Series preview: Mets vs. Giants

May, 2, 2011
5/02/11
9:22
PM ET

Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez.
METS (12-16, fifth place/NL East) vs. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (13-15, third place/NL West)

Tuesday: RHP R.A. Dickey (1-3, 3.82) vs. RHP Ryan Vogelsong (1-0, 1.74), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: LHP Chris Capuano (2-2, 6.04) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (2-3, 2.90), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Mike Pelfrey (1-3, 7.39) vs. LHP Jonathan Sanchez (2-1, 2.73), 1:10 p.m. ET

Giants short hops

• Third baseman Pablo Sandoval is due to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a broken hamate bone at the base of his right hand. Sandoval had shed nearly 40 pounds during the offseason and was hitting .313 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 83 at-bats. He is expected to miss six weeks. Miguel Tejada primarily is manning third base in Sandoval’s absence, with Mike Fontenot assuming Tejada’s shortstop role. Infielder Ryan Rohlinger took Sandoval’s roster spot.


AP Photo/Eric Risberg
Pablo Sandoval is due to have surgery Tuesday to repair a broken bone at the base of his right hand.


• San Francisco has experienced profound offensive struggles. Washington left-hander Tom Gorzelanny limited the Giants to three hits in eight scoreless innings Monday, as the Nats blanked San Francisco. The Giants have lost eight of their last 11 games. They rank 14th in the NL in runs scored, 11th in batting average, 13th in on-base percentage and 13th in slugging percentage.

• Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who has a 2009 no-hitter to his credit, enters Thursday’s outing off a bout of wildness. He walked four batters in the first inning Saturday at Washington, then hit two batters with pitches and uncorked a wild pitch in the second inning as he became unnerved by the control issues. Overall, Sanchez has walked 20 in 33 innings.

• Right-hander Ryan Vogelsong has the only win by a Giants starting pitcher in the past 11 games. At Pittsburgh on Thursday, Vogelsong made his first major league start since Sept. 29, 2004, with the Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia. He went 2,412 days between major league wins, the longest gap in the majors since Brian Tallet went that length from Sept. 16, 2002 to April 24, 2009. Vogelsong pitched in Japan from 2007 to 2009. He entered the rotation with Barry Zito landing on the disabled list with a sprained right foot.

• Closer Brian Wilson notched his eighth save in nine chances on Saturday. Since 2008, Wilson has the most saves in the majors with 135. Francisco Rodriguez ranks second at 128.

• Infielder Emmanuel Burriss, who appeared in only seven games at the major league level last season, was promoted from Triple-A Fresno on Thursday when Mark DeRosa landed on the disabled list with an inflamed left wrist.

Tim Lincecum has lost consecutive decisions. He ranks third in the National League with 45 strikeouts, trailing only Chicago’s Matt Garza (51) and Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay (47). Lincecum came within eight outs of a no-hitter at Colorado on April 18, when Carlos Gonzalez broke up the bid.

• Catcher Buster Posey made his first start at first base this season on Saturday. He made 30 starts at that position last season, when he hit .305 with 18 homers and 67 RBIs in 108 games and won the National League Rookie of the Year award. San Francisco isn’t looking to get Posey action at first base this season, but wanted to give struggling Aubrey Huff a day off. Huff is in a 3-for-37 rut (.081), with only one RBI during that span.

• Center fielder Andres Torres is due to return from the disabled list for an Achilles strain on Friday, after the Mets series. He suffered the injury on April 9, catching a liner off the bat of St. Louis’ Lance Berkman.

• Outfielder Cody Ross, the 2010 NLCS MVP, opened this season on the disabled list with a strained right calf. He was hitting only .189.

Matchups

Dickey vs. Giants (career: 0-1, 1.29 ERA)
Buster Posey .667, 3 PA
Aaron Rowand .333, 6 PA
Pablo Sandoval .333, 1 RBI, 1 K, 3 PA
Cody Ross .286, 1 RBI, 2 K, 7 PA
Miguel Tejada .250, 1 BB, 1 K, 9 PA
Aubrey Huff .167, 6 PA
Freddy Sanchez .000, 1 K, 4 PA
Nate Schierholtz .000, 1 BB, 3 PA
Pat Burrell .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Capuano vs. Giants (career: 1-3, 5.79 ERA)
Pablo Sandoval 1.000, 1 PA
Buster Posey 1.000, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 PA
Aubrey Huff .500, 1 BB, 1 K, 5 PA
Freddy Sanchez .429, 3 RBI, 23 PA
Cody Ross .429, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 K, 7 PA
Pat Burrell .375, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 9 PA
Miguel Tejada .000, 1 K, 1 PA
Aaron Rowand .000, 1 PA
Eli Whiteside .000, 1 PA
Mike Fontenot .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Pelfrey vs. Giants (career: 1-1, 2.28 ERA)
Eli Whiteside .600, 6 PA
Mike Fontenot .500, 1 BB, 3 PA
Aubrey Huff .444, 1 K, 9 PA
Cody Ross .350, 5 RBI, 2 K, 23 PA
Pat Burrell .250, 2 BB, 2 K, 10 PA
Aaron Rowand .231, 2 RBI, 13 PA
Pablo Sandoval .200, 2 K, 10 PA
Miguel Tejada .167, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 8 PA
Freddy Sanchez .000, 3 K, 9 PA
Nate Schierholtz .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 PA

