Florida Marlins (24-16) at New York Mets (19-22) 7:10pm
Ricky Nolasco (3-0 3.02) vs. Jon Niese (2-4 5.03)
TV: SNY Radio: WFAN
What to watch: The Mets try to even the short series tonight behind Niese. He didn’t look great in his last start in Colorado, but he did enough to get a win because Carlos Beltran supported him with three home runs.
Nolasco has been pitching really well this year for the Marlins. They’re 5-3 in games he’s started. He’s only allowed 3 earned runs in his last two starts over 13.1 innings.
Florida Marlins (23-16) at New York Mets (19-21) 7:10pm
Josh Johnson (3-1 1.63) vs. Mike Pelfrey (3-3 5.74)
TV: SNY Radio: WFAN
What to watch: Of course, the concern with this game is that the Mets can’t compete against Johnson. He’s one of the best, if not the best, pitchers in baseball and he already beat the Mets on opening day this year. But the Marlins have lost two of the last three games that he started.
Pelfrey finally seems to have gotten it together and won the last the two games he started. I’m just worried that going against Johnson is the kind of game that Pelfrey shrinks from. He got roughed up on opening day when he faced Johnson and Pelfrey is more of a front runner than a mountain climber.
It took the Mets until June 13 last year to accomplish what they already have in their first series; win a road series. The first matchup had them pitted against 6’7” 250lb flamethrower Josh Johnson of which they predictably lost. Johnson is tough enough to hit, even had a no hitter going through 6, but then giving up a grand slam to newly acquired John Buck proved to be the nail in the coffin for Mike Pelfrey. The Mets have proven (so far) to be a resilient team. They came back and ripped off the next two games in style, in extra innings and a shellacking of once dominant Javy Vasquez.
While all of this does give each Met fan a small glimmer of hope of “why not us?”…Let’s slow down the World Series ticket buying just for a bit. We beat a Marlins team who lost its power bat 2nd baseman and replaced him with a catcher who had a .281 average last year while previous best was a solid 34 points less. A team that was almost forced by Major League Baseball to spend money on players. I’m not saying that they are an awful team, but they aren’t the Phillies. As I watched the games in Florida I couldn’t help but notice almost a swagger about the Mets. Something about them came off as almost professional. They seem much more energized. Skipper Collins and his brash motivational talks may be exactly what this team needs after 2 years of “it is what it is and let’s get them next game” mantra from Jerry Manuel.
Speaking of which, a Phillies series is right on the horizon. This will be much more telling than Florida series. The Mets somewhat dodged a bullet and won’t have to face Lee or Oswalt but they will have to face possibly the best number 4 and 5 pitchers in all of baseball along with Doc. Hamels was 0-4 last year against the New York Metropolitans and Blanton can shut down a team as easily as he implodes. Beltran, Wright, Hairston, Thole are all batting over .300 versus Doc. So there is hope. It’s not impossible, it is improbable.
Final prediction: Mets win two out of three, World Series ticket purchases from New York area double, Mike Francesca explodes from Mets callers, and Family Guy can eat their heart out.
In this week’s video, Kerel Cooper of On The Black and I talk about the Marlins series that the Mets just took in Miami. We talk about Carlos Beltran (and his knees), Mike Pelfrey’s poor start on Friday night, Willie Harris’ hot bat, and the upcoming series in Philly starting tomorrow.
The Mets will face Hamels, Blanton, and Halladay in Philly this week. That will be a good early season test of how the Mets offense stacks up against some solid pitching. Tomorrow will also be our first look at Chris Young in a regular season game. He goes right into the fire in Philly.
Check out the video below and comment with your thoughts.
The Mets put a beat down on Javier Vazquez early in the game today. They put up 7 runs in the first three innings and the game was effectively over. The Mets win the road series which is something we didn’t see much of last year at all. R.A. Dickey got the win although he wasn’t as sharp as we saw him last season. It’s a good start to the season winning this one in Miami.
The Mets offense went off on Vazquez and the subsequent Marlins pitchers with 8 hits and a staggering 9 walks. Willie Harris continued his hot hitting with a home run in the first inning. Ike Davis tacked on another one in the third. It was a true team effort with the Mets getting hits up and down the lineup.
Dickey only gave up 1 unearned run in 6 IP, but he did give up 5 hits and 3 walks. So he had runners on base frequently and was able to get out of jams. Chris Capuano didn’t look good at all relieving Dickey. He gave up 3 hits, a walk, and a run in 0.2 IP. Not a good start to the season for Capuano.
The Mets are off tomorrow and head to Philly on Tuesday. Hopefully, they can another road series win there too.
New York Mets (1-1) vs. Florida Marlins (1-1) 1:10pm ET
R.A. Dickey (0-0, NA) vs. Javier Vazquez (0-0, NA)
TV: SNY, FSFL Radio: WFAN
What to watch: The Mets and Marlins play the rubber game of the series this afternoon. Expect Carlos Beltran to get the day off, maybe play as a pinch hitter if needed. Dickey gets his first start of the year and I’ll be curious to see if last year’s dream season continues this year.
Vazquez has a career record of 10-9 with a 3.16 ERA against the Mets in 25 games.
The Mets had a 4-0 lead in the third and then got their clocks cleaned over the last six innings. Jon Niese started well but started to crack in the fourth giving up 2 runs. Then he got lit up for 5 more in the sixth without getting an out. He completely lost it. I suppose he was due after pitching so well and so consistently this year. But it was disappointing to see.
Jose Reyes left the game in the second inning because of a recurrence of the oblique strain he suffered earlier this season. It didn’t look serious. As a matter of fact, you couldn’t even see where he did anything in the replays.
On offense there wasn’t much after the fourth inning. But David Wright hit a long 2-run homer to left in the first inning that hit off the second deck. It was a real bomb. He’s been locked in lately.
The Mets lose another home series and the Astros come to town starting tomorrow night.
Florida Marlins (63-62) at New York Mets (63-63) 7:10 pm
Anibal Sanchez (10-8 3.16) vs Jon Niese (8-5 3.33)
TV: SNY Radio: WFAN
What to watch: The Mets and Marlins play the rubber game of the series tonight. Sanchez has had three good starts in a row for the Marlins although two were against the Nats and Astros. He’s only given up 2 earned runs in his last 19.2 innings over those three starts. Niese has been even better. He’s had four excellent starts in a row. Over that span he’s given up 4 runs in 26 innings.
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