Tonight at 7:10, the Mets begin their four-game set against the Giants…
The Mets return home after losing a best-of-three series to the Braves this week. The series started off on a high note-the only one of the series- with the Mets winning 6-1 on Monday. Dillon Gee dominated the Braves, allowing just one run on four hits. He finished up after seven innings. Ike Davis had a big three-run homer that broke a tie game, making the score 4-1 Mets. The Mets scored on a wild pitch in the seventh, making the game 5-1. Finally, Jason Bay finished up the game with a solo shot in the ninth.
The second and third games were far from pretty. In the second game, Johan Santana had the worst start of his career. He went just 1.1 innings, allowing six runs and throwing 55 pitches. The Braves made him work due to him falling behind early. Johan only threw first pitch strikes to four of 11 batters in his abbreviated outing. The Mets would go on to lose 9-3.
The weather in Atlanta had a big impact on the rubber match of the series. In the early innings, Jair Jurrjens struggled, and R.A. Dickey was stellar. In the warm, humid air in northern Georgia, Dickey’s knuckleball had more movement than I’d ever seen. Braves hitters didn’t have a chance. Then, the rain came and wow did it pour. Dickey was thrown off by the rain, his knuckleball losing its movement, causeing him to struggle. He gave up hit after hit, including three home runs. He ended the day with a loss after giving up eight runs in what would end in a 14-6 loss for the Mets.
The Giants, on the other hand, are coming in to Queens off a series win against the Phillies. The highlight of the series was Wednesday’s pitching duel between Cliff Lee and Matt Cain. Both held each other’s team scoreless for nine innings. Cain left the game after nine, but Lee stayed in- yes, a manager sent a pitcher out for a tenth inning of work. Lee pitched a scoreless tenth, and the Phillies scored in the eleventh to win the game. Cain and Lee both pitched gems, but neither got a win.
Here are the pitching matchups for the series:
Game 1- Tonight 7:10
Jon Niese- Since signing his five-year extension, Jon Niese has been stellar. He is 2-0 on the season with a 2.13 ERA in 12.2 innings pitched. Niese threw seven innings, allowing one run on six hits in his only start against the Giants in his career.
Barry Zito- Zito, considered a failure since signing with the Giants, has surprised everyone this season. He pitched a shutout in his first start of the season,and followed up with another impressive outing his last start. Zito pitched seven innings against the Pirates on April 14, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out four. Zito is 3-2 with a 3.31 ERA in six career starts against the Mets.
Game 2- Saturday 1:10
Mike Pelfrey- Pelfrey, to everyone’s surprise, has also pitched well this season. After allowing three runs on ten hits in his first start, Pelfrey allowed just one in six innings against the Phillies in his last outing.
Ryan Vogelsong- Vogelsong burst onto the scene last year for the Giants, earning an All-Star selection. He finished the season eleventh in the Cy Young Award voting, ending the year with a 13-7 record to go along with a 2.71 ERA. In his only start this season, he allowed two runs in 6.1 innings.
Game 3- Sunday 1:10
Dillon Gee-Gee, so far, has continued the success he had last season, pitching two decent games so far this season. The last one, on Monday against the Braves, he lasted seven innings and allowed just one run.
Tim Lincecum- “The Freak” has struggled more than he ever has so far this season for the Giants. In each of his three starts, he has allowed at least five runs. So far, he is 0-2 on the season with a 10.54 ERA on the season.
Game 4- Monday 7:10
Johan Santana- Coming off the worst outing of his career, Johan will look to brush back injury concerns against the Giants in the final game of the series.Johan was atrocious in Atlanta, which raised worries about his health. However, all signs still point to him starting the game.
Madison Bumgarner- Bumgarner, a young arm with Cy Young potential, recently signed an extension with the Giants, which could end up being seven years. The deal is very similar to the one Niese signed. Bumgarner allowed two runs in six innings in his last start against the Phillies.
Here are some more random notes:
— I’m excited to see Kirk Nieuwenhuis get some more at-bats from the leadoff spot. So far, he has impressed, showing he can do a little bit of everything. He needs to play well in the coming weeks to keep his job when Andres Torres returns.
— I’m really hoping Johan bounces back, just to get his last start, a big distraction, out of everyone’s minds. He needs to get ahead early, throwing first pitch strikes. If he doesn’t he falls into a groove and becomes predictable.
—There has been so much talk about Tim Lincecum’s struggles this year. I’m really want to see what all the buzz is about.
—Ruben Tejada is awesome.