NEW YORK (AP) - Johan Santana wanted to get back on the mound immediately after his fiasco in Atlanta last week. Thanks to the weather, he'll have to be extra patient.
The game between the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets was postponed because of rain Sunday and rescheduled as part of a single-admission doubleheader Monday beginning at 4:10 p.m. Rather than have Santana start one of those games, the Mets pushed him back a day to Tuesday against Jose Reyes and the Miami Marlins.
``It's about the whole staff, not just Johan,' manager Terry Collins said. ``We decided not to double up the two guys (Dillon Gee and Santana) and then all of a sudden have to scramble around in four days to see who's going to pitch.'
Mets long man Miguel Batista will make a spot start in the first game against Giants ace Tim Lincecum, off to a terrible start this season. Gee, the scheduled starter Sunday, will pitch Game 2 against Madison Bumgarner.
New York made the move in order to stay in rotation the rest of the week. The Mets also were a bit concerned about the possibility of more rain Monday and they didn't want Santana's outing potentially affected by bad weather.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner is coming off the shortest start of his career. He lasted only 1 1-3 innings in a 9-3 loss to the Braves last Tuesday, his third game after missing last season following shoulder surgery.
``It's definitely not the way you want to do it,' Santana said. ``I'm still trying to work my way back and go deeper in the games. I want to compete. I wanted to start the next day.'
Collins said Santana has thrown two bullpen sessions this week following the brief outing in Atlanta.
``So there's nothing wrong with giving him another day,' the manager said.
Lincecum, who was slated to pitch Sunday at Citi Field, will now go Monday. He is still looking for his first win of the year.
``It's just the way it goes,' said Lincecum, also a two-time Cy Young Award winner. ``You deal with this stuff over here, especially at this time of year. We dealt with it in Washington a couple years ago, and it felt like the batting cage was flooded with 2 feet of water. You get pushed back and you just try to stay focused and try not to get out of your plan.'
Lincecum is 0-2 with a 10.54 ERA in three outings, allowing 22 hits in 13 2-3 innings. Opponents are batting .344 against him and he's allowed at least five runs in three consecutive games for the first time in his career.
He began to find his form following a rocky start in his most recent game Monday night against Philadelphia. Matched up with fellow ace Roy Halladay, the four-time All-Star gave up four runs in the first before holding the Phillies to one run over the next five innings. Still, he wound up on the short side of a 5-2 loss.
Nine of the 16 runs Lincecum has allowed have come in the first inning. Last season, he gave up eight first-inning runs all year.
``Tim has really struggled with his command probably as much as anything, but last game was a better game for him,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. ``The first inning he gave up a big number but the next five innings he threw the ball well. He's got to build on that and I think he will, and he even said that. He's got some things to feel good about his last outing.'
The Mets might be just the right opponent for Lincecum as he tries to get himself on track. He is 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA in his last three starts against New York, yielding only one earned run in 22 innings. In seven career starts against the Mets, he is 3-1 with a 2.87 ERA and one complete game.
``His stuff is fine, physically he's fine, but like all of us, you know, when we don't have success our confidence gets shaken a little bit,' Bochy said. ``But he's going to be OK through all this. He's been through it.'
Lincecum certainly seemed loose Sunday morning as he peeked out of the dugout to get a gauge on the rain. Wearing shorts, sandals and a sweat shirt, he pulled off his headphones to chat with a couple of reporters about the weather.
``I think he's eager to get out there, but if it's another day I don't think that's going to make a big difference for Timmy,' Bochy said before the game was postponed.
With rain falling and the forecast predicting showers all day, the game was called about 90 minutes before the scheduled start. The teams split the first two in a four-game series, with both decided in the last inning by one run.
NOTES: Collins spoke with reliever Frank Francisco and assured him that he's still the team's closer. Collins pulled a struggling Francisco with a 4-2 lead in the ninth inning Saturday. ... Due to the rainout, New York rescheduled a Tom Seaver bobblehead giveaway for May 5.
The Associated Press News Service
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