Juan Pierre and the Marlins are 10-5 vs. the Mets this season. (Lynne Sladky/AP)
After just a 2-5 homestand for the Miami Marlins that concluded with the team dropping three of four to the Atlanta Braves, Miami begins an 11-game road trip, its final one of the year, against the New York Mets. The Marlins and Mets will play four games in three days with a doubleheader to be played on Saturday.
Both wins on the recent homestand for the Marlins came from rookie starting pitcher Jose Fernandez. Fernandez won’t pitch again this season after reaching his innings limit and hitting his first career home run in a game that received a lot of national attention on Wednesday. Fernandez finishes 2013 with a 12-6 record and a dazzling 2.19 ERA likely making him the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year in the National League.
On Miami’s recent stint at home, Marlins’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton hit his 20th home run marking the fourth straight 20-homer season for Stanton. During the series with Atlanta, Ed Lucas had a hit in every game while Chris Coghlan, who has returned to the outfield, had a four-hit game in Monday’s 5-2 loss.
The series with New York will pit the fourth and fifth place teams in the National League East against one another. Miami, at 54-91, remains the worst team in the National League, but needs just one win to avoid tying the record for the worst season in franchise history. In fourth place, the Mets are 64-81 and 10 games better than Miami.
Like Miami, the Mets have struggled of late losing nine of their last 11 games. The Mets were most recently swept in Washington by the Nationals over four games while being shut out twice.
Also like the Marlins, the Mets’ ace is done for the season, but not due to an innings limit, but rather a shoulder injury. Matt Harvey, an All-Star, was thought to be a legitimate Cy Young contender before the injury. Anchoring the staff of late has been 23-year-old right-hander Zack Wheeler, who the Marlins will not see in the upcoming series.
Miami has played very well against the Mets this season, but New York will look much different in this upcoming series than the Mets team that the Marlins have beat up on throughout the year. Harvey, Ike Davis and David Wright are all on the disabled list while Marlon Byrd and John Buck were recently traded to Pittsburgh.
The four-game set at Citi Field will feature a 7:10 P.M. eastern time start on Friday, a doubleheader beginning at 4:10 P.M. on Saturday and a 1:10 P.M. start in the series finale on Sunday. The series in New York will be the last meeting between the teams this season.
Miami leads 10-5. The Marlins have already won the season series against the Mets as New York joins the Colorado Rockies, Minnesota Twins and San Francisco Giants as the only teams to lose the season series to Miami. Three of Miami’s 10 wins over the Mets this season have come in extra innings and the Marlins are 3-2 at Citi Field. Miami won a 20-inning marathon game at Citi Field on June 8th and followed that up with a 10-inning victory the very next day. Citi Field is also the location of Miami’s first win of 2013 and the first career win as a big league manager for Miami’s Mike Redmond.
Friday – Brad Hand (MIA) 0-0, 0.00 ERA vs. Jonathon Niese (NYM) 6-7, 3.86 ERA
Saturday (Game 1) – Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 3-4, 4.34 ERA vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (NYM) 0-3, 8.00 ERA
Saturday (Game 2) – Jacob Turner (MIA) 3-6, 3.43 ERA vs. Carlos Torres (NYM) 3-4, 3.53 ERA
Sunday – Tom Koehler (MIA) 3-10, 4.80 ERA vs. Dillon Gee (NYM) 11-10, 3.61 ERA
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