Game Thread: Mets (53-61) vs Giants (62-52)
The rookie’s first big league start, against the Padres Saturday night, was difficult to assess. Parnell, who had pitched more than 1 1/3 innings only twice in 54 relief appearances this season, was to be limited to 65 pitches Saturday. He threw 68 in 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs, three walks and four hits and hitting a batter. Throwing 29 pitches in the first inning assured him of a relatively brief outing. Parnell’s second start comes at Citi Field. He made two one-inning appearances against the Giants in May, allowing two runs in one and none in the other.
Zito has thrived since the All-Star break, following a pattern he established years ago. He’s 3-1 with a 2.32 ERA in five second-half starts, contrasting sharply with his 5-9, 5.01 showing in the first half. Sources of Zito’s improvement are easy to spot. He has allowed two home runs in 31 second-half innings after coughing up 13 in 106 innings before the All-Star Game. He also has averaged 2.6 walks per nine innings since the break, compared with 3.7 beforehand.