Tim Lincecum pitched about as well as this pint-sized doppelganger would have, but the Mets still couldn't take advantage. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Taking a spot start for the first half of today's doubleheader, Miguel Batista was spotty at best, allowing 6 runs, 7 hits, 2 homers, and 3 walks in just 3 2/3 innings. The big blow came in the third, when a two-out Ike Davis error was followed by a walk, then a three-run shot off the bat of Nate Schierholtz.
Then again, the real big blow may have been Batista allowing two runs in the first inning (including a solo shot from Buster Posey), because it gave a margin of error to a shaky Tim Lincecum. This was not the overpowering Tim Lincecum of old, his fastball rarely cracking 90 mph, but he benefited from a combination of guile and good luck to squeak through five innings. He allowed an astonishing (for him) 5 walks, but also struck out 8, and the Mets were never able to get a hit off of him when it mattered most. An amazing double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth allowed Lincecum to escape and be in line for the win.
The Mets fared no better against the SF bullpen, with another golden scoring opportunity bypassed in the bottom of the seventh when they put men on second and third with nobody out but failed to score. The sole positive on the day for the Mets was a decent debut from emergency callup Jeremy Hefner, who contributed three scoreless, yeomanlike innings after Batista exited. Otherwise, this one seemed over even before it started, right around the time "Batista -SP" was penciled in the starting lineup.
Here's to a more satisfying nightcap.