Tim Lincecum is getting an extra day to try to end possibly the
worst stretch of his career.
The San Francisco Giants ace looks to win his fourth straight
start against the New York Mets in Monday’s opener of a
doubleheader at Citi Field.
Lincecum (0-2, 10.54 ERA) was set to pitch Sunday’s game, which
was rained out and rescheduled as part of this twinbill.
“It’s just the way it goes,” the two-time Cy Young Award winner
said. “You deal with this stuff over here, especially at this time
of year. We dealt with it in Washington a couple years ago, and it
felt like the batting cage was flooded with two feet of water. You
get pushed back and you just try to stay focused and try not to get
out of your plan.”
Opponents are batting .344 against Lincecum, who has allowed at
least five runs in three consecutive games for the first time in
his career. He has given up 16 runs – a number he didn’t reach in
2011 until his ninth start.
Poor first innings have been a problem for Lincecum, who
surrendered four runs in the first and five over six innings of a
5-2 loss to Philadelphia on Monday. He has given up nine runs in
the first innings of his three starts.
The right-hander, however, has yielded one run over 22 innings
in three straight wins against the Mets (8-6). He is 3-1 with a
2.87 ERA in seven career starts versus New York.
Lincecum was originally set to oppose Mets right-hander Dillon
Gee (1-1, 2.92), who will now pitch the second game. Miguel Batista
(0-0, 5.40) will make a spot start in the opener, with Johan
Santana pushed back to Tuesday against Miami.
“It’s about the whole staff, not just Johan,” manager Terry
Collins said. “We decided not to double up the two guys (Gee and
Santana) and then all of a sudden have to scramble around in four
days to see who’s going to pitch.”
Batista most recently pitched in Atlanta on Tuesday and
Wednesday, throwing a combined 2 1-3 hitless innings.
His last start was a stellar one as he threw a two-hitter in a
3-0 home win over Cincinnati on Sept. 28. The veteran right-hander
is 3-8 with a 4.70 ERA in 18 starts against San Francisco (7-7),
but the last one came in 2006.
Gee has never started against the Giants, pitching 2 2-3
scoreless innings against them last season in two relief
He allowed one run and four hits in seven innings of a 6-1
victory over Atlanta last Monday.
One of the Mets starters should be fortunate since it’s unlikely
that Giants catcher Buster Posey will be behind the plate for both
contests. Posey is 11 for 20 over the last five games, and 4 for 8
in this series with the teams splitting two one-run games.
Pablo Sandoval enters with a 14-game hitting streak. It’s the
longest by a Giant to start a season since Willie Mays’ 16-game run
to open 1960 – a streak Sandoval could match Monday.
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy is 8 for 18 in his last four
games, raising his average to .321.
Madison Bumgarner (2-1, 3.63) will face New York for the first
time in Game 2. The left-hander allowed two runs over six innings
to win his second straight start last Tuesday, 4-2 over
Philadelphia. That came one day after he agreed to a new $35.56
million, six-year contract.