Hello and welcome to another tantalizing day of Mets baseball. Tonight, the Mets play the San Francisco Giants for the third time in a row after splitting the first two games in the series. Last night, Tim Lincecum led the Giants to victory with a dominating performance. A solid start from Matt Harvey was encouraging, but not enough to get the Mets a victory.
Tonight, it’s Matt Cain on the mound for San Francisco while Jon Niese pitches for New York. Niese is coming off a crappy start in Arizona, so hopefully he’ll improve this time out. Matt Cain hardly knows the meaning of “crappy start.”
Oh and apparently a trade was proposed involving Jason Bay this week. It would have been the change-of-scenery deal to end all change-of-scenery deals. What a fun distraction that would have been! WFAN would have loved it.
Wednesday #Mets lineup at SF: Tejada-SS, Valdespin-CF, Wright-3B, Davis-1B, Murphy-2B, Bay-LF, Baxter-RF, Thole-C, Niese-LHP
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 1, 2012
I’d rather see Murphy or Baxter near the top of the lineup until Valdespin learns to take a pitch. In the three games since Ike Davis hit three home runs, he’s gone 0-for-13 with a ridiculous nine strikeouts.
Tonight’s #SFGiants lineup: Blanco cf, Theriot 2b, Cabrera lf, Posey c, Pence rf, Scutaro 3b, Pill 1b, Arias ss, Cain p
— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) August 1, 2012
Hey look, there’s Hunter Pence. The Giants acquired the rightfielder from the Phillies yesterday right before the trade deadline. Hopefully that works outs better for them than when they traded Zack Wheeler for Carlos Beltran last season. Meanwhile, Angel Pagan is out of the lineup again because he apparently “took a bat to something” halfway through Monday’s series opener.
NYM — Jon Niese (3.86 ERA, 107 SO, 33 BB)
Niese is now the longest tenured Mets starting pitcher thanks to the rash of injuries that have plagued the rotation this season. This season, Niese’s performances have bounced around a lot. While his strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.24) has been very good, he’s giving up more home runs and getting less groundballs than last season. That said, Niese’s walk rate is the lowest it’s every been, so when the ball stays in the park, he’s usually in very good shape. It’s doubtful he’ll be undone again by a fielding snafu like he was in Arizona.
SFO — Matt Cain (2.80 ERA, 130 SO, 27 BB)
Although Tim Lincecum has had his issues this season, Cain remains one of the very best pitchers in baseball. When he’s not striking out nearly one batter per inning, Cain induces a lot of fly balls, and not many of them are hit hard. Amazingly, Cain has been able to keep his BABIP below .300 for his entire career, and it’s looking more and more like it has nothing to do with luck. Rather, Cain is suspected to have the coveted ability to produce cans of corn with his fastball.