Mets vs. Giants Preview: Game #106 — Chris Young vs. Barry Zito

Big dude.

Today's game notes, courtesy of @Mets.

Teams: Mets vs. Giants
Date: Thursday, August 2, 2012 • 3:45 p.m
Location: AT&T Park • San Francisco, CA
Starters: RHP Chris Young (2-5, 4.58) vs. LHP Barry Zito (8-7, 3.89)
TV/Radio: SNY • WFAN • WQBU
Info: Game #106 • Road Game #54

Lineup

Ruben Tejada – SS
Andres Torres – CF
David Wright – 3B
Scott Hairston – RF
Daniel Murphy – 1B
Jason Bay – LF
Ronny Cedeno – 2B
Rob Johnson – C
Chris Young – RHP

METS AT A GLANCE: The Mets have won three of their last four games after losing 14 of their previous 16 contests...New York is 4-6 in its last 10 games...The Mets improved to 5-14 since the All-Star break...New York is now 14-15 in one-run decisions after last night’s 2-1 triumph and 6-8 on the road in such games.

ON THE ROAD: New York is 4-3 on its season-high 11-game road trip ...After this series, the Mets will travel to San Diego for three games ...The Mets are 25-28 overall on the road this year...David Wright leads the majors with a .371 road batting average...The Mets have scored 262 runs on the road, tied for the second-most in the majors with St. Louis...Los Angeles (AL) is first with 268...The Mets are averaging 4.94 runs per game on the road which is second in the majors.

ONE IS NOT LONELY: The Mets held the Giants to one run last night...It was the 26th time this year, New York’s pitching staff has held its opponents to one run or fewer, the most in the majors...The Dodgers are second with 25 such games.

SCORING EARLY: New York has scored five first-inning runs during the first seven games of the road trip and plated the first run of the game five times...The Mets are 36-17 when they score first.

DAY BASEBALL: Daniel Murphy (.369) and David Wright (.353) own the top two batting averages in the National League during day games...New York is 23-17 in day games this season...The 23 victories are tied for the fourth-most in the majors...Only Detroit (29), Cincinnati (25) and Chicago-NL (24) have more.

RUBEN TEJADA: Hit his first career leadoff home run last night off Matt Cain...It was the second leadoff home run by the Mets this year...Kirk Nieuwenhuis went deep to start the June 14th game at Tampa Bay...It was Tejada’s second major league home run and first since September 5, 2010 at Chicago.

MORE TEJADA: Ruben Tejada finished the game with three hits to extend his hitting streak to seven games...Tejada is batting .375 (12-32) during that stretch...The Mets shortstop is hitting .329 (47-147) with a .366 on-base percentage since he return from the Disabled List on June 24.

STOLEN BASES: New York had a season-high four stolen bases (Wright, Murphy, Bay, Baxter) last night...The last time the Mets had four or more stolen bases in a game was August 6, 2011 vs. Atlanta when they also had four stolen bases.

SCOTT HAIRSTON: Has three straight multi-hit games and four straight multi-hit games when he starts...Since the All-Star break Hairston is hitting .340 (17-50) with eight runs scored, six doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI in 17 games.

DAVID WRIGHT: Ranks third in the majors with a .424 on-base percentage and sixth with a .333 batting average, tied for third with 32 doubles and tied for 11th with 71 RBI...Wright is eighth in the National League with 65 runs scored and is fourth with 60 walks.

MILESTONE TRACKER: David Wright is one home run shy of becoming the third player in franchise history to reach the 200 home run plateau...Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220) are the others...Wright is also four RBI shy of 800 for his career.

VALDESPIN RBI: Jordany Valdespin had an RBI ground out last night ...Valdespin has 23 RBI in 122 at-bats...His 5.09 at-bat per RBI ratio is the 10th-best in the National League (min. 120 at-bats).

