Tonight at 10:15 Eastern time, the Mets begin a four-game series with the Giants in San Francisco.The Mets head to San Fran having won only two of four games in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. In order to get back into the playoff race, the Mets really needed to take at least three of four or probably sweep. They didn't do that and now they find themselves 8.5 games back with the Diamondbacks, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Braves, and Pirates in front of them, competing for two Wild Card spots. This series may be meaningless, but it will be fun to watch thanks to the pitchers (HARVEY!) and the fact that the Giants are just a good team.The Giants come into this series after having a pretty tough week. They took two from the Padres last Monday and Tuesday, but lost the third game and have since been swept by the Dodgers. Overall, they are 4-6 in their last ten games.Over the past few seasons, the Giants have had one of the best starting rotations in the game. Led by a deep core of young pitching, they have been very successful. This year, it's been more of the same, but they have been so successful despite their ace struggling. Tim Lincecum
, usually a Cy Young contender, has been one of the worst pitchers in all of baseball this year. He is 4-11 with a 5.88 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. Over 210 innings pitched each of the last four years may be the cause. He's only 160 pounds, and that, combined with a huge workload, may be to blame for his problems.The rest of the Giants pitching staff, however, has continued to dominate. Ryan Vogelsong
has continued to be successful after making his first All-Star Game last year. He has a 2.22 ERA in 129.2 innings. Madison Bumgarner
, who is still just 22 years-old has developed into an ace. Him, along with Matt Cain
, will be fixtures in the Giants rotation for years to come. Even Barry Zito
has had a solid year for the Giants. This team has been carried by their pitching.The offensive side has been much less impressive this year for San Francisco. Their leading home run hitter this year has been Buster Posey
with just 13. The power numbers just aren't there for the Giants. They are dead last in baseball in home runs with 62. Posey, as I mentioned, is having a good season though, hitting .314 with 21 doubles and 60 RBI. Melky Cabrera
is making a run at a batting title with his .team0high .353 batting average to go along with his ten homers and 51 RBI. Other than those two, the Giants haven't gotten huge production out of anyone this year.Pitching Matchups:Game 1- Tonight 10:15Jeremy Hefner
(1-4, 5.40 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.10 ERA)Game 2- Tuesday 10:15Matt Harvey
(1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Tim Lincecum (4-11, 5.88 ERA)Game 3- Wednesday 10:15Jonathon Niese
(7-5, 3.86 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (10-3, 2.80 ERA)Game 4- Thursday 3:45 Chris Young
(2-5, 4.58 ERA) vs. Barry Zito (8-7, 3.89 ERA)Notes:
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- Angel Pagan is having a bounce-back year for the Giants, hitting .277 in 95 games.
- The Giants will be without Pablo Sandoval in this series. Sandoval
got stuck in a doorway hurt his hamstring and was placed on the DL on Saturday. He was hitting .299 with eight home runs in 62 games this year.
- Aubrey Huff, a left-handed hitter who was struggling this season was reinstated from the DL to take the roster spot for Sandovol. He is hitting just .150, but he has played a key role with the Giants over the past few years and has had some big hits.
- San Francisco's bullpen has been decent despite the absence of Bria Wilson. They have a 3.48 ERA as a group. It took a little while for the Giants to find a close internally, but finally found one in Santiago Casilla, who now has 24 saves and a 3.05 ERA this year.
- Let's go Mets!