A pair of dramatic victories over the Giants have helped the Mets extend an already lengthy home winning streak. For it to reach double digits, New York again needs to find a way to beat the reigning two-time NL Cy Young Award winner.
New York (17-13) won its ninth straight at Citi Field on Saturday when catcher Henry Blanco(notes) hit a leadoff homer in the 11th inning for a 5-4 win. The night before, fellow catcher Rod Barajas(notes) went deep in the ninth for a 6-4 victory in the series opener with the Giants (17-12).
“I like the guys that we have,” New York manager Jerry Manuel said.
The home win streak is the Mets’ longest since winning 11 in row at Shea Stadium from Aug. 5-24, 2006. The Mets are also in position to sweep San Francisco for the first time since July 8-10, 2008 at Shea.
To do so, they’ll need to hand Lincecum (4-0, 1.70 ERA) his first loss of 2010.
The ace right-hander was 33-12 with a 2.55 ERA in 2008-09, but 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in two starts against the Mets in that span. He faced New York once last year, and allowed five runs and a career high-tying 10 hits but didn’t get a decision in an 8-6 loss in San Francisco.
Lincecum has struggled in New York during his brief career, but told the Giants’ official website that it doesn’t matter which city he pitches in.
“I think you put those things aside in your mind and you say, ‘This is what I do. (The mound) is where I’m most comfortable,’” he said.
Lincecum had allowed three runs in 27 innings while winning his first four starts of the season. In two appearances since, he’s given up five runs in 15 1-3 innings, but has failed to record a decision each time as San Francisco’s bullpen surrendered a total of eight runs in 7 2-3 innings.
Blanco and Barajas are a combined 0 for 5 against Lincecum, who could be without batterymate Bengie Molina(notes) after he left Saturday with a tight left hamstring. Eli Whiteside(notes), who has gone 4 for 5 in the series, would likely start if Molina cannot go.
Both of Perez’s losses this season have come at home, and the left-hander walked four over 3 2-3 innings during his last start there on April 27 in a 10-5 win over Los Angeles.
Perez allowed two runs and six hits with four walks in a 3-2, 11-inning loss Monday at Cincinnati.
New York will likely be without second baseman Luis Castillo(notes), who is day to day with a bruised left heel. Alex Cora(notes), who replaced Castillo in the eighth inning Saturday and is hitting .179, should start.