The New York Mets were defeated by the San Francisco Giants in 2-0 loss Thursday night. They begin an 11-game West coast road trip getting shutout by one of the best pitchers in the game. With another Braves win, the Mets fall further out of first place.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Initial Reaction:

R.A. Dickey took the mound against Giants ace Tim Lincecum in the first game of the second half. Even though Dickey handled the Giants lineup fairly well, Lincecum–most critics refer to him as “the Freak”–one-upped him by pitching a complete game shutout for the win.

The Mets offense just didn’t show up today. Granted, they faced a tremendous opponent (Cy Young winner in ’08 and ’09), but it looked like the life was sucked out of them. Adding Carlos Beltran to the lineup certainly didn’t help matters much. With Jose Reyes out of the lineup again tonight, along with having the entire all-star break to rest his oblique, there are some worries for Jerry Manuel and the Mets. Until their star shortstop makes it back into the mix, it would be very hard to take this team for serious contenders down the stretch.

Don’t be surprised if the immediacy of Beltran translates into losses. The Mets have built great team chemistry for much of the 2010 season without him, so it may take a while to get used to the new scenario.

Positives From The Game:

The Knuckleballer: R.A. Dickey pitched very well in his first start of the second half. Through seven innings, he allowed only one run on five hits and a walk (intentional). In eleven starts this season, Dickey has a dominant 2.62 ERA, and all but two of those games were, what analysts would call, “quality starts”.

Beltran: After undergoing abrupt knee surgery in January, Carlos Beltran returned to the major league club for the first time since October 4th last season. He singled in just his second at-bat since returning. Its also a HUGE positive, with the addition of Beltran, by having a more potent lineup.

Negatives From The Game:

The Lineup: Reyes out, Beltran in, and the Mets offense couldn’t get anything going all night. The lineup produced only six hits against Tim Lincecum, who has struggled previously in four starts against the team.

Interesting Facts:

  • After starting the season 6-0, Dickey has lost his last three straight decisions.
  • The Mets have been shutout six times this year.
  • After tonight, Pedro Felician0 has failed to record an out in six relief occasions.

What’s Next?: The Mets look to even up the series in Game 2 against the San Francisco Giants Friday night at AT&T Park. Game Time 10:35 on SNY.

NYM Jonathon Niese (6-3) 3.61 ERA vs. SF Barry Zito (7-4) 3.76 ERA