July 8, 2011BOXSCORE GIANTSVIDEOMLBPAGE MLBSCOREBOARD
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The New York Mets enjoyed nothing more than quieting baseball's most boisterous, bold and, certainly, bearded closer.All it took was one swing.Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston hit a tiebreaking home run off All-Star Brian Wilson in the ninth inning, leading the Mets past the San Francisco Giants 5-2 on Friday night.Hairston admitted he was more concerned with staying focused on the pitch than the closer's bushy, black beard. He even joked that Wilson's off-the-field antics often crack him up and the chance to face him was a moment he relished."When the music comes on and he comes in and the fans get excited, as a player, you're adrenaline kicks in," Hairston said. "I love being in that situation. It's a lot of fun."Hairston opened the ninth by sending a full-count pitch from Wilson (6-2) over the wall in left field for his fourth home run of the season. Carlos Beltran and Nick Evans added RBIs in the inning to help New York to its fifth win in six games.
RATTO: Giants' interest shifts from Reyes to Beltran
Mets manager Terry Collins couldn't recall a more raucous celebration in the dugout this season than after Hairston's homer. With injuries sidelining stars Jose Reyes and David Wright, perhaps they had good reason to run wild."I don't think there's any question we're exceeding expectations," Collins said.Nate Schierholtz tied the score in the sixth with a solo shot into McCovey Cove and drove in San Francisco's only other run with a sacrifice fly.Reliever Pedro Beato (2-1) earned the win, and Francisco Rodriguez pitched a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save.Wilson kept his cool and refrained from tossing a water cooler or smashing it with a baseball bat, as he did when he blew a save at Detroit last week and went into meltdown mode. He was charged with two runs and only recorded one out in his third straight day of work."Sure he gives up the home run and people think he should have had a day (off)," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "If he wasn't on his third day, I would have let him stay out there and try to pitch his way out of it."The victory was a big boost for a Mets team in the midst of what could be a record of facing seven straight All-Star starters.New York knuckleballer R.A. Dickey overcame tightness in his left buttocks and a partial tear of the plantar fascia in his right foot to match Ryan Vogelsong, who was the second All-Star starting pitcher to face the Mets in as many days. Both starters allowed two runs in seven innings.Even the few opportunities were a struggle.After Beltran doubled leading off the fourth, Vogelsong walked the bases loaded with one out. The right-hander rebounded to get Josh Thole to ground into an inning-ending double play, and the Giants didn't waste the momentum.Pablo Sandoval extended his career-best hitting streak to 19 games with a double off the wall in left to start the fourth. He scored from third on Schierholtz's sacrifice fly to center to give San Francisco a 1-0 lead.New York didn't take long to answer.Angel Pagan smacked a 1-0 pitch from Vogelsong over the brick wall in right to put the Mets ahead 2-1 in the fifth. The home run was Pagan's third this season, and only the second Vogelsong has given up at home."I was not happy with the way I threw," Vogelsong said. "I feel fortunate getting out of it having allowed just two runs. I'm a little off right now."San Francisco kept pace with the long ball when Schierholtz hit his first career home run into McCovey Cove to tie the score at 2 in the sixth. The homer was only the second splash shot of the season and 57th ever by a Giants player, with 35 belonging to all-time home run king Barry Bonds.That was enough to keep Vogelsong's unbeaten streak intact.The journeyman turned ace hasn't lost since allowing one earned run in a 3-1 loss to Florida on May 26. He struck out two, walked five and lowered his ERA to 2.17 - fourth-best in the majors - in his final start before his first All-Star appearance.NOTES: Mets 1B Ike Davis exercised on a treadmill the last two days and felt good, Collins said. Davis will decide in the next week or so whether to try to return or have season-ending surgery to repair cartilage damage in his left ankle, which has sidelined him since May 11. .... Announcers Al Michaels and Bob Costas called a portion of the game for the MLB Network and made appearances on the Mets and Giants broadcasts. It was the first time Michaels called a major league game since 1995.
