Monday’s Lineups and Pre-Gamer: Kershaw Sunday, Harvey Monday


A day after Clayton Kershaw and the second place Dodgers rolled out of San Francisco, the fourth place New York Mets and Matt Harvey get their shot at the struggling San Francisco Giants. Melissa talked to Fansided’s Mets blog Rising Apple to prepare for this series with the Mets and you can check out their Q&A here. The Mets have gone 3-1-2 in their last six series while the Giants have gone 1-5-0, so don’t think that just because the Mets are near the bottom of a division that they will be easy pickings. Heck, if you were around for the Marlins series you already know that’s not a given. Terry Collins has written this down for the visiting Metropolitans:

Jul 4, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman

David Wright

(5) doubles to deep left center during the fourth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

David Wright and company may not have a ton of overall value outside of Wright in that lineup amongst the position players, but three players have double digit home runs (Wright, Marlon Byrd, John Buck), Eric Young Jr. knows the Giants pretty well, and Ike Davis certainly has power potential, even if his fWAR is an embarrassing -0.9. With the righty Harvey on the mound, Bruce Bochy has gone to his predictable lineup against right-handed pitchers that includes…

Brandon Belt batting 3rd? Yes, Brandon Belt is getting more plate appearances, and why not with Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence struggling so hard you wouldn’t believe one of them led an All Star voting category this year and another is one of five guys that can be voted into the All Star Game.

Matt Harvey is one of the best pitchers in the game right now, and there are plenty that would say he is the best in baseball right now. Among qualified starters, his 2.27 ERA is third, 2.09 FIP is best, 29.8% K% is third, and his 4.3 fWAR second in the Majors, to name a few numbers. As the chart below suggests, he can overpower you with his fastball, change things up on you with a 90 MPH slider (highly unfair), a curveball that averages out at 84 (what the heck) and a changeup that’s about 9 MPH different from his average fastball (sad face for hitters).

Although Harvey could not best the Diamondbacks in his last start, he has 39 K’s in his last four starts (26 IP), and of his 18 games started, he and his defense have allowed for one earned run or less in eleven of those outings. Possibly not suitable for work so read the sentence before you click, he also did these shots for the ESPN Body Issue, which showcases his physique. Basically, now you know why everybody loves Matt Harvey.

Tim Lincecum is the other pitcher in this matchup and he used to be The Guy but now he’s a guy, not the worst guy by any means, but definitely not the man we once knew. He was on the opposite end of Homer Bailey‘s no-hitter and really didn’t look too bad, and has looked passable in the past month. The offense may need to score a little more to back his causes to win a game, but not everybody can be Matt Harvey.

Plenty of fastballs around 91, we’ve seen him even reach 93 this year, with the slider and split other weapons for him to use. Being able to steal some strikes with the curveball would be nice, since you’d love your pitcher to have more weapons to put into the hitters heads.

Other news and notes, starting with Matt Kemp:

The Dodgers get their four best outfielders for one day and then it’s nope, see ya later. Stephen Fife also has shoulder bursitis, so he’ll hit the DL for Los Angeles as well.

Tim Kawakami spoke with Giants GM Brian Sabean, and you can check out the script here. Some quotes made by the GM that stuck out:

"“We pretty much know who’s available and what it’s going to take. At this point, it’s not in best interests of our organization to move forward with anything from the outside.”“We’ve been too damn inconsistent. We’ve earned our record.”“But I guess because of the hype and everybody’s more in tune with what’s going on with a prospect, they don’t understand it is a process. You can’t force the prods. Not everybody’s a Posey or Belt or Crawford… Different players need different levels of patience.”"

On Santiago Casilla, who threw one inning of good relief yesterday for San Jose:

22 year old outfielder Jesus Galindo from the Low-A Augusta GreenJackets was added to the World Roster:

Zack Wheeler will start on Wednesday, and he’s excited:

The start to the series will begin at 7:15PM PST. Remember to vote for your favorite of these players to go to the All Star Game!