|1:05 PM PT2:05 PM MT3:05 PM CT4:05 PM ET16:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 1:05 PM MST3:05 PM EST3:35 PM VEN0:05 UAE (+1)3:05 PM CT, July 20, 2019
Oracle Park, San Francisco, California Attendance: 33,860
Mets, Giants to play again after 10-inning affair
With the trade speculation that's surrounding them commanding more attention than the games themselves, the visiting New York Mets and San Francisco Giants meet for a third time Saturday afternoon in a series that's already featured two low-scoring, extra-inning thrillers.
The Giants have extended their season-best winning streak to seven games by going 16 innings for a 3-2 win and 10 innings for a 1-0 triumph.
The two walk-off triumphs were their fourth and fifth of the season. The Mets, meanwhile, have been on the losing end of eight walk-offs.
Pitching has dominated the first 26 innings of the series, with starters Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Madison Bumgarner and Tyler Beede leading the way. The foursome allowed a total of just two runs and 17 hits in 31 innings, striking out 29.
Losing the first two games of the series to drop themselves to third from the bottom in the National League wild-card race has many around the Mets talking trade. Right-hander Zack Wheeler has been the most frequently floated name.
Wheeler would be pitching against the Giants on Saturday if not for shoulder fatigue. His spot will be taken by minor league call-up Walker Lockett (0-1, 11.74).
The best news for the Mets on Friday came before the game, when Wheeler took a big step toward pronouncing himself ready to return to the starting rotation, perhaps as early as the club's next series against San Diego.
A return Tuesday or Wednesday could conceivably give Wheeler two outings to demonstrate his return to health before the July 31 trade deadline.
"Wheeler played catch," Mets manager Mickey Callaway reported to the media before Friday's game. "I think he went 70, 100, 120 (feet) -- 10 apiece -- and then threw 13 off the mound, which is more just continued glorified catch off of a slope."
The manager noted that Wheeler would be re-evaluated Saturday, then sit back and watch Lockett make his third start of the season for the Mets and sixth of his two-year career.
In an effort to get his club back on a winning track, Lockett will take a 10.32 career ERA to the mound with him. The 25-year-old has never faced the Giants.
The Giants will counter with Jeff Samardzija (7-7, 3.93), who has pitched well enough of late to potentially claim top-of-the-rotation status should the Giants deal Bumgarner in the next 11 days.
The San Francisco ace was at his best under the trade spotlight on Thursday, going a full nine innings while holding the Mets to one run.
He received a standing ovation when he walked off the mound after completing the ninth in a 1-1 game, with many in attendance anticipating it might have been his last work as a Giant.
Bumgarner was having none of it afterward.
"This is my club," he insisted to reporters. "I don't look at things I can't control. I don't think about them."
Samardzija has been a key to the Giants' rise up the NL wild-card standings and to .500 for the first time this season, going 3-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his three July starts. He's struck out 17 in 21 2/3 innings over that stretch.
The 34-year-old has never beaten the Mets, going 0-5 with a 7.32 ERA in 11 career head-to-heads, including five starts.
--Field Level Media
Updated July 20, 2019