PITCHING NOTES: Mets starters rank eighth in the majors with a 3.84 ERA...New York’s bullpen tossed 2.0 scoreless and hitless innings last night...The pen has allowed a run in 14 of the 19 games since the All-Star break (5.12 ERA)...Overall, New York’s bullpen has the second-worst ERA (4.98) in the majors...The pen has lost 21 games, the third-most in the majors and has 17 blown saves, the third-most in the majors.

BOUNCING BACK: Jonathon Niese is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA with eight walks and 23 strikeouts in four starts this year after allowing five or more earned runs in his previous start.

JOSH EDGIN: Has not allowed a run in his last eight outings, spanning 7.1 innings...Overall, he has racked up 18 strikeouts in 10.0 innings of work...Lefties are 4-23 (.174) with 12 strikeouts...He earned his first major league victory on Monday night.

OFFENSE: The Mets have the fourth-best average (.259) in the National League...New York also ranks fourth with a .326 on-base percentage...The Mets lead the NL and rank second in the majors with 206 doubles...Boston is first (228).

TWO-OUTS: The Mets have scored 207 two-out runs this season, the most in the majors...New York is hitting .265 with two outs, the fourth-highest average in the majors...New York’s pitching staff allowed one, two-out run last night and has surrendered 194 runs with two outs, the third-most in the majors.

RISP: The Mets were 1-13 with runners in scoring position last night and over their last 16 games, the club is hitting .196 (28-143) with runners in scoring position...New York is hitting .261 with RISP on the season, ranking 11th in the majors...The Mets are hitting .272 with runners in scoring position and two outs, the highest average in the majors.

LOB: New York equaled its season-high stranding 13 runners in a nine inning game last night...The Mets also had 13 left on base on May 12 at Miami...Overall, the Mets have left 737 runners on base, the fifth-most in the National League.

MINOR NOTES: RHP Zack Wheeler was promoted to Buffalo (AAA) of the International League yesterday...He is expected to start on Sunday vs. Syracuse...Wheeler went 10-6 with a 3.26 ERA (42 earned runs/116.0 innings) with an Eastern League-leading 117 strikeouts in 19 starts with Binghamton...He allowed 92 hits and issued 43 walks ...Wheeler was acquired from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Carlos Beltran on July 28, 2011.

FRANK FRANCISCO: Is expected to be activated prior to Friday’s game at San Diego...Francisco tossed a scoreless inning last night for Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League vs. Harrisburg...He allowed one hit, did not issue a walk and did not have a strikeout...Francisco has tossed 4.2 innings, allowed six hits, one run, earned, with one walk and four strikeout in five rehabilitation games...Francisco has been on the 15-Day Disabled List since June 23 with a left oblique strain.

LAST START: Lost his fourth straight decision in the Mets’ 6-3 defeat at Arizona on July 28...Pitched 4.0 innings and allowed a season-high six runs, earned, seven hits, one home run, and two walks...Struck out a season low-tying two and threw a season-low 68 pitches...Failed to pitch into the fifth inning for the second time in four starts...Allowed a home run for the fifth straight game after allowing just one in his first five starts of the season.

ROAD WOES: Young is 2-3 with a 5.70 ERA (19 earned runs/30.0 innings) and a .331 (40-121) opponents batting average on the road but is 0-2 with a 3.33 ERA (10 earned runs/27.0 innings) and a .208 (21-101) opponents batting average at home this season. In his last three road starts, Young is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA (13 earned runs/13.0 innings) and a .365 (19-52) opponents batting average.

POST-ALL-STAR STRUGGLES: Since the All-Star break, Young is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA (15 earned runs/20.0 innings). For his career, Young is 15-15 with a 4.34 ERA after the All-Star break but is 36-24 with a 3.45 ERA before the All-Star break.

LEFTY/RIGHTY: In his last seven starts dating to June 23 against the Yankees, Young has held right-handed batters to a .164 (11-67) average and a .284 slugging percentage, striking out 20 while walking only one...Over the same period, left-handed batters are hitting .325 (26-80) against him with a .600 slugging percentage, 11 walks and only six strikeouts.

DAYTIME PITCHING: For his career, Young is 14-6 with a 3.05 ERA as a daytime starter and 37-33 with a 4.07 ERA as a nighttime starter...This year, Young is 0-2 with a 3.21 ERA (five earned runs/14.0 innings) during the day and 2-3 with a 5.02 ERA (24 earned runs/43.0 innings) at night.

RUN SUPPORT: Has received the least run support on average (2.30 runs per start) of the five Mets starters who have made at least six starts this season...The team has scored three or fewer runs in seven of the last eight games Young has started and is 2-8 in Young’s nine starts.

THIRD TIME THROUGH: Opposing batters are hitting .321 (17-53) the third time they face Young in a game this season, .444 (8-18) in the seventh inning or later, and .462 (6-13) in late and close situations...For his career, Young has held opposing hitters to a .224 batting average when facing them for the third time in a game, but they have hit .254 against him in late and close situations.

PITCHING TO CONTACT: Young is averaging 5.4 strikeouts and 2.7 walks per nine innings this season, both down from his career averages of 7.7 strikeouts and 3.5 walks per nine innings...Opposing hitters are putting 21.5 percent of his pitches in play, up 4.2 percent from Young’s career average of 17.3 percent, and opposing hitters are batting .293 on balls in play, up 41 points from Young’s career average of .252...They are also swinging and missing 16.3 percent of the time, down 4.9 percent from Young’s career average of 21.2 percent...Opposing hitters are swinging at 31.6 percent of Young’s first pitches, up 3.1 percent from Young’s career average of 28.5 percent.

PITCHES PER INNING: Young’s career pitches per inning average of 16.9 (14,074 pitches/832.2 innings) is fourth-highest among active pitchers who have started a game since 2002 and have thrown at least 800.0 career innings...Young is averaging 15.6 pitches per inning (888 pitches/57.0 innings) this season.

FINISHING INNINGS: With two outs in an inning this season, opposing hitters are batting .212 (14-66) against Young, but hitters are batting .271 (19-70) against him with one out in an inning and .326 (28-86) against him with no outs in an inning.

GROUND BALL/FLY BALL RATIO: Among pitchers who began their careers after the stat began to be kept in 1987 and have made at least 25 starts, Young has the lowest ground ball/fly ball ratio at 0.52 (658 ground balls/1261 fly balls)...This season, Young has a ground ball/fly ball ratio of 0.45 (48 ground balls/107 fly balls), which is lowest among starters with at least 40.0 innings pitched...For his career, Young has gotten 34 ground-ball double plays in 523 possible situations (6.5%)...The 34 total GIDP and 6.5% are both fewest in the majors among active pitchers with at least 100 career starts.

STOLEN BASE PERCENTAGE: Since 1974, no pitcher with at least 40 career starts has had bases stolen against him at a higher rate than Young...Base stealers have been successful against Young on 90.4 percent of their attempts (150 steals on 166 attempts)...This season, attempting base stealers are .778 (7-9) against Young.

OPPONENT BATTING AVERAGE: Ranks third among active pitchers who have made at least 50 career starts with an opponent batting average of .222...Young’s opponent batting average this season is .275, which would be a career high for a season.

LAST WIN VS. SAN FRANCISCO: Won, 2-1, on May 19, 2009 at PETCO Park as a member of the San Diego Padres...Pitched 6.0 innings and allowed one run, earned, five hits, and three walks...Hit a batter and struck out six.

LAST LOSS VS. SAN FRANCISCO: Lost, 0-7, on September 13, 2008 at PETCO Park as a member of the San Diego Padres...Pitched 7.0 innings, allowing three runs, earned, seven hits, one home run, and one walk...Struck out nine.

CAREER VS. SAN FRANCISCO: In 11 career games, all starts, Young is 3-4 with a 3.03 ERA (24 earned runs/71.1 innings) vs. San Francisco.

KEY MATCHUPS:

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