Barry Zito Hopes to Help Giants Earn Series Split Over Mets: Fan’s Preview

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After falling to the New York Mets 2-1 on Wednesday, the San Francisco Giants have lost six of their last seven games. Fortunately for the Giants, the Giants are still a game above the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West standings after getting swept by the rising Arizona Diamondbacks, who are only 2 1/2 games out of first place. Now a very close three-team race, the Giants will have a chance to extend their lead over both teams, as the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are both on their off day.

To earn a series split, the Giants will look to Barry Zito for a good start. Solid in his last six starts, he pitched only five innings and allowed two earned runs in his last start against the Mets at Citi Field on April 20. Looking to bounce back from his last weak outing in a 10-0 loss to the Dodgers, he'll be integral in the team's success on Thursday and for the rest of the season.

The Mets will counter with Chris Young, who is coming off a very rough July. Going 0-4 with a 6.00 ERA in five starts, Young will need to be wary of Buster Posey, Melky Cabrera, and newcomer Hunter Pence. If the Giants want to tie this four-game series, the team's 3-4-5 hitters need to provide some pop early and often for the win.

Matchup:

The San Francisco Giants will host the New York Mets at AT&T Park located in San Francisco, CA on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at 12:45 p.m. PT. This will be the fourth game in a four-game series.

Season series:

Giants lead season series 4-3.

Standings:

New York comes into the matchup with a 51-54 record and in third place in the National League East. They are 25-28 when playing on the road and have won four of their last 10 games.

San Francisco enters the game with a 56-48 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 32-22 when playing at home and have won three of their last 10 games.

Starting pitcher matchup:

New York: Chris Young

2012 season: 2-5, 4.58 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 34 K

Numbers vs. Giants in last five years: 3-3, 2.76 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 52 Ks

San Francisco: Barry Zito

2012 season: 8-7, 3.89 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 70 Ks

Numbers vs. Mets in last five years: 3-2, 3.31 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 30 Ks

Where to watch and listen to the game:

The game can be watched live locally at the following:

In New York: SNY and WFAN 660

In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD and KNBR 680

Next series on tap:

Following this series, the Mets will visit the San Diego Padres from August 3-5 and host the Miami Marlins from August 7-9.

Meanwhile, the Giants' next two series will be on the road against the Colorado Rockies from August 3-5 and on the road against the St. Louis Cardinals from August 6-9.

Sources:

Mets' Young to face new-look Giants, MLB.com

Mets-Giants Preview, AP

More from this contributor:

New San Francisco Giants OF Hunter Pence Makes First Star vs. Familiar NL East Foe: Fan's Preview

San Francisco Giants Acquire Hunter Pence from Philadelphia Phillies: Fan's Reaction

Slumping Giants Face Matt Harvey in Second Major League Start: Fan's Preview

San Francisco Giants Look to Avoid Season-High Losing Streak Against New York Mets: Fan's Preview

San Francisco Giants Acquire Marco Scutaro from Colorado Rockies: Fan's Reaction

Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.

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