-1B, Hairston-LF, Baxter-RF, Turner-3B, Thole-C, Harvey-RHP—
New York Mets (@Mets) July 31, 2012
The Mets lineup tonight features Valdespin leading off and Turner playing third base. Those aren’t the two best things in the world, but Torres is out with a hand injury (hurt when he slid into first base last night) and Wright is getting a rest.
Bay is apparently hurt as well, although I would rather see Baxter and Valdespin in there against righties anyway. According to Adam Rubin, a healthy Bay would have started against Lincecum. Yuck.
Tonight's #SFGiants lineup: Blanco CF, Theriot 2B, Cabrera LF, Posey C, Scutaro 3B, Belt 1B, Christian RF, Crawford SS, Lincecum RHP—
San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) July 31, 2012
The Giants just traded for Hunter Pence, but he’s not in the starting lineup. Of course, neither is one of the guys head to Philly, Nate Schierholtz. That means Justin Christian is starting. Christian absolutely killed the ball in triple-A this season (Pacific Coast League disclaimer) but has struggled in the majors thus far. Also interesting is that Marco Scutaro has already been moved down in the lineup while Gregor Blanco takes his place in the lead-off spot.
Have fun tonight, everyone. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter.