National League Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, August 1st (All times Eastern)
New York Mets (50-54) at San Francisco Giants (56-47), 10:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Jonathon Niese (7-5, 3.86) San Francisco - Matt Cain (10-3, 2.80)
(Sports Network) - In order to stay afloat in the National League West standings, the division-leading San Francisco Giants hope the addition of Hunter Pence will provide a lift in their march to the postseason.
Pence could make his debut this evening in the third portion of a four-game series versus the New York Mets at AT&T Park and was acquired before Tuesday's trade deadline from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a trio of players. The Giants parted ways with right fielder Nate Schierholtz, catching prospect Tommy Joseph and minor league pitcher Seth Rosin.
"Walking into the stadium was amazing," Pence said. "There were still fans out there welcoming me. The fans are pumped, and that gets you really excited when you get here. I've been on a plane all day traveling, and it's refreshing."
Pence's numbers are down in 2012 after putting up career statistics in 2011. In 101 games this season, Pence is batting .271 with a .336 on-base percentage and a .447 slugging percentage; this comes after a 2011 split between Houston and Philadelphia in which he batted .314 with a .370 OBP and .502 SLG.
The Giants are one game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the NL West lead and their division rivals also tapped into the Philadelphia roster on Tuesday, plucking center fielder Shane Victorino. The Giants ended a five-game losing streak with last night's 4-1 win behind Tim Lincecum's seven strong innings. Lincecum is having a down year, but didn't show it in allowing one run and six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Jeremy Affeldt went the last two innings for his second save.
"I thought he had all his pitches going. He was under control too," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner. "Great poise out there. It's hard to throw a better pitch than to get him what he did in that at-bat. He pitched like the Timmy we know."
Marco Scutaro provided two hits, an RBI and a run scored, while Ryan Theriot crossed the plate twice for San Francisco, which is 3-5 on a 10-game homestand.
Matt Cain hopes to follow Lincecum's effort on the mound when he gets the call Wednesday and the Giants had won nine straight from May 12-June 18 with the right-hander on the hill. However, Cain is only 1-1 with a 3.89 earned run average in his last six starts with San Francisco going 2-4 in that time. He has posted back-to-back no-decisions and allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 5-3 loss versus L.A. on Friday.
Cain, who is 5-2 in 10 home starts, will make his 10th career start against the Mets tonight and is 5-3 with a 3.61 ERA in this series.
The Mets were quiet at the trade deadline and fell back into the loss column following Tuesday's defeat. Matt Harvey pitched well in the loss, as he allowed three runs -- two earned -- and four hits in six innings.
"He didn't have the command that he did the first time out. I thought he pitched very well and kept us in the ball game," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Justin Turner drove in New York's lone run of the game and added two hits. Scott Hairston was rumored to be on the trading block, but remained with the team, finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored.
"We were not going to move players simply to move them," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told the team's website. "We were not looking for some small, incremental improvement in the overall player development situation. If we were going to get a quality player, then we would strongly consider doing something as a 'seller.' But absent a strong effort by another club, we weren't going to simply make a move just to make a move."
Mets All-Star third baseman David Wright was not in the starting lineup and will be back Wednesday. Wright is batting .329 with 16 home runs and 71 RBI this season and has an on-base percentage of .420.
New York, which lost for the 15th time in 19 tries and is 9 1/2 games off the Wild Card, will continue its 11-game road trip (3-3) with Jonathon Niese on the hill tonight. Niese is 0-2 with a 5.67 earned run average in his last four starts -- all Mets losses -- and was beat up for eight runs, six of which were earned, and nine hits in six innings of Friday's 11-5 setback at Arizona.
Niese fell to 7-5 in 20 starts to go along with a 3.86 ERA and will face San Francisco for the second time this season. In a 4-3 loss on April 20, Niese did not receive a decision and yielded three runs in six innings. In three career games (2 starts) against the Giants, the left-hander is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA.
San Francisco is 4-2 against the Mets this season and won four of six matchups between the teams a year ago. New York hasn't won a series against the Giants since taking five of eight encounters back in 2009.
08/01 10:35:55 ET