Brian Wilson had a pretty, pretty, pretty good trip to Phoenix for the 2011 All-Star Game.
But -- most importantly -- he shut the door on an American League rally by coming in to pitch two-thirds of an inning and pick up a save in a 5-1 National League victory.
"I think [the beard] did okay," Wilson told Eric Karros following the game. "It was a 1-2 inning."
That win, of course, means that the National League will receive home-field advantage for the 2011 World Series, which is quite reminiscent of 2010, when the Giants stormed the Rangers for their first-ever title in San Francisco.
"Exactly -- it was tremendous for [Brian] McCann to get that hit last year" Wilson said about the 2010 All-Star Game. "It really is beneficial to have those first two home games in front of your home crowd to really get going in the series."
Bruce Bochy said before the game that he would turn to Wilson if a save situation occurred, and he did just that, calling on the closer when Pittsburgh's Joel Hanrahan allowed two runners to reach after an error put Carlos Quentin on first and Matt Joyce singled.
Wilson, despite having pitched five times in the last seven days, entered and absolutely shut down the AL.
Lest you think it's just meaningless, either, it's not -- there's the home-field factor and then consider that Wilson stepped up on baseball's biggest stage and shut down the other team when it mattered the most.
For a guy who's been struggling recently, that means a lot.
And so does, apparently, still appearing in the All-Star Game; Karros asked Wilson whether being there for the third time meant it got old at all and Wilson gave the exact answer you'd expect from a man who just closed out the midsummer classic.
"No it doesn't," Wilson deadpanned. "And I must say, you have immaculate hair right now."