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Monday, April 23, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Giants 6, Mets 1 (Game 1)

By Adam Rubin

WHAT IT MEANS: Miguel Batista could not duplicate the two-hit shutout he tossed in his last start, in Game No. 162 of last season against the Cincinnati Reds. Making a spot start after Sunday’s rainout prompted a doubleheader, Batista served up homers to Buster Posey and Nate Schierholtz while surrendering six runs (three earned) in 3 2/3 innings. The Mets lost Game 1 to Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants, 6-1, Monday afternoon.

Schierholtz’s three-run shot in the third inning came after a two-out error by Ike Davis prolonged the inning. Batista then walked Posey to put two Giants on base for Schierholtz.

Davis also twice left the bases loaded.

DEBUTANT: After Manny Acosta bailed Batista out of further trouble by recording the final out of the fourth with runners on the corners, 26-year-old Jeremy Hefner entered for his major league debut with the Mets trailing 6-1.

Hefner eventually tossed three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and a walk.

FREAK OCCURRENCE: Lincecum had struggled in his first three starts of the season, going 0-2 with a 10.54 ERA. He hardly was efficient, requiring 108 pitches to get through five innings. And he needed a highlight-reel play to avoid a far different line -- but he got it from second baseman Emmanuel Burris.

With the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, Davis hit a grounder up the middle that seemed destined for center field. Burriss instead ranged to his right to snag the grounder. He flipped the baseball with his glove to Brandon Crawford covering second base. Crawford barehanded it and then threw onto first base for a picturesque double play.

As a result, Lincecum’s final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 8 K.

UNLIKE IKE: Davis stranded eight runners while going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. His average dipped to .138 (8-for-58) with a team-high 19 Ks.

After the fifth-inning hard-luck double play, Davis again stranded the bases loaded in the seventh with a routine groundout to second base while facing left-hander Jeremy Affeldt. That inning, the Mets had two runners in scoring position with none out, but ex-Met Guillermo Mota retired Daniel Murphy on a shallow flyout and David Wright on a strikeout as the runners held. Affeldt then entered and loaded the bases with a walk to bring up Davis.

NEW DIMENSIONS: Schierholtz’s homer was the fifth, and latest, long ball that would not have left the yard under the former dimensions at Citi Field. The Mets have a 3-2 advantage in the new-dimension homers:

April 7, Lucas Duda, fourth inning off Jair Jurrjens
April 9, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, fourth inning off Edwin Jackson
April 20, Angel Pagan, third inning off Jon Niese
April 20, Nieuwenhuis, fifth inning off Barry Zito
April 23, Schierholtz, third inning off Batista

WHAT’S NEXT: The regularly scheduled game, in about a half-hour. Dillon Gee opposes left-hander Madison Bumgarner.