NASHVILLE – Apparently, one wake up call wasn’t good enough for the plummeting San Jose Sharks.
Just one day after suffering what was arguably their worst game under coach Pete DeBoer, Nashville put up a touchdown on the Sharks in a 7-2 win, giving San Jose its sixth straight defeat – all in regulation.
After getting outscored 13-3 the last two nights, including Friday’s 6-1 loss in Dallas, where do they go from here?
“In two years, last year and this year so far, we haven’t had one night like this almost. Now we have back-to-back nights,” Joe Pavelski said. “I think it’s just a reality check. A gut-check time.
“It’s on us as players. Bottom line is we haven’t put the effort in that we need to have right now, and it snowballed on us a little bit at times. I think we’ve got to take a deep breath and really take a look in the mirror, refocus a little bit and understand there’s hockey out there, but it’s not going to fix itself.”
What has to be fixed immediately is the defensive structure that has been so vital to the Sharks’ success in the Pete DeBoer era. Even when the club was going through stretches of struggling to score, as it was earlier in the season, it was still collecting points in the standings with its ability to limit the opposition’s scoring chances.
While the game against the Predators was actually a little better in that regard, believe it or not, it was still nowhere near the level it needs to be for the postseason. Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s absence was partly to blame for that, but the Brent Burns-Paul Martin pair has been a disaster lately. Both have a minus-nine rating during the six-game losing streak, and that number is indicative of how they’ve looked, too.
“We’re giving up some goals. It’s a combination of things,” DeBoer said. “Obviously it’s not good enough to win games, so we’ve got to figure it out. I don’t have an answer standing here for you, but I know our group. Every team I’ve ever coached has a tough part of the season. This is obviously ours. We’ll regroup, and figure it out.”
Burns, who admitted to a “bad read” on Nashville’s second goal when Roman Josi sped around him, said: “It’s a tough league when you’re not executing little things.”
The Sharks actually looked strong early, poised to put the Dallas disaster behind them. The first few shifts, they had the puck in the Nashville end.
But Tomas Hertl was outmuscled behind the net by Colin Wilson on Colton Sissons’ goal at 4:14, Burns got beat on the second, and the Sharks never recovered. Patrick Marleau’s second period power play goal offered life, but that was extinguished 24 seconds later when James Neal answered with a power play goal of his own. The Sharks never got closer than two goals after that.
“When things are going bad, those are the things that are happening,” Burns said of Neal’s response to Marleau’s marker. “So, you’ve just got work through it."
Will they be able to work through it with just seven games left in the regular season, though? That this cold spell is happening in late March doesn’t speak well to the Sharks’ chances in the postseason, which begins in just two-and-a-half weeks.
Burns said: “Right now we should be just tightening up everything. … We've got figure it out pretty soon.”
NASHVILLE – Sharks forward Micheal Haley could be in line for supplemental discipline from the league, after earning a match penalty in the third period of Saturday’s 7-2 loss in Nashville.
After absorbing a borderline hit from behind by Calle Jarnkrok, Haley tracked down the Predators forward and promptly delivered a left jab to Jarnkrok’s face at 12:56 of the final frame, with the Sharks trailing 5-2 at the time.
Naturally, there were differing opinions from the two head coaches on the play.
Pete DeBoer said: “When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth.”
Predators coach Peter Laviolette told reporters: "It's an ugly play. This isn't the wild, wild west. I mean, Calle hit him. We took a penalty. If we start doing that, we're in trouble, so hopefully it gets looked at."
Any player who earns a match penalty "shall be automatically suspended from further competition until the commissioner has ruled on the issue,” according to league rules.
In 54 games this season, Haley has two goals and nine assists for 11 points. His 110 penalty minutes is fifth in the league.
Jarnkrok did not return after the punch, but told reporters after the game he felt “OK.”
"I feel pretty good," Jarnkrok said. "Obviously, I saw him coming. There were a couple other guys coming, too. I didn't really know what to do. He got in a good punch on me.”