The New York Mets (7-1) have been one of the surprises of baseball in the early season, soaring to the top of the National League East on the strength of a five game winning streak. The last three victories came against the Nationals in Washington, allowing the Mets to send a big message to the reigning NL East champs. The Mets will continue their first road trip of the year tonight, when they begin a three game series against the team many assume will be the worst in baseball, the Miami Marlins (3-6). First pitch for the opener is scheduled for 7:10 pm at Marlins Park.
The Marlins have been a pain in the neck for the Mets over the past decade, but things could get easier this season as Miami has the worst roster in the game. Shortly after buying the team late last season, new Marlins’ owner Derek Jeter proceeded to kick off the latest Miami fire sale in an effort to improve the franchise’s bottom line. Jeter broke up the game’s most talented outfield by trading off Giancarlo Stanton (to the Yankees for essentially Starlin Castro and salary relief), Marcell Ozuna (to the Cardinals), and Christian Yelich (to the Brewers). Second baseman Dee Gordon was also dealt, while the few quality players left (like J.T. Realmuto or Justin Bour) are either injured or on the trade block. This is a team that could easily lose 100 games, and the Mets need to take advantage of their 19 matchups with the Marlins this season if they hope to get back to the playoffs.
The Mets will send right hander Noah Syndergaard (1-0, 5.40 ERA) to the mound tonight. Syndergaard was very inefficient in his last start, allowing two runs in four innings of work against the Philadelphia Phillies last Wednesday, but needed 92 pitches to complete the outing. Given the hard work the Mets’ bullpen has done the past few days, the team needs Syndergaard to get much deeper into the game tonight. The Marlins will counter with young righty Jose Urena (0-1, 4.91 ERA). Urena was excellent in his second start of the year, limiting the Boston Red Sox to one run in seven innings of work last Tuesday. Unfortunately for Urena, the Marlins’ offense gave him no run support and left Urena with a no decision in a game the Marlins went on to lose 4-2.
New York Mets Lineup:
- CF Michael Conforto
- LF Yoenis Cespedes
- RF Jay Bruce
- 3B Todd Frazier
- 2B Asdrubal Cabrera
- 1B Adrian Gonzalez
- C Kevin Plawecki
- SP Noah Syndergaard
- SS Amed Rosario
- The Mets went just 7-12 against the Marlins in 2017, including a 3-7 mark at Marlins Park.
- Syndergaard is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins.
- Urena is 3-3 with a 3.27 ERA in his career against the Mets.
- With a win tonight, Callaway would surpass Joe Torre for the best start by a manager in franchise history. Torre went 7-1 in his first eight games after taking over the Mets in the middle of the 1977 season.
- Kevin Plawecki will catch tonight after Travis d’Arnaud caught all 12 innings last night and bat seventh.