Some stuff happened for five innings, nothing of which affected the score and the details of which are inconsequential for the most part. That Tim Lincecum was pitching and the Mets were hitting is as much as you need to know, though Chris Capuano pitched well enough to keep a lousy Giants offense off the board so the Mets were no worse off after five innings than they were when the game began.
Mike Fontenot, who has been playing shortstop for the Giants because third baseman Pablo Sandoval is hurt and Miguel Tejada shifted to take Sandoval's spot at third, led off the top of the sixth inning with a five-pitch walk. After Buster Posey struck out looking on three pitches, Fontenot moved to second on Aubrey Huff's single and scuttled home on a single by Pat Burrell to give the Giants a 1-0 lead, which under the magnification of Lincecum's dominance seemed more like 10-1.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Carlos Beltran looked downright nimble on a leadoff double down the right-field line, jamming his right hand on a head-first slide into second base but emerging from it none the worse for wear. Ike Davis followed with one of those epic at-bats on which games often turn, a ten-pitch battle with Lincecum which ran full — and included several uncomfortable swings which Davis was fortunate to dribble foul — before Davis lined a single to center that barely missed Lincecum, sending Beltran to third and leaving runners on the corners with none out. Given an average pitcher and an average bunch of hitters due up, that situation — first-and-third with no outs — typically resulted in 1.7 runs scoring in 2010.
Spoiler alert: the Mets didn't score any runs, and while it's easy (and perhaps not entirely unreasonable) to chalk up this latest run-scoring failure to Typical Mets Ineptitude™, there's a little more going on here. For starters, Tim Lincecum isn't an average pitcher. Height-wise he's well below average, but baseball-wise he's maybe the best pitcher in the game, and at the very least he's seated at the Best Pitcher Table with two or three other guys, tops.
For the Mets' part, they didn't have an average hitter within shouting distance of the batter's box, so instead they went with this:
Ronny Paulino: Career .245/.301/.336 hitter against righties.
Willie Harris: Career .245/.332/.359 hitter against righties.
Jason Pridie: Less than 40 career plate appearances against pitchers of all handedness.
Paulino fouled out to second baseman Freddy Sanchez, Harris struck out looking (though he managed a half-hearted check swing just a few seconds after the ball was in the catcher's mitt), and Pridie struck out swinging to end the best scoring chance the Mets mounted all night against Lincecum, who struck out twelve overall.
The series wraps up at 1:10pm on Thursday when Mike Pelfrey takes on Jonathan Sanchez.
Big winners: Carlos Beltran, +13.7% WPA, Ryota Igarashi, +5.1% WPA
Big losers: Willie Harris, -15.7% WPA, Jason Pridie, -15.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Davis single in sixth, +12.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Burrell RBI single in sixth, -16.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +6.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: -56.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Pat Burrell
Nice job by fxcarden; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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