Vogelsong vs. Mets (career: 1-0, 1.00 ERA)
Scott Hairston .667, 1 K, 3 PA
David Wright .400, 1 K, 5 PA
Carlos Beltran .333, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 PA
Jose Reyes .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Lincecum vs. Mets (career: 1-1, 3.71 ERA)
Daniel Murphy 1.000, 1 RBI, 1 PA
Carlos Beltran .455, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K, 14 PA
Jose Reyes .444, 9 PA
Ike Davis .333, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 PA
Josh Thole .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Willie Harris .300, 2 K, 10 PA
Jason Bay .286, 2 BB, 4 K, 9 PA
David Wright .133, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K, 16 PA
Scott Hairston .125, 2 BB, 3 K, 10 PA

Sanchez vs. Mets (career: 2-1, 3.89 ERA)
Chin-lu Hu 1.000, 1 PA
Ike Davis .500, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, 6 PA
Jason Bay .444, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 10 PA
David Wright .417, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 15 PA
Jose Reyes .333, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 10 PA
Carlos Beltran .222, 1 BB, 4 K, 10 PA
Scott Hairston .071, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K, 20 PA
Justin Turner .000, 3 PA
Daniel Murphy .000, 3 PA
Willie Harris .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Last series results

Giants won, 3-1, at AT&T Park, July 15-18, 2010 (AP game recaps)

Giants 2, Mets 0: Tim Lincecum pitched a six-hitter for his fourth career shutout and Pablo Sandoval hit an RBI double to help the San Francisco Giants open the second half of the season with a victory over the New York Mets. Lincecum (10-4) is coming off his third straight trip to the All-Star game, but was able to start the first game after the break because he was not used. The Giants fans who may have been disappointed not to see their two-time Cy Young winner appear in the All-Star game were more than happy to see him dominate in a matchup that counts in the standings for the Giants. They cheered loudly when he was sent to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning and he responded by slapping a single to left field. He then finished the Mets off on the mound with a perfect ninth for his first shutout since throwing a two-hitter against St. Louis on June 29, 2009. The Mets' only real threat against Lincecum came in the fifth inning when Josh Thole hit a line drive through the box that glanced off Lincecum's back for a single. That put runners on first and second with no outs. But Lincecum retired the next three hitters, getting Angel Pagan on a flyout to right field with runners on second and third to escape the jam.

Giants 1, Mets 0: Barry Zito struck out 10 in eight dominant innings of two-hit ball and the Giants shut out the slumping Mets for the second consecutive game. All-Star closer Brian Wilson completed the three-hitter for San Francisco, which has won four straight and nine of 11. Aubrey Huff had three hits and scored the only run on a fielder's choice grounder. Zito (8-4) matched his season high for strikeouts and allowed only one runner past first base while winning for the first time in more than a month. The left-hander faced just three batters more than the minimum before Wilson earned his 24th save. Despite the return of cleanup batter Carlos Beltran after recovering from knee surgery, the Mets haven't scored in two games since the All-Star break. Both times, they faced a Cy Young Award winner. David Wright singled with two outs in the ninth before Wilson struck out Beltran on a 97 mph fastball. Jon Niese was the hard-luck loser for New York. The Mets have scored nine runs in their last seven, going 2-5 during that stretch. Zito hadn't made it out of the sixth inning in his previous four starts but was in control while keeping New York's offense quiet. Mets manager Jerry Manuel tried shaking up his lineup, moving left fielder Jason Bay to second in the batting order, but it didn't matter against Zito. He faced the minimum through 6 2/3 innings, allowing only Ruben Tejada's leadoff single in the fourth. Tejada was thrown out by rookie catcher Buster Posey trying to steal second.

Giants 8, Mets 4: Buster Posey and Andres Torres homered, and Matt Cain extended San Francisco's scoreless streak against the Mets to 24 innings before New York finally scored. The drives by Posey and Torres against Hisanori Takahashi (7-4) helped stake the Giants to a 6-0 lead after three innings. New York finally scored for the first time since the All-Star break when Ike Davis hit a two-run homer off Cain (7-8) in the seventh inning to cut San Francisco's lead to 6-2. That snapped the longest scoreless streak for the Mets since they went 30 innings without a run July 24-28, 1992. Davis added a solo shot in the ninth for his second career multi-homer game -- both against San Francisco. Cain, who had lost his previous four decisions, picked up where they left off. He allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings to win for the first time since June 13. Pablo Sandoval drove in three runs for the Giants, who have won a season-high five straight. Brian Wilson struck out Angel Pagan with two on in the ninth for his 25th save in 27 chances. The performance of Posey has been a big reason for San Francisco's turnaround. The rookie is hitting .481 in July, helping the Giants become the highest scoring team in the majors this month. Posey got the Giants started in the five-run second inning with a leadoff double. Juan Uribe and Sandoval hit RBI singles to make it 2-0 after one trip through the order. Opponents' average against Takahashi goes up .138 points after the first time through the order, and the pattern continued against the Giants. Torres hit a three-run homer in his second at-bat to make it 5-0 in the second. If that hole wasn't big enough, Posey added an opposite-field drive in the third inning to make it 6-0 and Takahashi's night was over soon after. Takahashi, who was moved up in the rotation because of Mike Pelfrey's stiff neck, allowed six runs and seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Mets 4, Giants 3: Ike Davis doubled home the go-ahead run in 10th inning after the Mets wasted a two-run lead in the ninth, as New York avoided a four-game sweep. Travis Ishikawa's two-run, pinch-hit single tied the game in the ninth inning, but he was thrown out at the plate on an infield chopper as the potential winning run. Replays showed Ishikawa appeared to be safe as he slid into home. Giants closer Brian Wilson (2-1) got two outs in the 10th before giving up Jason Bay's third single. Davis, who also drove in a run in the eighth, doubled high off the right-field wall. Francisco Rodriguez (3-2) blew his fourth save in 26 chances but earned the win.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187