By Declan Finn
The New York Mets have gone 4-6 over their last 10, haven't won a series in their last three tries, yet still lead the National League East by a half-game over the Washington Nationals. The division lead has more to do with the Nationals going into a complete tailspin, after losing eight of their last 10 games, but the Mets aren't going to apologize for being in first place.
The going doesn't get any easier for the Mets as they return home for eight straight games, starting with the defending world champion San Francisco Giants, which are second place in the NL West, but a game better than the Mets in record.
Here is our inside look at everything you need to know about the three-game series at Citi Field.
San Francisco Giants (32-26, 2nd Place NL West)
at New York Mets (31-27, 1st Place NL East)
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.
Chris Heston (5-4, 4.29) vs. Noah Syndergaard (2-3, 3.77)
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.
Tim Hudson (3-5, 4.41) vs. Matt Harvey (6-3, 3.05)
Thursday, 7:10 p.m.
Tim Lincecum (6-3, 3.29) vs. Jonathan Niese (3-6, 4.43)
The Mets are 8-11 over their last 19 games and 4-6 over their 10, winning just one series out of their last six. After sweeping three from the Phillies, the Mets dropped two of three to both the Marlins and Padres before splitting a four-game series with the Diamondbacks. The Mets return home, however, where they are 21-8 at Citi Field. They are just 10-19 on the road. The Giants have won just two of their past eight games, so the Mets could be catching them at the right time. Before that stretch, the Giants had won five straight. San Francisco trails the Dodgers by one game in the NL West.
Three Giants To Know
1. Buster Posey is one of the best players in baseball, especially worthy seeing as he's an everyday catcher. Posey is having another solid season, batting .285 with six doubles, nine homers and 31 RBI in 54 games. After struggling for a stretch, Posey is starting to heat up again, going 4-for-14 with a homer and two RBI over his last four games. The Giants have made sure to lock up Posey for the long term, as he's signed through 2021, with a nine-year, $164 million contract.
2. Brandon Crawford is an emerging star in the league, batting .289 with 12 doubles, eight homers and a team-leading 38 RBI in 57 games this season. He's had a hit in eight of his past 10 games, with two homers and eight RBI as well during that span. He's batting more than 40 points higher than his career batting average and is just two homers shy of matching his career-high in that category.
3. The leading hitter on the Giants this year is Nori Aoki, a 33-year-old player in his third year in the major leagues. Aoki is hitting .321 overall with eight doubles, two triples, two homers, 17 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He has a five-game hit streak, where he's gone 9-for-21 (.429). He's ninth in the NL in batting average and sixth in stolen bases.
The Mets host the Atlanta Braves for three games starting Friday night.