It's not too often Bartolo Colon, 41, and in the middle of his 17th Major League season, faces a lineup full of batters who have hardly faced him, but that will be the case Sunday afternoon at Citi Field when he goes against left-hander Madison Bumgarner and the Giants.
San Francisco position players have a combined 34 plate appearances against the right-handed Colon, none more than Michael Morse (2-for-6). Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford each check in at 3-for-5.
Colon will be looking to position the Mets to take their third series in their last four (the only non-win being a split with the Brewers). New York and San Francisco have split the first two games of this four-game set, with three of the four starting pitchers carrying no-hit bids into at least the sixth inning.
The roll Colon (3.88 ERA, 1.16 WHIP) is on right now suggests he could very well follow suit. In each of his last two outings -- wins over Seattle and Philadelphia -- he carried a shutout into the eighth inning. The latter wound up being a one-run, 7 2/3-inning effort in which Colon scattered 10 hits and a walk.
"He had his fastball working both ways," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said afterward. "He was throwing front-door sinkers to lefties. He was throwing cut fastballs and spotting his pitches real well. ... He comes right at you with fastballs, but they're basically three to five different pitches with different speeds."
As good as Colon has been lately, Bumgarner (3.41 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) has been even better in his career against the Mets. He's allowed four runs in 20 innings (1.80 ERA) across three starts while limiting New York batters to a .183/.256/.211 slash line.
The most recent of those outings -- seven innings of one-run ball -- came Sept. 19, Bumgarner's final game of last season.
Bumgarner is, however, fresh off a July that did not treat him well. He finished with a 4.95 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP, and averaged six innings per game. The shortest of them was Monday, when the Pirates touched him for five runs in four innings.
Giants: Bullpen especially effective of late
Giants manager Bruce Bochy hasn't had to call on his relievers too often during the club's first two nights in Queens, but when he has had to do so lately, they have been very sharp.
With Javier Lopez's perfect frame Saturday, the San Francisco bullpen has tossed 18 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. Giants relievers also have the lowest ERA in the National League since the All-Star break -- 1.31 (seven earned runs in 48 innings).
"They're throwing the ball the way they were earlier in the season," Bochy said. "We got a lot of great work out of this 'pen earlier this season, and they had a little hiccup, but they're back on track now, and they're healthy. I think the starters have been consistent, getting us somewhat deep in the game. That always helps keep things in order."
Mets: Wright's struggles concerning to Collins
David Wright's latest slump -- a 10-for-56 (.179) slide since the All-Star break -- is a little different than previous ones. It has manager Terry Collins worried.
"I'm concerned with the fact that he's not hitting. I'm not sure about the physical side," Collins said. "I don't know if he's trying to drive the ball, but his swing's got just a little long. I know that he was in the cage yesterday, he was in the cage earlier today trying to shorten it up. Hopefully, it pays off."
Wright has battled left rotator cuff issues since June, and he received a cortisone shot July 13. He has one extra-base hit -- a double on Tuesday -- since then. His OPS is down to .721, which would be the lowest of his career over a full season.
• Collins said the Mets have considered bringing Matt den Dekker, who has hit Pacific Coast League pitching very well but struggled during stints in the Majors, back to the big leagues.
"When? I don't know," Collins said. "Hopefully, again, he's going [to get] a chance to be in there every day."
• Brandon Belt went 2-for-3 with two singles and a walk Saturday, his first game since missing about two weeks with a concussion.
• The teams' first two games this weekend have averaged two hours and 15 minutes.
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.