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64° Good Evening

The ailing Giants, Jason Bay, Chase Utley and Evan Longoria

Saw Giants GM Brian Sabean here at Citi Field. "How are you?" I asked him.

"I'm fine," he responded. "We're horse(bleep)."

The defending World Series champs are 13-15. Guess why? If you said, "Their pitching is decent, but their offense is horrendous," then you win.

Their lineup against the Mets tonight has Aaron Rowand leading off and Miguel Tejada batting second. Yeesh. Tejada, he of the .540 OPS this year, is hitting second because "He has a lot of at-bats against a knuckleballer," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. R.A. Dickey starts for the Mets tonight.

That is true. Tejada has faced Tim Wakefield in 87 regular-season plate appearances, the second-most times he has faced any pitcher; only Jamie Moyer, with 93 plate appearances, has faced Tejada more. Against Wakefield, Tejada has five homers.

For that matter, Tejada is 2-for-8 lifetime against Dickey, with a walk.

The Giants had a team meeting, and it sounds like they talked about basic stuff like plate discipline. They have a team on-base percentage of .295, 15th in the National League.

Also, at the request of Sabean, adviser Lou Piniella flew here from his Tampa home to watch the club play. Piniella looks profoundly relaxed as a non-manager.

So the Mets certainly seem to be in position here to have a good homestand, facing vulnerable opponents in the Giants and then the Dodgers.

Jason Bay is away from the team on paternity leave. Lucas Duda got the call-up and will start tonight in leftfield.

--Chase Utley is slowly improving. Emphasis on "slowly." He might head to the Phillies' complex in Clearwater, Fla., but he isn't yet ready to play in Grapefruit League games. I listened to Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. address the Ultey matter Sunday night, and it sounds like Utley is still so far away that it doesn't even make sense to put a concrete timetable on hiis return.

(Thanks for the link, Twitter.)

--The Rays, playing much better nowadays, activated Evan Longoria, their best player. Yeah, it sure is looking like Tampa Bay will be in the race once again.

--Baseball saw its second drunk-driving incident in less than a week. Last week, it was the Braves' Derek Lowe. Now it's Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo.

--Have a great night.


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