It was only fitting that the final out of the New York Mets' 8-7, 10-inning win over the San Francisco Giants went to the fence. In one of the wildest games of the year, the Mets used seven pitchers, rallied from two down in the eighth, blew the save in the ninth, then survived using their cast of characters in the bullpen to win their second straight game and hand San Francisco its fifth straight loss.
In a game like this, full of up-and-down moments, it's almost impossible to pick where to start. But let's begin in the eighth as the final three innings provided enough drama for a month. Down 4-2, Scott Hairston tied the game up with his fourth home run of the season off a right-hander in Sergio Romo, who has been one of the most dominant set-up men in the game. New York wasn't done in the eighth, as it would score twice more against Romo, on a clutch Justin Turner pinch-hit double to center and an infield single by Rob Johnson.
Bobby Parnell entered for what appeared to be an easy save opportunity after Jon Rauch had a seven-pitch eighth inning to set him up. It quickly became apparent, though, that Parnell didn't have his typical good life on his fastball. He gave up a single to Melky Cabrera, an RBI double to Buster Posey on a pitch right down the middle and got a groundout, but with two lefties due up, manager Terry Collins summoned left-hander Josh Edgin to get the final two outs as the next two batters were lefties. In his 11th career game, Edgin was asked to get his first career save and he was unable to do so -- partially aided by the poor defense of Ike Davis. Edgin induced a bouncer to Davis at first, which the first baseman failed to come up with and the ball rolled into centerfield, tying the game. Ultimately no other runners crossed the plate, but in between two strikeouts were a walk and a single, so Edgin was clearly rattled.
In the top of the 10th, Hairston again slugged a home run off of a righty -- altogether, his 14th of the season. Hairston has played brilliantly lately and for a playoff contender looking for a right-handed bat that crushes lefties and can get really streaky, the outfielder could be a good fit. It just remains to be seen what general manager Sandy Alderson can pry away if he moves him. New York would score on another Johnson fielder's choice after a walk and a single proceeded it.
For the 10th, with the Mets down to their second-to-last reliever, Manny Acosta went out for the save. As could be expected, it was heart attack-inducing. The first batter he faced, he walked, as he displayed very little control. Melky Cabrera flew out to center, but then Acosta walked the next batter and out came Collins -- seeing the manager is rare, but this one was a dire circumstance -- for a visit. Acosta got Gregor Blanco to foul out, but with two outs, gave up a single to cut the lead to one run.
Brandon Belt took the first pitch he saw and crushed it to straightaway center, backing Jordany Valdespin up against the wall to preserve the win. The Mets may only have a 50-53 record, but you can't say this team doesn't produce enough entertainment (and drama).
|Final - 7.30.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||R||H||E|
|New York Mets||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||4||0||2||8||12||0|
|San Francisco Giants||0||0||1||0||1||2||0||0||2||1||7||16||1|
|WP: Josh Edgin (1 - 0)
SV: Manny Acosta (1)
LP: Santiago Casilla (4 - 5)