The Mets try to avoid being swept by the San Francisco Giants when Mike Pelfrey takes the mound for a matinee finale.
Thursday's news reports:
• Tim Lincecum struck out 12 in seven scoreless innings as the Mets lost to the Giants, 2-0. Afterward, Terry Collins told reporters about facing Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Lincecum in a four-game span: "Everybody in America is aware of how good these guys are. That speaks for themselves. You've got to grind out at-bats. You can't strike out 12 times. When he's got a guy in scoring position, [Lincecum] steps it up. You've got to step it up. We're a big-league team, too."
• Record columnist Bob Klapisch sees Lincecum following a Pedro Martinez-like career trajectory -- relying on his fastball earlier in his career, then pinpoint control in his 30s once the velocity begins to fade. Writes Klapisch:
There’s no insult meant toward Lincecum, just an irrefutable fact: pipsqueaks inevitably lose their heat. Look at Pedro, who used up his 97-mph four-seamer by 2000, but evolved into a complete pitcher who helped the Red Sox to their historic takedown of the Yankees in 2004. In some ways, Lincecum already is preparing for the future – he throws fewer fastballs now than he did two years ago, relying more on his slider and splitter, sort of like buying savings bonds. But Lincecum is only 26, still young enough to embarrass hitters with the very fastball that earned him the nickname “the Freak.” Throwing at 95 mph, Lincecum destroyed the Mets on Wednesday night.
• Josh Thole should get his second straight day off Thursday, with the Mets facing left-hander Jonathan Sanchez. He presumably will continue to work with bullpen coach/catching instructor Jon Debus. Thole's catching struggles continued Tuesday when he had his seventh passed ball, most in the majors. Thole did pinch-hit Wednesday. Read more in Newsday and the Times.
• Thole, meanwhile, learned his dog is deaf and has been communicating with the Maltese poodle through hand signals.
• Newsday columnist Jim Baumbach wonders if the Mets will ever throw a no-hitter. The Padres are the only other organization without one. Baumbach inquired about it with Chris Young, who nearly threw one with San Diego. Writes Baumbach:
Chris Young can relate. Late in the 2006 season Young took a no-hitter into the ninth inning, staring at the possibility of throwing the first in Padres history. But after getting the first out of the inning, Young gave up a home run to Pirates pinch hitter Joe Randa . When Young predicted that night that "it's just a matter of time" before the Padres would throw their first no-hitter, it sounded as if he believed they were overdue. Presented with that theory Wednesday, Young all but laughed. "How many are thrown per year? Two or three?" he asked. He's right. Although there were six thrown last season, there's been an average of 2.25 per season the last 20 years.
Daily News columnist Filip Bondy also tackles the no no-hitter issue.
• Reliever Pedro Beato landed on the DL with elbow tendinitis. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Jose Reyes said the trade rumblings, already revving up at this early date, are no big deal. Read more in the Post.
BIRTHDAY: Former Met reliever Juan Acevedo turns 37. Acevedo was well-traveled. He pitched parts of eight seasons for eight teams, although the only ones he finished with a winning record for were the Mets (3-1) and the Cardinals (14-11). -Mark Simon