Mets-Giants Preview

Perhaps a visit from the New York Mets can wake up San

Francisco’s struggling offense and help the Giants end their

current skid.

After being shut out in back-to-back contests, the Giants look

to avoid a season-high fifth straight loss by continuing their

recent success against the Mets on Monday night.

San Francisco (55-46) opened its current 10-game homestand with

two wins over San Diego, but has since totaled six runs while

losing the next four. After being blanked in the last two of a

three-game sweep at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the

Giants are just one percentage point ahead of their NL West

rivals.

“Sometimes you are just going to get it handed to you,” manager

Bruce Bochy said. “The important thing is how we handle it. We’re

still in a great situation.”

The Giants, who have not been shut out in three straight games

since June 23-25, 1992, managed five hits in each of the last two

games versus Los Angeles and did not get a runner past second in

Sunday’s 4-0 defeat.

“We can’t afford to think too much about this one,” losing

pitcher Ryan Vogelsong said. “If anything, it makes us a little mad

and we can take it out on the Mets.”

That’s very possible considering San Francisco has won 11 of 15

against New York (49-53), including six of eight at AT&T Park.

The Giants also won’t face All-Star knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, who

earned his NL-leading 14th win in Sunday’s 5-1 victory at

Arizona.

That was the Mets’ third win in their last 17 games. Despite

Dickey’s effort Sunday, Mets pitchers have posted a 5.64 ERA during

that stretch.

San Francisco All-Star Melky Cabrera is batting .353, but is 3

for 15 in the last four games. Cabrera went 3 for 13 with five

walks when his team took three of four in New York in April.

The Giants hope to get back on track against Mets rookie Jeremy

Hefner (1-4, 5.40 ERA), who makes his second straight start in

place of the injured Johan Santana and fifth overall. The

right-hander gave up three runs and two homers in a 5-2 loss to

Washington on Wednesday.

Hefner allowed three hits in three scoreless innings of relief

in his major league debut April 23 against San Francisco.

The Giants counter with Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.10), who is

7-1 with a 1.89 ERA in nine home starts this season. The

left-hander took the mound in San Francisco’s most recent victory,

a 3-2 home win over the Padres on Tuesday, when he did not factor

in the decision despite giving up two runs and striking out nine in

seven innings.

He allowed a run and three hits in seven innings of a 7-2

victory April 23 in his only appearance against the Mets.

Scott Hairston is 0 for 6 against Bumgarner, but had two hits

and two RBIs on Sunday. The subject of trade rumors, Hairston is 5

for 10 with four RBIs in his last three games.

“Once I get to the ballpark I just focus on doing my job,” he

said.

After homering three times in New York’s 6-3 loss on Saturday,

Ike Davis went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts in the finale. He went

1 for 14 with seven strikeouts against the Giants in April.