Giants-Mets Preview

Hitting has been a major problem for the San Francisco Giants,

and they’re hoping that’s about to become a thing of the past.

Tim Lincecum surely feels the same way.

Coming off their best offensive showing in more than two weeks,

the Giants will try to give Lincecum some support as he attempts to

avoid a personal three-game losing streak by getting his first road

win over the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

San Francisco (14-15) is hitting .237 as a team but showed some

punch at the plate Tuesday with two homers, including a go-ahead,

10th-inning shot from Aubrey Huff to lift the Giants over the Mets

7-6. The win was a confidence boost for a club that had dropped

eight of its previous 11.

“It was big for us to put up some runs,” San Francisco right

fielder Nate Schierholtz said. “Just a matter of time. … We’re

not worried. You go through ups and downs as a team. We had plenty

of them last year. Better early than late.”

The Giants’ scoring in the opener of this three-game set was

their highest since an 8-1 win at Colorado on April 18, also the

last time Lincecum (2-3, 2.90 ERA) got a victory.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner has since lost two starts

while getting just one total run of support. He didn’t get any help

Friday, allowing three runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings

while the lineup was five-hit by Jason Marquis in a 3-0 loss at

Washington.

Now, Lincecum will try to win in New York after going 0-1 with a

4.26 ERA in his last three starts there.

Production from Huff would surely help.

The first baseman is batting a paltry.190 after hitting 100

points higher while leading the Giants with 26 homers and 86 RBIs

last season. His clutch homer Tuesday snapped a 3-for-41 slump over

12 games.

“Hopefully that gets me going,” said Huff, who has a .395

average with two homers and seven RBIs in his last 11 games against

the Mets.

The Giants have won five of six versus New York, including two

at Citi Field.

The Mets have dropped four of five following a season-high

six-game winning streak, and in Lincecum they’ll face a Cy Young

winner for the third time in four contests.

“Well, if you’re going to win, you’ve got to face the best there

is,” manager Terry Collins told the team’s official website.

Collins will give the ball to Chris Capuano (2-2, 6.04), who has

alternated wins and losses in his four starts. The left-hander gave

up four runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 4-3 loss at

Washington on Thursday. That performance came a week after he

limited Houston to one run in seven innings of a 9-1 home win.

Capuano is 1-3 with a 5.79 ERA in eight games – four starts –

against the Giants. However, he hasn’t started against them since

Sept. 23, 2006, as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jose Reyes went 3 for 3 Tuesday, and is hitting .367 with four

doubles and eight runs over his last 12 games. He’s 4 for 9 off

Lincecum.