Giants-Mets Preview

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.