Mets morning briefing 7.9.11

Pinch-hitter Scott Hairston's tiebreaking homer in the ninth off San Francisco closer Brian Wilson lifted the Amazin's to a 5-2 win against the Giants.

Saturday's news reports:

• Read game stories in the Record, Post, Newsday, Times, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

Terry Collins said Ike Davis is making progress. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Mets players commented about the fan tragedy at Texas, when a man ultimately died after tumbling out of the stands while trying to catch a ball flipped to him. “Through no fault of his own, you’re trying to do something nice, and then that happens,” Jason Bay told the Star-Ledger. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a few guys might think twice about maybe getting it a little deeper into the stands.”

Johan Santana threw off a mound in rainy Port St. Lucie on Friday -- his third session off a mound in 10 days.

David Waldstein in the Times has Bobby Parnell recall how he became a pitcher. A third baseman in high school, Parnell's services were needed for an inning of relief, and the Charleston Southern coach just happened to be watching as he hit 89 mph at age 17 with no training. Now, Parnell registered 103.5 mph at Tiger Stadium. Writes Waldstein:

With a little coaching and some added muscle on his frame, he began a steady climb up the twin ladders of velocity and professional ball. “Every year I’ve gotten a mile an hour harder,” Parnell said. “As my mechanics got better, my velocity got better.”

Angel Pagan will bat leadoff with Jose Reyes on the disabled list, even though Pagan sees himself as a middle-of-the-order-type batter -- and told Collins as much. Collins recently said he did not have an alternative leadoff choice, with the possible exception of Hairston. Is Pagan ideal? No. He likes to freely swing at pitches early in counts. Then again, he does steal bases.Writes David Lennon in Newsday:

With a lineup that has been stripped of David Wright and Ike Davis , Collins has taken extreme measures -- Daniel Murphy as his daily No. 4 hitter, for instance -- so Pagan has to adjust as well. "In this game, sometimes you're going to be put in situations where you don't feel comfortable doing it," Carlos Beltran said. "But at the same time, he's got the ability, because he's got speed, he puts the ball in play, he's a switch hitter. It's all about approach. You're only going to be the leadoff once."

Steve Popper of the Record speaks with Carlos Beltran about how the right fielder has silenced pessimism about whether he would be able to contribute this level of production in 2011 given past knee woes. Writes Popper:

While his own work ethic never has been in question, the chance of Beltran ever producing again was. He knows what was said outside the organization and inside it. "I hear things," he said. "I listen to it and I use it. That’s me. I use it for motivation. I use it to prove to those people and to myself. I think I have done that."

• Beltran, along with Reyes, will fly to the All-Star Game with the Giants' contingent, including NL manager Bruce Bochy. That works out well for more get-to-know-you time with the Giants likely interested in acquiring Beltran if he's made available. Columnist Kevin Kernan writes on that topic in the Post:

Beltran, who has a full no-trade clause in his contract, said he would accept a trade to a contender if the Mets decide to deal him. The Red Sox also figure to show interest in Beltran. "We're playing good right now," Beltran said. "We're contending right now. Right now the Mets are keeping everybody." When Beltran, 34, was asked if he liked AT&T Park, he smiled and said, "I like any park. As long as I am playing baseball I like any park.

Brian Costa of the Journal contrasts the misfortunes of the Dodgers and Mets -- and decides the Dodgers have it worse.

BIRTHDAY: George Stone, who went 17-13 with a 3.86 ERA in 55 appearances (44 starts) from 1973 to '75, was born on this date in 1946.