Giants at Mets Series Preview
For starters let’s all take a moment to thank the baseball God’s that Matt Cain is not pitching in this series, and because of that David Wright shouldn’t have to answer more than 1 question about the head hunting incident.
So moving on, the NY Mets stumble home and do their best impersonations of a 2 a.m. “walk of shame.” This series against the Giants begins an absolutely brutal stretch of games in which the Mets should consider themselves lucky if they come out 2 games over .500.
When I wrote my Reds-Mets series preview, I said the Mets magic number of wins through May 23 had to be 27 for me to think this team was for real. Well, seeing as it would take 13 wins out of 23 played to do it, the Mets now find themselves with an uphill battle if they want me to think they are a real contender.
The one thing we all need to do is make sure we’re not spoiled from the 9-1 home stand. Yes, the Mets could end up being a very great home team. We all know the chances of them being a very great road team vanished in Cincinnati. A 9-1 home stand though just tasted so nice. It’s unlikely to happen again, so don’t count on it.
This series is all about the starting pitching. The San Francisco Giants do not pretend to be a high octane offense. They rely on their starters to win games.
Tonight, Mike Pelfrey looks to rebound from a horrendous start in Philadelphia against the very solid Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez is the pitcher you never mention when you talk about the Giants, but he could become a household name soon.
Pelfrey has spent most of his time reassuring everybody that he is healthy and has no arm problems, despite the need for an MRI after the start in Philadelphia. If he struggles tonight, eyebrows will be raised, and panic may start to set in.
Pelfrey is also reportedly going to have Rod Barajas behind the plate tonight for the first time this season. On a side note, have you ever notice that Barajas was getting a lot of credit for the success of the Mets pitching, even though Santana is off to a shaky start, and Pelfrey hasn’t pitched to him? Just thought I’d throw it out there.
If you haven’t seen a lot of Pablo Sandoval play in his career, make sure you watch him closely. Despite his pleasant plumpness, he is a very good baseball player and I find him a lot of fun to watch.
Bengie Molina could be looking to show the Mets brass what they could’ve had, so look for an extremely good showing behind the plate from Molina.
Against the Giants, Pelfrey is 1-1 with a 1.77 ERA, while Sanchez is 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA against the Mets.
Pelfrey’s going to steer clear of getting into trouble against Molina and Sandoval, while Sanchez will want to avoid Wright, and our good friend Luis Castillo.
Game 2 is another scenario in which somehow Johan Santana avoids facing the best pitcher in baseball. By the way, the argument of who is the best pitcher in baseball between Halladay and Lincecum always centers around who is playing the Mets.
Santana will go up against Todd Wellemeyer. Assuming this game isn’t rained out; Santana has to win this game. He cannot get out pitched by Wellemeyer, and he can’t let a soft offense beat him at home following an embarrassing performance against the Phillies. Santana has taken some heat this week, some fair, some not, but he has to step up here and prove not only to the fans but to his teammates that he is the Ace.
Santana is 2-0 with a 3.67 ERA against San Francisco while Wellemeyer is 0-2 with a 6.67 ERA versus the Mets. Lock it up.
Once again the two culprits are Sandoval and Molina. Pablo Sandoval has absolutely owned Johan Santana thus far. Ready for this? .714 average, 1 HR in 7 at bats. Molina is probably even worse to see because it’s through the course of 32 at bats! Molina is .428 against Santana with 2 HR and 7 RBI.
However, when David Wright isn’t lying on his back counting stars against San Francisco, he’s raking. Wright in 11 at bats is hitting .727 against Wellemeyer.
The final game is not on ESPN. It’s about damn time!
They send us their best in Tim Lincecum and we send them our be….Oliver Perez? Ah well, what can ya do. By the way, if there was one other person pre-season other than me that said Perez would turn it around, I’ve got a 1 year free subscription for you to… hm, how about to Denise Winter’s blog? That cost $ to read right Denise? RIGHT DENISE? (wink wink nudge nudge)
But seriously, you have to love that we have Perez going up against Lincecum. For starters you have no idea what to expect from Perez. He could come out and go pitch for pitch with the video game cover star, or he could watch the game on television after the 2nd inning. I mean, ya gotta love that.
If I had to pick a player I like to watch play baseball that isn’t a Mets player, I think Lincecum has to be #1. I’d love nothing more than to see him get chased, but if he’s filthy on Sunday, I just hope Pelfrey and Santana took care of business already.
Perez is an impressive 0-5 with a 7.07 ERA against San Francisco. Rather than showcase the hitters to look out for, I’ll highlight the ones we should be happy to see. When Freddy Sanchez or Juan Uribe come to the plate, grab a beer.
Truth be told though, the Mets didn’t do too badly against Lincecum. He’s 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA.
I think we know that this home stand Jason Bay has to start becoming the player we expected, and Jose Reyes needs to have more than just 1 great at bat in the series. Johan Santana clearly has something to prove, but it’s only because he served up hot meatballs to the Phillies.
Should be an interesting series. The Giants were my pre-season NL West winner and they have been pretty much exactly the team I expected. Just gotta hope the Mets don’t back down from a challenge!
Oh one more thing. I’d like to just throw this out there and hopefully we never have to deal with this again.
You’re reading this because you don’t play professional baseball. You’re reading this because you watch the game, you read about the game, and you have opinions on the game. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether you’re male or female, or how old you are, or what position you played in High School versus somebody who didn’t play in High School.
One day you’re going to read about Kim Ng getting interviewed and then hired by a Major League Baseball team to be their General Manager. Yes, the same Kim Ng that used to work for the Mets and was mocked by Bill Singer in 2003 which lead to his dismissal.
On that day, are you going to question what she knows about the sport simply because she played softball and not baseball, or simply she doesn’t know enough about baseball because she’s a woman?
It makes you sound ignorant when you say that about anybody. You can disagree with a male or female, young or old all you want on here. But do it with class.
About the Author: Michael J. Branda
My time with MMO began in July of 2009 when I wrote a Fan Post defending Omar Minaya (before it was cool to do that.) I grew up a Mets fan with the mid 1980's teams. My favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, I like to think I meet in the middle. I believe thinking of new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the same way has not produced results. However, I think over-thinking certain situations can get you into trouble. I'm excited for the new regime, because I believe they have pieces in place to focus on several aspects of the Mets organization. I've waited this long for a World Series, waiting a few more years for another chance isn't going to kill me.
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