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Sunday, June 08, 2014

Preview: Game 63 - Mets at Giants - Wheeler (2-5) vs Lincecum (4-4)

Preview: Game 63
New York Mets (28-34) at San Francisco Giants (41-21)

Pitching Probables:
Zack Wheeler (2-5) 3.89 ERA vs Tim Lincecum (4-4) 5.01 ERA
TV - SNY - Radio WOR 710 AM - First Pitch 4:05 PM


After rallying to win the first two games of this series, the Giants may be looking to make things easier on themselves in order to complete a sweep of the struggling New York Mets on Sunday.

San Francisco (41-21) owns the best home record in baseball at 21-9 behind a 2.72 ERA from the pitching staff. The pitchers have continued to deliver during an 8-1 run, compiling a 2.11 ERA, and the rotation has posted a 1.94 mark.

Despite the recent dominance on the mound, it's the bats that have come through against New York (28-34).

Buster Posey hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to complete the Giants' rally in Friday's 4-2 victory. They pushed across two in the ninth Saturday, with Michael Morse connecting for a walkoff single in a 5-4 win.

The offense hasn't needed to do much when Tim Lincecum (4-4, 5.01 ERA) takes the mound against the Mets, but he's also looking to bounce back from one of the worst performances of his career.

The right-hander is 5-0 with a 1.32 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 41 innings over his last six starts against New York. Four of those outings came at home, where he's gone 3-0 with a 1.55 ERA.

Lincecum has been much better at home than on the road this season, going 2-2 with a 3.76 ERA in seven starts as host compared to a 6.84 ERA with the same record away from AT&T Park.

Those road woes continued Tuesday, when he was hammered for a career high-tying eight runs and six hits, while issuing three walks in 4 1/3 innings of an 8-3 loss at Cincinnati.

The Mets are the brink of a six-game losing streak for the first time since May 10-15, 2013.

The relievers have been a major problem, surrendering 10 runs in 12 1/3 innings over the past five games, and Jenrry Mejia's efforts aren't helping.

The right-hander has giving up six runs in 2 1/3 innings over his last four appearances. He blew his first save of the season by allowing two runs in the ninth Saturday, putting the leadoff hitter on base with a wild pitch after striking him out.

Zack Wheeler (2-5, 3.89) was let down by the bullpen Tuesday, when he struck out seven batters in 6 2/3 scoreless innings only for the relievers to allow both runs in a 2-1 defeat to the Chicago Cubs.

The right-hander is certainly doing his part with a 1.37 ERA over his last three starts, but he has just a 1-1 record to show for it since he's been backed by three total runs in the two outings he didn't win.

Wheeler got plenty of help in his only start at San Francisco on July 10, yielding one run and three hits in seven innings of a 7-2 victory.

David Wright is mired in a 1-for-18 slump during the losing streak, and he's 3 for 23 with 13 strikeouts versus Lincecum.

Batter/Pitcher Splits:

Brandon Belt41000021.250.500.250.750
Gregor Blanco50000102.
Brandon Crawford52000100.400.400.400.800
Nick Noonan10000001.
Angel Pagan110001201.0001.0001.0002.000
Hunter Pence50000011.
Buster Posey60000100.
Pablo Sandoval31000021.333.600.333.933
Bobby Abreu62100002.333.333.500.833
Lucas Duda40000022.000.333.000.333
Curtis Granderson60000013.
Daniel Murphy176200305.353.353.471.824
Kirk Nieuwenhuis50000013.
Ruben Tejada93100021.333.455.444.899
David Wright2330001313.
Chris Young5183025617.157.259.333.592
Eric Young Jr.214010139.
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